The Street & Bridge Division is responsible for maintaining all roadways, alleys and pertinent structures related to both. It also performs a wide variety of other tasks, including but not limited to herbiciding and mosquito spraying, picking up illegal dumping, and setting barrels out for flooding and street closure permits.

Speed limits on Bell St. lowered for construction

Speed limits on Bell Street have been reduced to 25 mph in construction zones to ensure workers’ and motorists’ safety as the roadway is being rebuilt.

The contractor on the $22 million reconstruction of Bell Street, Reece Albert of San Angelo, is installing signs notifying drivers of the change. Existing signs noting the normal speed limit of 40 mph on the thoroughfare will be removed or covered until the project is complete.

The work, which is expected to span four years, involves removing, replacing and relocating water and sewer lines at a cost of approximately $12 million. The remaining $10 million will be spent rebuilding the roadway from the base up. Its new driving surface will be concrete, which is more durable and requires less maintenance and fewer repairs than asphalt.

The roadwork is scheduled to occur in the following phases:

  • October 2018 to May 2019 – Old Ballinger Highway to U.S. Highway 67.
  • August 2019 to May 2020 – U.S. Highway 67 to Harris Street.
  • May 2020 to March 2021 – Harris Street to the Concho River.

The work to replace utility lines in the first phase began on Bell Street’s far north end earlier this year.

City streets improve, but remain a work in progress

We know – San Angelo streets are in a sad state.

The City of San Angelo is playing catch-up to rebuild and repave its bumpiest thoroughfares. Progress is being made, though not as fast as anyone – including us – would like.Shane Kelton

Bell Street is the obvious example. We had hoped to start the project more than a year ago. But we encountered issues acquiring easements. Then the lone bid for the first phase of work was $2 million over budget. We’ve repackaged the effort’s three phases into one package in hopes of attracting contractors who can lend the work economies of scale. By the time this story publishes, we’ll know if that worked.

Either way, three years of construction on Bell Street commences this summer. It will be completely rebuilt from Rio Concho Drive to Old Ballinger Highway.

So far, MLK Drive has been rebuilt from Loop 306 to 29th Street. Southland Boulevard has been widened from Sherwood Way to the Walmart traffic light. And the repaving of College Hills Boulevard from Loop 306 to Valleyview Drive began earlier this month.

The next two years will usher in more projects. They include:

  • Southwest Boulevard from Rockbrook to Twin Mountain drives. The design of that project is nearly complete.
  • North Chadbourne Street from Loop 306 to 43rd Street, and Sunset Drive from College Hills Boulevard to Foster Road. The design work continues on both.
  • Glenna/29th streets from Loop 306 to North Bryant Boulevard. We are considering using our new asphalt recycler to repave that stretch.

That new machinery is being deployed to other streets that need attention, but (fortunately) don’t rise to the level of needing to be rebuilt.

Lastly, this summer marks the fourth stage in an eight-year cycle to sealcoat every City street. Many confuse sealcoating for repaving; it is not. Sealcoating is preventative maintenance that involves topping a street with a thin layer of asphalt and rock. The process keeps moisture from seeping into and compromising a roadway’s base.

In short, sealcoating is an attempt to avoid any future Bell Streets.

Shane Kelton is the City of San Angelo’s Operations Director. Contact him at 325-657-4206 or shane.kelton@cosatx.us.