- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 6, 2019

The District Department of Transportation this summer is attempting to make a dent in the number of roads that are in poor condition via an extensive repaving effort.

Jeff Marootian, director of the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), said the city plans to repave more than 90 miles of weather-damaged streets this year.

“We know that the winter and historic rainfall has had a very significant impact [on the roads], so we are working both to fix our roads from that damage caused by those specific events while also bring them into a state of good repair across the entire network,” Mr. Marootian said.

DDOT started its PaveDC program last year in an effort to achieve Mayor Muriel Bowser’s goal of rehabilitating all of the District’s pockmarked roads by 2024.

When the District started its repaving effort in 2018, about 25% of the roads were in poor condition.



“We do know that research has shown changes in mean and extreme temperatures has been recognized as contributing to premature depreciation of assets which includes roads,” said John Townsend, a spokesman for the car owners club AAA Mid-Atlantic, adding that extreme temperatures can cause roadways to buckle and crack.

Mr. Townsend said he has seen jurisdictions in the Washington metropolitan area blow through their road maintenance budgets by the middle of winter due to intense rain and snowfalls.

Mr. Marootian said the District spent about $5 million a year on paving between 2010 and 2014, and now spends $35 million, which he attributed to the mayor’s dedication to this issue.

“AAA found that 30 million American drivers experience pothole damage significant enough to require repairs to their vehicles that range from $250 to $1,000 and the price tag for that is $3 billion a year,” Mr. Townsend said.

DDOT said its crews paved 46 miles of roadway last year, and the mayor’s budget includes more than $225 million to repair streets, alleys and sidewalks over the next five years.

“As we look at not only paving, we are restriping crosswalks, restriping bike lanes and making sure the crosswalks are in good repair, so this is very much about safety as it is about rebuilding our infrastructure,” Mr. Marootian said.

Florida Avenue in Ward 1, Georgia Avenue in Wards 1 and 4, 14th Street in Ward 2, and Foxhall Road in Ward 3 are among the roads where construction is planned this year.

Southern Avenue and East Capitol Street in Ward 8, Massachusetts Avenue in Ward 2, and Windom Place and Ellicott Street in Ward 3 are among the roads that already have seen construction this year and are either complete or almost complete.

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