By JONATHAN CRAWFORD and PAUL SAGETOIS for The Washington TimesWASHINGTON — Washington’s new street sweeping and traffic-clogging patch, where drivers can cut through asphalt to make room for new construction, is expected to save motorists about $15 a day by 2020, the federal government said Monday.
The city’s effort to keep traffic moving through a major thoroughfare will require a new patch that can cover up a new set of roads, but it is expected that the new pavement will cost $15 per vehicle to maintain.
The city’s plan to replace the old asphalt patch is a major milestone for the city, which is still in the early stages of construction and has only about 10 months left to reach a $2 billion cost-saving goal.
The $15 fee, which will be added to drivers’ bills in 2020, will go toward paying for a new road-construction system.
In its report to Congress, the city said that the $15-per-vehicle fee will help ensure the city can avoid costly repair and maintenance expenses if a new pavement is needed.
The new pavement could cover a large portion of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) and the new street sweepers will be installed on new streets.
But the $5-per of the fee will be distributed among WMATA, state transportation officials and the Washington State Department of Transportation, which also owns the roads.
Washington has spent $30 million in the past three years to improve its roads, according to the report.
The improvements will help improve travel speeds and cut down on accidents and fatalities.
The road-sweeping system, which was built in the 1970s, was installed at a cost of about $100 million.
The patch will be a “significant expense,” said Paul R. Kiesling, the deputy mayor for public works.
But the $1.8 billion project has cost taxpayers more than $200 million, including about $200,000 for the removal of traffic lights, $400,000 to install new road markers, $200 for lighting and $500,000 in repairs.
It will cost about $3 billion to fully complete the road-making project, the report said.
The $15 street sweeping fee is an “unacceptable” amount, the Washington Post said in a commentary.
The patch will cost a driver about $1 more per day than an alternative road-surfacing system that is installed in the city.
The street-sweepers are being installed in a series of smaller patches that are designed to help improve traffic flow.
The patches will be painted green and white, and the roads will be plowed, but the street sweeping system will still require the removal and removal of new traffic lights.
But officials said the new road sweeping system is more cost-effective than the current system, and that drivers are getting the same level of service, according the report by the Federal Highway Administration.
The agency said the $20 fee is a small fraction of the cost of road-related work and that it will not impact traffic on the roads themselves.
But drivers are already being discouraged from using the new streets because of the congestion, according a Washington Post opinion piece published last month.
Many people, including many drivers, have been avoiding the city’s streets because they are too crowded, it said.