Street Maintenance Projects
UNDERSTANDING WHICH ROADS ARE CHOSEN FOR REPAIR
WHY SOME STREETS GET REPAIRED BEFORE OTHERS
As a small town, Fruit Heights has approximately 28 miles of road surface to maintain. Sometimes it may feel like certain streets are always under construction. Other times, it may feel like the streets you drive on are in desperate need of repair, but other roads are worked on first.
Many factors go into the City’s decision making process regarding how roads are maintained and which roads are repaired. These decisions rely heavily on the current condition of a road. City staff and outside contractors regularly review all City streets. Based on these reviews, the City outlines a multi-year street maintenance plan which encompasses the maintenance/repair needs of City roads. The plan is constantly reevaluated as conditions change or circumstances make change necessary.
The City also considers other factors including; requests made by residents, the volume of traffic on particular streets, public safety issues, the funding available and other projects in the same area.
Street maintenance covers more than just roads. It also covers curb and gutter, sidewalks, and streetlights. Maintenance work can range from pothole and concrete repair, to streetlight repairs, to mill and overlay work, to a complete tear out and replacement of a road.
The City’s Annual Budget includes a Capitol Projects Fund which covers street maintenance work. This fund receives revenue from multiple sources. (See Revenue Details on reverse side). Brandon Green, City Manager, and Darren Frandsen, Public Works Superintendent, are tasked with taking the available revenue and allocating it in a way that is most beneficial for City streets. Some maintenance projects are less expensive than a total road replacement, and will extend the service life of a road by years. Residents may see work happening on a road that seems to be just a few years old, but these scheduled efforts are very cost effective and are an important step in maintaining roads.
When a road has failed beyond the point of regular maintenance, a complete reconstruction project becomes necessary. Reconstruction is very expensive, often times costing more than available funds. When this is the case, the City saves money for a couple of years to have the necessary revenue to cover the cost. One example of this is Raymond Road. The current road condition is poor, but there aren’t options that would be cost effective in extending the life of the road. Many times, residents see maintenance work happening on neighboring streets with less damage while wondering why nothing is happening on their street. With the City’s limited funds, the city must plan for current projects while setting aside funds to complete larger road projects.
Along with budgeting, the city also considers road projects that include other agencies such as Haights Creek Irrigation, Dominion Energy, Rocky Mountain Power, Comcast, and Century Link. These agencies have utilities buried under city roads, and many times they have a need to upgrade or replace underground infrastructure. These projects are a coordinated effort to help minimize the need for roads to be dug up after a new road surface has been completed. Coordinating upcoming projects helps protect our roads and maximize the life of the road which saves the city money over time.
Road maintenance requires a lot of review, planning, and budgeting. It is something the City views as an important infrastructure need. Road maintenance is expensive and difficult to budget for, but through smart planning and financial responsibility, the City can save the residents money by taking the time to plan, prepare, and construct efficiently.
Projects currently being budgeted for include the following:
- Broken Fence
- Carrie Drive
- Charlais Dr.
- Cherry Lane
- Creekview Drive
- Daniel Drive
- Estate Way
- Green Road (East)
- Heartwood Circle
- Heartwood Lane
- Hidden Valley Drive
- Hilda Drive
- Homestead Lane
- James Drive
- Meetinghouse Road
- Old Farm Road
- Pheasant View Drive
- Terrace Drive
- Valley View Drive
Asphalt pavement is a big investment, and it can last for decades if it’s well maintained. Fruit Heights City operates with a limited maintenance budget, properly addressing and treating city roads is the single most important, cost effective, and beneficial thing that the City can do. Utah weather has a big effect on our roads and their life expectancy. When water seeps through asphalt cracks, the base and sub-grade below are weakened and erode; this destroys the load-bearing capacity of the pavement. Over time, more cracks will form with sinkholes and potholes begin to develop, the road surface then begins to fatigue and alligator. If left untreated, each of these issues can create a large enough problem that the asphalt will require removal and replacement.
Fruit Heights City has developed a Street Maintenance Plan with specific applications that are designed to extend the life of our roads and maximize the budgeted maintenance. The purpose of this plan is to prioritize street maintenance projects and track what maintenance needs to be completed on the city’s roads. Roads have a life cycle and the age and condition of the road will determine what application is used. Below is a chart with the suggested maintenance for roads.
