reconstruction era

The trees have leafed out with spring green, which means the orange traffic cones season has arrived.

Mt. Lebanon’s street reconstruction budget for 2017 is $2.1 million. The public works department has awarded the contracts for reconstruction, and maintenance, and work is under way on the reconstruction of eight streets and drainage improvements to  three.

Mt. Lebanon uses Pavement View Plus, a software program, to assist in making decisions about which roads to repair and reconstruct. The rating system takes into consideration the type of street, determined by the amount of traffic it carries. We have arterial streets (heavily traveled main roads); collectors (connect residential to arterial streets) residential streets and dead ends/cul de sacs. The history of the road, when it was last repaired or reconstructed, is also factored in, along with the type of material the road is made of—concrete, asphalt or brick. The rating system also quantifies the type and extent of damage to the road surface.

Each defect in the pavement is given a numerical value, which is subtracted from 100 to arrive at the Overall Condition Index (OCI) number. A score of 85 to 100 indicates a street that doesn’t need any repair; 60 to 84 calls for minor repairs; 45 to 59 requires major repairs, and an OCI below 45 means that section of street needs major repairs or reconstruction.

Reconstruction is reserved for those streets that have exceeded their useful life and cannot be maintained further.

Maintenance means replacing a portion of the road in order to extend its useful life. Reconstruction means excavating all layers of the road and rebuilding it, with two 1 ½-inch layers, a 5- to 8-inch base, topped with another six inches of stone, curb replacement as necessary and new paving. The scope of improvements includes spot curb repair and removing and replacing 3 inches of bituminous material.

Reconstruction costs roughly six time as much as maintenance, and the results mirror the cost. A completely reconstructed street should last about 50 years, while streets that receive maintenance repairs will have to be worked on again in about 10 years. The cost varies depending on the type of street and material, but in general it costs about $1.67 million per mile to rebuild a street, opposed to $282,000 for resurfacing. Resurfacing is a short-term solution, but the long run it’s not as cost-effective as biting the bullet and rebuilding a failing street.

Streets slated for reconstruction this year are:

Broadmoor Avenue Scott Road to Parkside Avenue

Eisenhower Drive Woodland Drive to Ridgeview Drive

Firwood Drive Maplewood Drive to 1277 Firwood Drive

Lovingston Drive Sleepy Hollow Road to Bridgewater Drive

Maplewood Drive Pinewood Drive to Firwood Drive

Mayfair Drive Vee Lynn Drive to Vernon Drive

Oxford Boulevard Pembroke Avenue to 689 Oxford Boulevard

Pinewood Drive 1310 Pinewood Drive to Maplewood Drive

Richland Road Parkside Avenue to Questend Avenue

The municipality is also planning to work on upgrading drainage on Eisenhower and Mayfair drives and on Richland Road.

In addition to the reconstruction, the municipality will spend $309,551 on street maintenance, which involves milling and resurfacing on several streets. The low bid for street maintenance came in $35,449 under budget.

Photo: Susan Morgans