A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

In Lexington, making streets last longer

Written March 6th, 2021 by Hasso Hering

The park marks one of the entrances to Albany’s Lexington neighborhood.

On Saturday afternoon, I rode the bike around the Lexington neighborhood in southeast Albany — to check out the streets and the condition of the pavement.

The area was developed 20-25 years ago, and the streets still seem in pretty good shape. Now the city wants to do something to keep them in good condition for as long as possible.

That’s why on Wednesday, the city council will be asked to award a contract to apply a “latex modified slurry seal” on segments of almost all the streets in the subdivision east of Waverly Drive, from 21st Avenue down to Grand Prairie Road.

The man exception is Lexington Street itself. All the streets west and east of Lexington are to get the treatment, according to a map provided by the city staff.

“Application of slurry seal,” a memo to the council says, “is a cost effective way to provide a new wearing surface and extend the life of the asphalt.”

A Nevada company, Intermountain Slurry Seal Inc., submitted the lowest of five bids to apply the treatment to about 52,500 square yards of pavement. The bid, $105,622, was far lower than the city’s estimate for the job. So the staff is asking the council to expand the scope of the project by another 37,600 square yards, which would add about $71,000 to the bid price.

As you can see in the video below, the streets are in far better shape than in some older parts of town, and keeping them that way is certainly worthwhile.

And as usual, sorry about the wind noise. Turn the volume down, or off.

And by the way, as you can also see, Lexington has been developed fairly densely. It even features some duplexes in what otherwise is a subdivision of single-family homes. (hh)


Duplexes in this cul de sac provide “middle housing” in the Lexington neighborhood.

Posted in: Commentary, News


11 responses to “In Lexington, making streets last longer”

  1. Richard Kay says:

    Those roads are in a LOT better shape than Fir Oaks Dr SW. The cobblestone looking street and potholes are getting worse. Why can’t we get anything done with our street??? Year after year we ask the city, but they say there isn’t any money. Well, if they have money to do much better streets in the Lexington area, then they can find the money to do a much worse street. Hasso did a story on SW Fir Oaks a year or so ago. Look at the tax lots for the Fir Oaks Subdivision and for what we pay in taxes, we should be a lot higher on the list to have repairs done.

    • Ray Kopczynski says:

      “Well, if they have money to do much better streets in the Lexington area, then they can find the money to do a much worse street.”

      The “much worse” is the key component. The cost of trying to maintain roads in relatively good condition is much-much less expensive than it is to repair a road in worse condition. I suggest you start here: https://www.cityofalbany.net/streets (The “Learn more…” links are the key.)

      • Rich Kellum says:

        Completely true Ray, but it is also saying “we abandoned the upkeep on your street years ago, so now we won’t even consider fixing it because it now costs too much”

        • Bill Kapaun says:

          Rich Kellum-

          EXACTLY! When most of these council members have retired for good, they’ll look back at the “bricks” they planted, pat themselves on the back and turn a blind eye to the condition our streets will be in 10-20 years down the road. Their delay is costing us more than ursury compound interest repair costs in the future.

      • Bob Woods says:

        Instead of “abandoned”, I think the more correct phrase would be
        “unable to fund”. There have been staff reports from Public Works advising the Council of a 100+ year backlog in needed street repairs going back decades.

        Every Council has to decide priorities on where to spend available funds. The Streets Fund had never had sufficient funding for at least the last 50 years and proposals to increase the funding with additional revenue sources have almost always been rejected.

        • Gordon L. Shadle says:

          Instead of “unable to fund”, I think the more correct phrase would be “unwilling to fund because it’s easier to tax the sheeple in the future”.

          Building streets and taking credit for extraordinary benefits but not putting aside money to maintain and fix them is a monumental governmental failure.

          But that is the modern government operating model – spend today, tax tomorrow, and those who complain…..just silence their voice and cancel them.

          Welcome to progressivism at its worst.

  2. Paul says:

    SE roads in the single digits are pretty bad.

  3. Brenda Wallsinger says:

    I agree with Richard Kay regarding the Fir Oaks area and the need for street maintenance. It won’t be long before someone gets hurt due to the negligence of the street upkeep. People walk pets in the street, children play in the street, and people walk in it doing yard maintenance. The city is in borrowed time before a bigger problem will arise.

  4. Albany YIMBY says:

    These residential streets are too wide and we’ll pay the price.

    My street in downtown barely has any traffic, still, the size seems to be ready to accommodate semis passing every day. Why so much asphalt and width?

    Albany needs a road diet and street downsizing. Our residential streets could be half or 2/3 as wide and nothing would happen.

    We could put medians with trees, flowers or bushes.

    • Rich Kellum says:

      So let’s spend money that we do not have, to restrict the size of a street, so the remaining street gets worn down quicker, so we can then fix the street with more money that we do not have…………????????????????????

  5. HowlingCicada says:

    Those of you who don’t like the roads elsewhere might consider this neighborhood’s fix as compensation for the misery of living so close to I-5.

    The houses at the end of the pictured cul-de-sac (and adjacent cul-de-sacs) are right up against I-5. Many next-to-freeway duplexes in that area are rentals — typically 1100 sq.ft., around $1200 per month, tax is about 2 months rent (source: Zillow).

    If I were to move to Albany (from Corvallis), I’d rather live almost anywhere else, never mind the pot holes or even gravel streets. Also, I’m not fond of the past 30 years’ architecture, but there are many places that are far worse: “fancier” places dripping with phony paste-on gunk. That’s what new parts of Corvallis are like.


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