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Voters in Eugene to decide again on street repair bond

(File/SBG image)

EUGENE, Ore. -- Eugene has had a long and bumpy history trying to keep streets in decent shape.

It got so bad that by 2008, voters approved a street repair bond issue.

Voters renewed the bond in 2013, but that money is due to run out next year.

“We've identified 78 streets…91 projects altogether that would be rebuilt,” says Eugene Public Works Comm. Director Brian Richardson.

Now, the City is asking voters to approve round three -- a new bond of $51.2 million.

Engineers say a citizen panel has come up with a project list, tilting toward streets just beginning to show their age, like one stretch of 19th Avenue.

“So ideally, the City can go through and we can rebuild, we can resurface all of these streets before they would ever need to be rebuilt,” Richardson says.

One important aspect of the bond to know and understand is that the money for the street projects only goes to what are called improved streets, like those along W. Amazon -- streets that have sidewalks and curbs, not severely potholed streets without sidewalks or curbs.

Says Richardson: “They don't typically have the curbs and the gutters and the storm water standards that improved roads have.” He explains those streets are on a separate repair program.

The bond has the endorsement of Eugene's top business organization.

“We've got to be able to move goods and services throughout the community on streets that are well maintained that aren't deteriorating as we drive over them,” says Brittany Quick with Eugene Chamber of Commerce.

Voters in Eugene get the final say on November 7.

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