A City Council committee has selected 10 streets that will be the first beneficiaries of a new mill and overlay program. • The Streets and Bridges Committee will bring their Top 10 recommendation to the City Council on Tuesday, after weighing discussions with engineers with EST Inc. and the City of Lawton staff. • EST is a private contractor hired to analyze streets in the community, working from data provided in an analysis of city arterials, collector and residential streets completed in 2022. • Committee Chairman/Ward 4 Councilman George Gill said the priorities are listed in the order the street work will be done, starting with Northeast Cache Road between Northeast Flower Mound Road and Northeast 45th Street. Committee members spent more than an hour last week reviewing Top Ten lists created by themselves and city engineers/streets administrators, searching for consensus on what will be the priorities from an initial list of 31 streets. They all need to be done, but only 10 can be on that first list, Gill said.
Ward 5 Councilman Allan Hampton and Ward 2 Councilman Kelly Harris said all eight council wards needed to be included on that first list, and they were.
“I think it was important that everyone was included,” Harris said.
The issue binding the streets together is that they can benefit from mill and overlay, a process that grinds off the top 1-2 inches of asphalt, then applies a new layer of asphalt. The result is a smoother surface and a street that will have up to eight more years of life, engineers say. The process also is less costly than rebuilding a street, meaning more street miles can be repaired.
“We have so many roads to do,” Hampton said, adding the mill and overlay program will give city streets crews time to catch up on other projects.
The process is aided by a new infusion of money after residents voted last month to extend the existing Ad Valorem Streets Improvements Program 10 more years, providing an additional $60 million for street and work. And it will complement road work already being planned and funded through the Capital Improvements Program (for example, a rebuild of Southwest 38th Street scheduled to begin in 2024) and routine street repairs such as filling pot holes. Repairs also should be taking place at the same time: Gill said the committee hopes to have multiple contractors working at the same time.
City Engineer Joe Painter said city staff can begin the contractor selection process as soon as the City Council OKs the Top 10 list. Following requirements for advertising and bid selection, that could mean projects would be ready to go in November or December, weather permitting, he said.