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Paving a high priority due to increased spending
Paving a high priority due to increased spending
Posted on 07/16/2018
​By Leah Kraus, Digital Content Coordinator

Makeovers are on schedule for many Memphis streets this year thanks to Mayor Jim Strickland and the City Council making it a higher priority. 

Mayor Strickland and the Council have doubled the street paving budget from what it was just four years ago — to $19 million, up from $9.5 million in 2015. In fact, spending on paving has increased every year since Mayor Strickland took office. 

So how do we decide which streets get the green light on paving? Typically, areas that are the most in need get serviced first. An engineer looks at the street in question and gives it a ranking of 1 – 10 based on how many issues there are, and the process goes from there. 

The Division of Public Works is striving for a more proactive approach, rather than reactive. The goal would be to already have a rating assigned to each street, so that when someone calls to inquire, the department is already a step ahead.

Last year, the City got back on par with the national standard of paving streets approximately every 25 years. The City has 6,818 miles of road excluding state routes to maintain. As far back as 2012, some streets were only being paved every 75 years due to years of decreased spending. As a result, the City is still working through a backlog. 

A brand-new paving machine is helping move efforts along. The City is also paving more thanks to new state money from the 2017 passage of the IMPROVE Act. 

“There is no more visible sign to citizens that the city cares about you and your street than a fresh coat of blacktop. Our infrastructure is a high priority to me – that’s why we doubled street paving from just four years ago,” Mayor Strickland said.

Click here to see the plan for which streets will be paved and when. As always, you can report issues to us by calling 311, using the Memphis 311 app on your phone or by visiting us at  
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