STAGE 1: NEW PAVEMENT (1-2 YEARS)
- Little or no maintenance required
- Chip seal within the first 5 years
STAGE 2: INITIAL PREVENTIVE MAINTEANCE PAHSE (2-5 YEARS)
- Crack Sealing
STAGE 3: MINOR REPAIRS AND CONTINUED PREVENTIVE MAINENACE (5-15 YEAR)
- Some patching repairs
- Crack sealing
- Chip seal
STAGE 4: MAJOR REPAIRS (15-20 YEARS)
- Extensive patching repairs
- Mill the asphalt and overlay
STAGE 5: EXTENSIVE REPAIRS OR COMPLETE RECONSTRUCTION (20-30 YEARS)
- Major repairs or complete removal and replacement of the asphalt
Because not all city’s roads are the same age and condition, a street maintenance plan helps prioritize street projects and anticipated budget amounts. Each year the City budgets money to make the necessary repairs to the roads. Street maintenance fees are comprised of State B&C Road Funds, gas tax, street utility fees, and a portion of property tax dollars. Maintenance funds have been allocated by the City Council to be spent during this budget year. Below are is lists of road projects that will be completed by October 31, 2018.
“Chip Sealing” is a common pavement maintenance practice that extends pavement life and provides a good driving surface. Since some residents may not be familiar with the chip seal construction method, this fact sheet will help to answer some of those frequently asked questions.
How are Chip Seals Different from Asphalt Overlays?
The difference is in the construction method. Hot Mix Asphalt pavement is produced by heating liquid asphalt and mixing it with aggregate, with the mix then spread and compacted to form a durable road structure and riding surface. Chip Sealing uses the same ingredients as asphalt concrete paving, but the construction method is different. With chip seals, a thin film of heated asphalt liquid is sprayed on the road surface, followed by the placement of small aggregates ("chips"). The chips are then compacted to orient the chips for maximum adherence to the asphalt, and excess stone is swept from the surface. Once the loose chips have been swept clear, a fog coat of liquid asphalt is applied over the chips to help seal the chips into place. The ingredients of hot mix asphalt and chip seals are the same; only the construction methods are different.
Why Use Chip Seals?
- Chip seals provide Fruit Heights City with the opportunity to maintain the roads for very low cost.
- A chip seal is about one fourth to one fifth the cost of a conventional asphalt overlay.
- By extending the time between asphalt overlays, chip seals result in lower costs over the long term.
- By placing a chip seal sooner than an asphalt overlay would be placed, the traveling public benefits from roads maintained in better condition.
- Chip Seals eliminate the need to crack seal.
- Chip seals enhance safety by providing good skid resistance.
- Chip seals provide an effective moisture barrier for the underlying pavement against water intrusion by sealing cracks in the pavement.
- Chip seals prevent deterioration of the asphalt surface from the effects of aging and oxidation due to water and sun.
- Fruit Heights City has successfully used chip seals for the last 10 years to maintain city roads.
- In hot weather, chip seals re-seal cracks by flowing back together.
How Are Chip Seals Placed?
First, the road surface needs to be properly cleaned of debris and any holes patched. Next, an asphalt distributor truck starts by spraying each lane with hot liquid asphalt to assure an even application. The asphalt used is applied at a temperature between 150 and 185 degrees Fahrenheit. A chip spreader follows as rapidly as possible with a rock application, preferably within one minute. The asphalt must be fluid so the rock will be embedded by the displacement of the asphalt. The rocks are an aggregate crushed to a special specification for size and cleanliness. Next, a rubber-tire roller is used to set the rock into the liquid asphalt. Rolling orients the flat sides of the rock down and produces a tighter chip seal. It takes two to four passes of the roller to set the rock. Sweeping is done at the completion of the chip seal process to remove surplus rock from the surface. This loose rock can grind and loosen rock set in the chip seal and damage the project. Sweeping is done within 4 hours of the rolling operation, and typically again a day or two later. After the road has been swept, a thin layer of liquid asphalt is then applied over the top of the chips to help tack the chips into the surface of the road.
As the seasons change, asphalt expands and contracts. This movement causes cracks. If cracks are not sealed, they will allow water to slow through the asphalt to the base. The base becomes saturated and is not able to support the asphalt. With time more cracks develop which allows more water to enter into the base material. Without maintenance, this cycle will destroy the asphalt. Crack seal seals cracks from water and is made of rubberized asphalt which expands and contacts with the crack. Crack sealing is one of the most important low cost maintenance options that is used to extend the life of a road.