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6/19/2013 8:57:00 PM
City adopts $4M pavement plan
By Michelle Charles

This year Stillwater will begin investing more in its road system than it has in previous years, with a new focus on prolonging the life of streets before they're too far gone.

The City Council approved a pavement management program with sufficient funding to make significant improvements in the city's inventory of streets.

Transportation Director Jason Peek presented a proposal that called for $3.64million from the 2013/ 2014 fi scal year budget and an additional $362,000 in rollover funds from the current fi scal year's Neighborhood Streets Budget.

The pavement management program looks at the city's inventory of streets as a system and breaks them down by lane miles. Peek compared it to maintaining a fl eet of vehicles.

"If you have fairly new ones all they might need is an oil change," he said "But some are Model As and Model Ts."

He said it's about maintaining an asset and allocating dollars to the right treatment at the right time.

The plan includes three approaches that target streets at certain points in their useful life.

Preventative maintenance involves crack repair and sealing of streets like Richmond Rd. west of Washington St. that are beginning to oxidize and lose some asphalt fl exibility.

Preventing further pavement breakdown will extend the life of a large number of streets without spending much money compared to the cost of rebuilding a street.

With preventative maintenance, the Transportation Department can improve 67.1 miles or 85 percent of the city's lane miles with only $481,000 or 12 percent of the budget.

Rehabilitation involves milling old pavement and applying a new asphalt overlay to streets like 19th Ave. between Western Rd. and Walnut St.

It's more expensive than preventative maintenance and will cost $1.8 million or 45 percent of the budget to rehabilitate 9.8 lane miles or 12 percent of the city's inventory.

Finally, the most expensive option is reconstruction, which completely rebuilds and improves roads like Walnut St. between 19th and 26th Ave. or Monroe St. between Sixth Ave. and Ninth Ave. that have extensive alligator cracking or cracked concrete panels.

It will cost $1.6 million or 40 percent of the budget to rebuild just two percent of the city's lane miles.

The council opted against approving a specifi c list of streets and instead accepted the list as an example of the scope of work without locking the Transportation department into those particular projects. "I'd rather approve Part A and set them loose to do it," Councilor Joe Weaver said.

He said he thought the idea was to develop a comprehensive plan and get the council away from approving specifi c street projects.

Mayor John Bartley said he still liked seeing the list as a tangible gauge of progress.

"The list isn't approved but its great information," Bartley said.

Peek said the department looked at several factors, including budget and street condition, but also opted to defer working on streets that have other major projects like water or sewer line construction taking place in the next few years.

He said any rehabilitation or reconstruction would be put off until those projects have been completed.

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