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Pothole on 4th Avenue

A pothole on Southeast Fourth Avenue, as seen on April 24. Albany city officials are beginning a public outreach campaign to educate residents on the conditions of Albany streets and what it takes to maintain them.

Albany city officials are looking for new ways to educate residents on street repairs, particularly on how they're prioritized.

Jeff Blaine, Public Works Engineering and Community Development director, gave a brief update on the effort during a work session Monday with the Albany City Council. 

The city is working on a public outreach program to talk about a variety of city issues, but especially how Albany's pavement quality is rated and the maintenance strategy used for upkeep.

Among the efforts planned are speaking engagements at clubs and civic organizations, a booth at the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce Business Extravaganza and a chamber open house event at City Hall, Blaine said.

The city also has street maintenance information linked to its website, cityofalbany.net. The link can be found by following the Public Works link on the home page to Transportation Services, then to Street Maintenance.

City Manager Peter Troedsson came up with a slogan — "The Proof is in the Pavement" — which now appears on brochures that outline the city's street maintenance tactics.

"We're trying to provide information to educate people on how you rate streets, and what level of effort is required to keep them that way," Blaine said.

The city is trying to get the message across that the most cost-effective way to maintain streets is to continually do smaller, more cost-effective repairs such as overlays versus complete reconstruction, Blaine said. The idea is to help people understand why they might see crews working on a street that doesn't appear to be in poor condition rather than tearing apart one that is.

"It's easier to keep the roads that are in good condition, in good condition," he said, adding: "It's kind of counterintuitive, actually."

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