Traveling to Stillwater worries drivers more than rising gas prices.
Chipper Skelton, senior at Oklahoma State University, has had its fair share of nightmare scenarios. Four years of traveling to and from campus in his white Nissan Altima wondering when the next a tire warning light problem will appear on his dashboardcan have an impact on a studentit is wallet.
“I poured hundreds of dollars into different tire stores around town,” Skelton said. “I feel like the mechanics know me by name considering how many times I’ve had tire problems.
Various potholes around the city are the cause of what never seems to be the case–put an end to car problems. Drivers put forward their point of view disengage Towards the city expressing opinions online and raising concerns with Stillwater Town Council in attempts for force Stillwater to to take stock.
“I just wish the city would listen to its people,” Skelton said. “I’ve been here for four years with a simple wish.
Turns out fixing all the roads in Stillwater isn’t that easy.clear appear. Monty Karns, the Ddirector of City Engineering for Stillwater, is aware of the constant difficulties that many people encounter when moving around town.
The city and Karns understand that the roads in Stillwater are not up to standard. The focus has always been on serving the community while staying in the cityit is $4 million annual budget. Staying within the city budget for repairs and getting enough votes was no problem for Karns and his team of engineers.
“We have an asset management plan in place to improve the roads,” Karns said. “The hardest part of maintaining the plan is staying within the $4 m1,000,000,000 budget so we can afford to make everything work as it should.
Pavement management Pprogram is responsible for implementing and maintaining the vision of having less harmful roads in Stillwater. Every five years, each road is re–prioritized and rated. The grading scale goes from 0 for 100. If a route reaches the 100 range, the area is immediately repaired. Achieving a high score is raresomething Karns has been part of a handful of times.
“It’s a rare sight to be near the number 100,” Karns said. “It’s something my team and I are proud of. When a route starts getting such high ratings, we act almost immediately.”
It’s a constant battle to keep the roads in good condition–for–date on which thousands of Drivers Use the Daily.Closing roads for repair is also a major emphasis on pavement management Pprogramtries to control. Allowing easy access when traveling around Stillwater is the department’s goal. When it’s time to close a main road to be repaired, residents generally express their opinion without hesitation. Karns and his team are trying to get the job done without disturbing the community. Success is rarely acquired.
“We try to do most of our work on major roads during low volume times,” Karns said. “The less angry the drivers are, the happier the construction workers on the ground are at the end of the day.”
It’s a stay–of–the–way-an/a-eeverything–will be–be-Fmentality. The one that continues to be the theme of construction sites.
Gary Morton, the owner of Morton Construction, tries to maintain community content while getting the job done in a timely manner. Morton Construction handles the majority of road construction in Payne County. Managing the bulk of operations in a city mostly made up of studentscan sometimes last a long day. Balancing work and staying away from traffic presents a challenge for Morton and his crew.
“I just tell my crew to handle business and stay away from irritated drivers,” Morton said. “Ultimately, we are giving service to the community. It’s not the other way around in our eyes. »
Doing necessary road repairs on major city roads is another story. Perkins Roadis a popular route choice for many Stillwater pilots which is under repair. Kaleb Clark, a senior at Oklahoma State University, is a frequent user of Perkins Road. There’s a road that Clark leans on Daily to get to class on time.
“I can’t believe Perkins is down to one lane,” Clark said. “I’ve already been late to class several times this week. It’s starting to become a problem. »
That’s not the only problem Clark has faced while driving the roads of Stillwater. Clark’s 2005 Toyota Corolla is out of alignment since moving to Stillwater for college. Clark isfull of frustration after multiple adjustments and a few hundred dollars spent trying to reset his carit is Alignition.
“It’s a never–ending an uphill battle,” Clark said. “I will have my car exactly the way i want it and then these bad roads will take me back to where i was, line up at all those auto repair shops.
Clark factored road quality into his final apartment decision after almost no rethinking.–signing his lease at Cottage Row Stillwater. Endless holes and cracks at 920 Loveland Driveto have made it difficult to just pull out of the driveway.
“The road conditions inside the gates of Cottage Row were ridiculous,” Clark said. “You’d think I’d get a big discount just for having to deal with this every morning going to class.”
Every driver has their opinion on which road to fix first. This is often the route they have to travel the most.
Choose which road to service first is determined by an online program that calculates the volume and quantity of cars using a particular region per day. Through the use of the Pavement Management Index, construction companies can see which roads have the highest volume. This index leads to certain routes having a higher priority detection rate. Karns uses the Pavement Management Iindex for making decisions on which the roads are currently in the worst condition, a bit like the fluentConstruction of the Perkins Road situation.
“The pavement management index makes our work much more reasonable”, Karns said. “Without this technology, we would simply be straying off the course that seemed worse at the time with little or no facts to back up our reasoning.”
Road problems in cities are often a hard sell. Raising the amount of money needed to do the job well is a common theme at Stillwater. The city gets its money for road repairs through a sales tax. Brock Drew, senior at Oklahoma State Universityconstruction engineering student, doesn’t know that sales tax money goes to road repairs.
“I feel like it’s important to know where my taxes go,” Drew said. “It was news to me when I found out I was paying sales tax on everything I bought transportation related when I was in Stillwater.”
the cityyes possibility of adding a half–sales tax cent on all purchases ranging from gasoline to auto parts expenses made the difference. Stillwater solves some of the major road issues that are long overdue on many community members‘ lists. the goal has always been the same for Morton and his company; keep nibbling the roads with the highest volume rates and soon Stillwater won’t be known for its bad road anymores.
Road conditions on the Oklahoma State University campus are not as bad as on the streets of Stillwater. Karns mentioned the students‘ complaints in regards to OSU campus roads are managed separately from city roads.
“Roads on campus are a separate issue that we don’t address,” Karns said. “The only way for us to get involved is if a road on the OSU campus connects to a town on the road to Stillwater.”
Karns witnessed complaints mainly from the intersection of Perkins Road and Sixth Avenue during his years of work as Ddirector of municipal engineering. Even though Karns and his team are working to fix as many roads as possible, each building worker pleaserepeatedly born. The crewtravels on the same routes to and from work to likeother drivers. Karns wants the city to know that he and his team are aware of the poor road conditions and are doing everything in their power to fix it. them.
“I hear the concerns on a daily basis,” Karns said. “Working here all those years, over thereisn’t that something I haven’t heard used as a complaint when locals talk about our road issues.
Soon, pavement management Pprogram will make its way through Stillwater. Karns mentioned residents will eventually be able to travel in peace thanks to his team’s relentless efforts to repair as many roads as possible.
It is a movement towards improving the city. A movement USO engineering students prepare for in the classroom. Drivers focus on their destination and do not worryin regards to next time they will end up in queues at auto repair shops is the goal.
“It’s the context of what I’m learning in my classes,” Drew said. “Everyone is working together to solve a bigger problem to make Stillwater better. I look forward to the day when I can benefit a city through my work.