Road Revitalization Program
In July 2005, the Minnetonka City Council approved a road revitalization program to respond to residents’ growing concerns about road conditions in the city. Here’s an update on what’s happening with the program.
The road revitalization program approved by the council employs a two-pronged approach for stabilizing, fixing and maintaining city roads: the first approach is thin overlay, a cost-effective method for stabilizing deteriorating pavement and prolonging the life of city streets by five to eight years. About 13 miles of city streets are covered each year in thin overlay under the road revitalization program, with all work done by city street crews.
The second approach is complete road reconstruction, which is very expensive and can be done on only a limited number of streets each year. The worst roads are scheduled within the next ten years as part of the city capital improvement plan (CIP), with thin overlay used to buy time until reconstruction of remaining streets can take place.
Triaging the roads
Each year, a city-hired engineering consultant travels the city’s streets, using specialized equipment to test for a variety of conditions from stress cracks to the condition of the soil under the streets. All city streets are tested over a four-year period, with one-quarter of the streets done each year.
Once that data is collected, the city’s engineering department analyzes the information and groups the streets according to what kind and how badly repairs are needed.
“Streets with surfaces in really bad shape aren’t candidates for thin overlay, just as you wouldn’t paint a car that is rusted through,“ explains Virg Herrmann, project engineer for the city of Minnetonka. “Instead, we place those streets on a track to be reconstructed. If the surface is in good enough shape to be saved, the street then becomes a candidate for thin overlay.”
By the end of May, engineering finishes assessing street conditions, public works has completed street sweeping and hydrant flushing, and serious road work can begin.