Since street crews are out in several district neighborhoods right now, I thought this would be a good time to begin introducing you to the alphabet soup of infrastructure repair in the Unified Government.
So... today's blog is brought to you by the letters N, S, R and P. That's shorthand for Neighborhood Street Resurfacing Program.
Each year, the Unified Government dedicates between $2-3 million of its Capital Maintenance and Improvement Projects (CMIP) budget to resurfacing a portion of the asphalt streets in the city. We call this process "grind and overlay" because the top couple of inches of old asphalt are ground off (by a giant and very impressive machine) and a new top layer of asphalt is laid down.
|Here's a street that's in the middle of the "grind and overlay" process.|
The top layer of old asphalt has been ground off the entire road
and new asphalt has already been laid on the left side of road.
A memo from out County Engineer says that, "Streets are selected based on maintenance history, assessment of condition, and likelihood of benefit from the mill and overlay treatment. Candidate streets are identified from a number of sources, including engineering and maintenance division staff assessments, citizen calls, and Commissioner's observations. It is intended that a resurfacing effort last on a street for 20-30 years. While an overlay does improve the appearance and smoothness of a road — the primary intent of this treatment is to renew the asphalt cap and provide major structural restoration."
UG staff do their best to make sure that we resurface as many miles of streets as possible each year. The sad truth, however, is that we're not currently overlaying enough miles of asphalt streets each year to get them all refreshed every 20-30 years. We need to find more money in our budget to pick up the pace.
|Here's a sample of the street maps|
that our county engineer provides each year
to illustrate the streets that will be resurfaced.
I generally get maps for about four different locations
within District 2.
Streets are selected for resurfacing a year in advance to allow time to coordinate utility work (e.g., BPU electrical or water service repairs), make any needed sewer repairs, and construct the necessary curb ramp upgrades to comply with ADA (the Americans with Disabilities Act - which mandates that any time a street undergoes grind and overlay that "curb cuts" be installed on every street corner that connects to a sidewalk).
|Here's a corner where the old sidewalk and curb|
have been removed to make way for new ADA ramps (curb cuts).
|Once a number of corners have been prepared,|
concrete crews pour new concrete
and shape the ADA ramps.
|Here's a corner where new ramps have been installed.|
Crews will come back to replace the dirt around the sidewalk.
They'll also repair the asphalt that was broken out
to make way for the new curb cuts.
So, there's an example of how we're slowly but steadily chipping away at the infrastructure repairs and improvements that are needed throughout the city. I'll share more of the "alphabet soup" of infrastructure repair in an upcoming post.
Have a great week!
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Suggestion Box (anonymous)