December rain may have prevented the city from completing some final paving projects planned for 2012, but crews remain largely on schedule to repave 10 miles of residential roads this fiscal year, which ends in June.
Crews had planned to repave a portion of Young Avenue and a few surrounding cul-de-sacs before the end of the year but were deterred by wet weather and cold temperatures, said Public Works Director Jack LaRochelle. Aside from some grinding and overlay work being completed on Karen Drive this week, the city is likely done paving for a few months, he said.
Crews will now shift their attention away from paving and focus on filling potholes, sealing cracks and other maintenance work, LaRochelle said.
Street workers will also assist with watershed maintenance and related tasks in the city’s water division, which lends a hand to the street crews in the summer, LaRochelle said.
From July through December, the city’s in-house crew paved between six and seven miles of residential roads, LaRochelle said.
“We’re pretty much on schedule. We might even be ahead of schedule,” LaRochelle said. “We’re pretty comfortable we will get to 10 miles (by the end of June).”
Meanwhile, the city has also been pouring 100 yards of concrete each month to repair sidewalks, with the goal of 1,200 cubic yards this fiscal year, LaRochelle said.
Crews will continue to pour new sidewalks through the winter, despite chilly weather that prevents road paving, LaRochelle said. Roads cannot be paved when temperatures drop below 50 degrees because the asphalt cools too quickly, preventing proper compacting. Concrete is not as affected by temperature, he said.
On Monday, crews began working on Karen Drive in Browns Valley, which received a Band-Aid-type treatment because of its poor condition, LaRochelle said. The road is receiving an overlay treatment to keep it drivable until it is able to be more thoroughly repaired, he said.
LaRochelle said paving will not likely resume until April or May. If there are a few weeks before that time when weather is unusually warm, city crews will regroup and get some paving done, he said.
The city began its 10-miles-a-year paving program using city crews in 2009. According to the city, it is more economical to use city employees than to bid out this work, although the city still uses private contractors for big jobs on major streets.