Road Management

Road Paving, Street Maintenance

As with all decisions in life, the ever evolving Street Maintenance and Paving Program has many questions as to how it is operated and conducted.  From the basic “Why did you pick this road” to the “What led you to the decision to choose this particular treatment”, questions will always be asked.   Hopefully, this will give a small insight into how this program is operated and answer most if not all questions along the way.

How are roads chosen for paving for CIP (Capitol Improvement Program)

A multitude of factors are brought into play before a particular road is slated to be on the paving list or added to the 5 year plan on the LCIP.  Here are a few in no particular order.  

  • Water Line Replacement All streets that are listed on the water line replacement CIP are evaluated for either a half road trench with full road paving at a later date, or a combined effort of a water line reconstruction and street maintenance rehabilitation at the same time.  Factors involved in this are condition of the roadway, proximity and ability to bunch together multiple streets in the same area for less mobilization, and amount of traffic or residents.
  • Sewer Line Repairs As with water line replacements, before adding a street to the paving list, a check on the condition of the sewer line is done.  If major repairs are needed, this could bump back or ahead the street in question.  
  • PCI Rating The previous Public Works Director had stressed a desire to attack the PCI rating list from the bottom up.  Meaning, work on the lowest rated roads first, and raise the overall PCI for the City.  PCI can also give a guide on when treatments are needed to upgrade the road to good standing.  
  • Resident Complaints Resident concerns and complaints are logged and evaluated throughout the year and looked at for adding to the LCIP as a filler job.  
  • Councilor Concerns As much as possible, we try to spread the streets on the list out to hit as many wards in the City as possible.  At times, councilors have a concern about a certain street, and ask to have that street bumped up on the list.  After evaluating the concern, if the street meets the criteria (condition, rideability, shape, safety), the road will be added to appease the councilor. 
  • Ability to be grouped together  After talking to contractors in after previous contracts, one of the messages we got was group at least 2-3 streets together in the same area to lessen the amount of mobilization that is needed on the total contract.  
  • Sidewalks  Mostly downtown.  If there is a major rehabilitation on the sidewalks, either a coordination to do all the project at the same time will be looked at or is it wiser to work on the sidewalks in year 1, and pave in year 2.  Due to a limited budget for sidewalks, and the high cost of repairing sidewalks, it is tough to schedule a big area. 
  • Safety Throughout the year, engineering staff takes note of the condition of certain roads throughout the city.  When necessary, a proactive temporary fix is made to increase the safety of the motorists and residents on that certain road.  Examples:  South Lisbon Road and Apple Road.  Both roads need major reconstruction, and were in very bad shape.  In 2019, a heavy shim was placed on these roads to improve the safety and ride factor for these streets.  This course of action is only a temporary fix, but allows the City to focus in other areas with a limited budget supply.

 What treatment is chosen and why?

After the streets are picked, the next biggest question is “what are we going to do to repair it”?  Typically, the first thing looked at is the PCI.  While the PCI can be a good indication of what treatment is needed, it is not a fail safe manner of deciding.  A check of the condition of the street is needed, so a visit is taken to assess the complete condition of the street.  

Our experienced pavement managers have seen a lot of different conditions and treatments on how to repair.  After the site visit, an initial decision is made by the Paving Manager as to a treatment.  Estimates are then worked up and reviewed.  A second opinion is taken by a second member of Engineering and if changes are needed to the rehabilitation process, this is discussed at this time.   Treatment type is never set in stone. It is a fluid, working tool that can change due to change in condition to the road (winter heaving, damage by car accident).

 Types of Treatment

  • LCP (Light Capital Paving) Treatment

Rural area – low traffic and residential area.  Minor cracking.  Some heaving.

3-7 year Treatment

Cost - $40 per Square Foot

  • Shim and Overlay

Minor cracking.  Overall shape of the road is in good condition. 

5-10 Year Treatment

Cost - $65 per Square Foot

  • Mill and Fill

Higher traffic area.  Minor to major cracking.  Good base.

10-15 Year Treatment  

Cost - $85 per Square Foot

  • Strip and Pave

Residential areas.  Major to extreme cracking.  Flat, no crown.  Needs gravel added.  Storm system typically upgraded.  

15-25 Year Treatment

Cost - $115 per Square Foot

  • Reclaim

Major to extreme cracking.  Flat, no crown.  Below average base.  Heavy traffic with bigger loads.  Storm system typically upgraded.

15-25 Year Treatment

Cost - $125 per Square Foot

  • Complete Reconstruction (Box cut)

Extreme cracking.  Major potholes.  Major heaving and movement throughout the year.  Poor to bad base.  Storm system upgraded.  

20-30 Year Treatment

Cost - $230 per Square Foot

Preventative Maintenance

 Here is a breakdown of some simple preventative maintenance that can be done both in house and hired out to extend the life of our pavement throughout the city,

  •  Crack Sealing

Currently, we have a crack sealing program in place that has attacked all major arterial and collector streets.  We have neglected residential neighborhood streets in the past.   The focus this year will be to step into some of those residential streets to preserve some of the paving we have just completed in the past 5-7 years.

  • In House Patching

This treatment plan is more reactive than proactive.  Calls come in to dispatch, and crews are sent to patch the negative areas, usually in a temporary manner.

  • In House Grinding

Highway Department has a 30” Grinder Set up for a Skid Steer that in the past has been used to do some preventative maintenance on some major and extreme pothole areas throughout the city.  This treatment is a semi-permanent fix, lasting 5-7 years if procedure is done with best paving practices.

  • Hired Out Grinding

For the past 2 years, we have had a section in the trench paving contract that is available for grinding and repaving of predetermined areas throughout the city.  Due to the low numbers of employees and unavailability of the highway crews, this has been a very effective way for us to attack small nuisance poor paving areas throughout the city.

  • Time & Materials Contract

Another hired out contract that allows us to strip bigger areas of pavement that are too small to add to our yearly paving contract.  This contract has allowed us to repair a small poor section of an otherwise decent quality road, quickly and without having to pay for mobilization of our paving contractor for a small project. 

 Cost Influence

 MDOT – 100% Funded by State of Maine.  Only State Aid Funded Roads

 ATRC – 90% Funded by ATRC, 10% Funded by Local Municipality.  Only State Aid Funded Roads

 MPI – 50% Funded by State of Maine, 50% funded by local municipality.  Only State Aid Funded Roads

 Local – 100% funded by local municipality

See: Capitol Projects and Paving:A Five Year Plan