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After shoreline erosion repair forced pause, concrete road repair expected to return in Racine in 2022

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Cracks in the infrastructure

A crack is pictured in one of Racine's local roads, forming near the intersection of LaSalle Street and Layard Avenue. John Rooney, assistant commissioner of public works, says that imperfections like this one may become more common and take longer to repair if staffing isn't upped within the Department of Public Works. And if cracks aren't repaired quickly, more expensive resurfacing projects are going to have to become more common.

RACINE — There aren’t any major capital projects in Mayor Cory Mason's proposed 2022 budget. Even as the budget likely will be edited a bit by the City Council, the addition of major projects is almost certainly not going to happen.

One “project” would be the effective return of concrete street paving. This past year, that was pretty much abandoned since the city's planned $2.9 million budget for road work was diverted to shoreline restoration after January 2021’s once-in-a-century storm decimated the lakefront.

In 2022, Mason said $2.9 million will once again be used for road repairs.

Mason called his proposed 2022 budget a “relatively flat budget.”

As for infrastructure needs, the key word is “deferred.” Mason used the word several times Tuesday.

The city owns almost 70 buildings, the average age of which is 65, and there is approximately $100 million in deferred maintenance needed on them, according to the mayor’s budget address.

“We do not have an extra $100 million at our disposal to just maintain our buildings,” Mason said. He said the current plan is for city staff to develop a strategic plan during 2022 “to prioritize repairing what makes sense, consolidating when appropriate, and replacing when necessary.”


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