The project to repave part of Southeast 164th Avenue is nearly complete. The total cost will be about $2 million. This isn’t a huge amount of money for such a project, but it is when the project was unnecessary.
I’ve been driving that section of road every day for the past 20 years. It wasn’t perfect but it had no major flaws. It still isn’t perfect; several manhole covers are an inch or more below the level of the street, meaning a strong jolt and a nick in a tire every time you drive over one of them.
Many road-related projects in and around Vancouver need attention. Street signage is inadequate, and two bridges on I-5 near the north county line are gradually turning into rust. Why aren’t these needs being met? Because they involve other governments, Clark County in one case and the state of Washington in another.
Why did the city waste money on repaving 164th Avenue? Because of the old adage in municipal government: Once the money’s been allocated, spend it or you’ll lose it.
If I were younger, I’d run for city council. My mantra would be: Spend Taxpayer Money Wisely. With a platform like that, I should be a shoo-in.
Bruce L. Melkonian