The city of Durango added about $953,000 worth of road improvement projects to its to-do list in 2021.
The additional money, approved this week by City Council, will help make ramps more accessible, improve street surfaces and structure, and even upgrade an extra alley or two. The allocation adds to about $2.3 million in street-related capital projects already planned for the year.
“It’s just adding additional streets to be treated, maintained and constructed this year,” said Levi Lloyd, Durango’s director of city operations.
The funding comes from the 0.5% sales tax increase approved in 2019, from 3% to 3.5%, which has generated about $5.7 million.
There is a limit to the amount of revenue the 2019 tax can gather. It will last for 10 years, until 2029. Each year generates an estimated $4.4 million, or about $44 million total.
In 2020, the tax helped fix one city alley and paid for 33 ramp improvements in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. It funded about 20,400 square yards of sub-grade reconstruction on streets. That’s in addition to replacing sidewalks, curbs, gutters and road surfaces.
In 2021, the streets division plans to do more street overlays, reconstruction, seal coating, ramp improvements and alley projects – work long-sought by residents whose homes connect to dirt alleys.
The additional projects came at the request of City Council, Lloyd said.
“Council had identified that the fund balance for that 2019 sales tax was going to be sitting at over $1.3 million after our proposed projects in 2021,” Lloyd said. “They felt we should be doing additional projects with that tax money, and I agree with that.”
The remaining fund balance will be about $352,000 after the allocation.
The $953,000 allocation will pay for a new, three-stage project on North College Drive and surface treatments on three additional streets: Molas Drive, Coalbank Drive and Prospector Avenue.
One additional alley, behind Walgreens on north Main Avenue, will be paved. And reconstruction will take place on an extra street, Kennebec Court. Street overlays will be done on Elm Place, O’Brien Drive and Aspen Place.
Other projects already on the schedule will be expanded, like Florida Road surface treatments, Columbine Drive reconstruction and Rim Drive overlay work.
“We’re already starting to work on finishing our bid packages so that we can start construction late April or the first part of May,” Lloyd said.