ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Abilene has 1,396 miles of lane roadway throughout the city, and one study shows that one-third of all local roads leading to residencies and businesses are considered “seriously damaged” or a “failed road.”

Overall, Abilene’s Road Network Inventory received a score of 46 out of 100, which is in the poor range of 40-54. This score varies between three main road types in Abilene network – arterial roads, which are long roads with few access points that direct traffic away from property with typical speed limits of 50-70 miles per hour, local roads, which are most roads in city limits, designed to provide access to residences, businesses, farms, and more with typical speed limits of 20-40 miles per hour, and collector roads, which are shorter roads designed to connect local roads to arterial roads with typical speed limits of 35-55 miles per hour.

It’s updated information like this that has residents of the Abilene area asking for help, and they’re saying the patchwork done has only created more problems.

If you take a drive down some of Abilene’s residential roads, you may see large cracks run for blocks on end, large potholes and dark pavement patching old potholes.

“It’s just been patchwork, patchwork and after that, more patchwork,” Lifelong Abilenian Nelson Mota said.

The 32-year-old Mota has lived on the north side of Abilene since he was a young kid, moving away in 2017 for college and returning with his wife in 2017. At the time, Mota wanted to build a house, but settled for buying a house just a block away from his childhood home and noticed not a lot changed in the neighborhood, including the streets.

“It’s pretty much the same, but obviously over the years they [streets] get deteriorated,” Mota said. 

He said excitement began to grow when he returned as the city started repaving some of the major roads just a few blocks away, but as they progressed on the streets, that excitement turned to frustration.

“For some reason, they skipped us and the block next to us and it never got done.” Mota said. “But now, every time it rains, it gets flooded and the patchwork, I don’t believe it works.” 

A study was done by a third-party company, Fugro, and contracted by the City of Abilene to determine the severity of the damage on it’s streets. The results back up Mota’s concerns, as 75% of local roads are graded in at least ‘poor’ condition, and one-third of Abilene’s local roads are in the ‘serious’ or ‘failed’ categories.

For 76-year-old Harlan Mclamore has lived in the same home since he was born, just a few blocks away from Cal Young Park. He said growing up, the current road stopped at the end of his property line, but quickly turned into one of the busiest roads in the area in the late-70’s and early-80’s.

“We’ve got a tremendous amount of traffic here, and it just gets worse and worse.” Mclamore said.

He said after returning from his deployment, the quietness of his house was overtaken by the hustle and bustle of city employees rushing down his street. Now, Mclamore said you’d be hard pressed to see a city employee drive down his road.

“The city don’t even come down the road anymore,” Mclamore said. “It [the road] got so bad that they quit coming down it.” 

He said during heavy rains, the potholes get bigger, the gravel around the patched spots gets pushed up against his curb and it creates a worse driving experience for him and his family.

The City of Abilene held a Street Maintenance Meeting on Thursday night, receiving public comments on the current street conditions, while also discussing potential solutions to the problem.

One of those solutions could be raising the street maintenance fee, which according to the Fugro study, shows if Abilene continues with their current amount of street funding could see their roads degrade into the 30’s and cost nearly $350 million to repair and reconstruct the roads.