GURNEE, IL – The Village of Gurnee will host a Town Hall meeting on Wednesday, February 19th at Gurnee Village Hall (325 N. O’Plaine Road) to discuss long-term plans for managing and funding the Village’s capital infrastructure and, specifically, the Village’s roadway network. Two formal presentations on the current state of the Village’s roads will be given by Village staff at 6:00 and 6:45 p.m. with a question and answer session and open discussion period following each. Members of the public are invited to attend to hear about current road conditions and the Village’s options for creating a management strategy as well as to give input into the formation of a long-term plan.
This Town Hall meeting follows a recent review of the results of a comprehensive road survey completed by Village contractor Infrastructure Management Services (IMS) in fall 2013. IMS uses laser camera technology to quickly and reliably capture road surface data and assign each segment of road a pavement condition index (PCI) rating on a scale of 0 – 100, where 100 would indicate a perfect stretch of road and 0 would signify a completely deteriorated segment. Based on IMS’s survey, the average PCI of the Village’s 113-mile road network is 63, a drop of nine points from the Village’s last review in 2011.
“A PCI score of 63 indicates that the Village’s roads are, on average, in fair condition. However, as roads age, the rate at which they deteriorate, as well as the average cost to repair them, rapidly accelerates. To get the best value for taxpayer dollars, the Village should begin enhancing existing maintenance programs to extend the useful life of our streets,” said Scott Drabicki, Village Engineer.
The Village conducts an annual street maintenance program which includes low cost maintenance, such as crack sealing, for newer roads and total resurfacing and reconstruction on older streets. However, this program is largely funded by state-shared revenues and transfers from the Village’s General Fund, which supports day-to-day operations. With the economic downturn and the fact that the Village repealed its property tax in 2000 in favor of a more consumer spending driven sales tax, funding has been largely diverted from street maintenance to support critical services such as police, fire and public works. The roads could withstand this loss for a number of years, but as they age, increased attention will be required to maintain them.
“We are literally at a fork in the road,” said Mayor Kristina Kovarik. “We can continue resurfacing around three miles of road a year and see overall diminished quality or we can act now and discuss how best to fund street preservation. Before deciding, we want to bring this issue to our residents and hear their thoughts and opinions as we take this challenge on.”
For more information on the Village’s road system, see the Village's roadway fact sheet, “Visualizing the Status of the Village’s Roadway System” or visit the Village’s website at www.gurnee.il.us. For any questions, please contact the Village’s Engineering Division at (847) 599-7550.