Breaking down the “Under the Hood” City infrastructure presentation

An aerial view image at night of two different street intersections
Photo by Kelly Lacy via Pexels

Today, we’re getting under the hood of Chattanooga’s infrastructure problems + possible solutions that were recently outlined in Chief of Staff Brent Goldberg’s presentation to City Council.

Graph showing the comparison in local road conditions from 2010 to 2020 based on PCI | Screenshot from “Under the Hood” presentation

🛣️ Roads

  • Chattanooga’s current average road conditionmeasured in PCI, or Pavement Condition Index, on a scale from 0 to 100 — is 62 PCI across 2,352 miles of local roadway
  • A PCI of 40 or below is defined as “poor”
  • Locally, many of the roads with the lowest rating are in the most vulnerable communities + neighborhoods
  • According to the presentation, the City budgeted $6.3 million for road paving this year, but Chattanooga needs to spend $9.22 million per year to maintain our current PCI

🚦Traffic Signals

  • The presentation identified 17 local intersections that currently warrant traffic signals
  • Current funding levels allow for building 1 new traffic signal per year, or the repair of 1-3 existing signal intersections per year

🌉Bridges

  • The City manages 86 structures crossing rivers, creeks, roads, and railroad tracks
  • The City budgeted $400,000 in FY21 for bridge repair
  • According to the presentation, over the next 5 to 10 years Chattanooga needs ~$120 million to repair our most critical bridges
  • The Wilder, Wilcox, and Walnut Street bridges all have funding plans in place
Graph providing a summary of Chattanooga’s bridge conditions | Screenshot from “Under the Hood” presentation

🏘️ Sidewalks

  • Citywide, there are currently 490 miles of sidewalk (not including sidewalks on most local neighborhood streets)
  • Using current contract costs for sidewalk construction ($440 per linear foot), new sidewalks would cost ~$1.5 billion

🌳 Greenways

  • Residents have requested additional greenway construction in the following areas: East Line, North Chick, Northshore, Alton Park Connector, and the University Greenway
  • The presentation estimated that construction of new greenways would cost roughly $3 million-$6 million per mile

💡 Possible solutions for the future

  • Seeking community input to determine where the City’s money can best be spent on infrastructure
  • Seeking outside sources of funding
  • Ensuring that infrastructure is examined through an equity lens so as to not leave behind vulnerable communities
  • Revising the City’s budget to reverse infrastructure decline

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