The City of Grant policy Resolution 2005-122 (Adobe pdf 29kb) of road construction and repair is summarized as follows:
New. No new gravel roads are allowed except conversion from paved as requested by residents under special permission from the Council (although there is no policy on this.)
Maintenance. Gravel will be added to a road as needed based upon traffic volume, gravel condition and budget. Grading schedules are based on traffic volume, dust control, budget, and gravel condition (where poor condition requires additional grading.) Dust control is placed once per year based upon traffic volume. In addition, residents can purchase additional dust control for their road. Except for optional dust control all gravel maintenance is provided at the cost of the City.
New. Paved road construction or reconstruction (estimated at $300,000 to $400,000 per mile) is paid for by the residents who petition and pay for their own road conversion from gravel to paved. In addition, Grant has accepted paved roads in good condition from the county and also requires paving on new roads in a development or subdivision. Grant has paved two areas without assessments where required by the steep grade of the road. Grant donated money to Mahtomedi for one of their paving projects on Ideal.
Maintenance. Crack filling and seal coating are City funded maintenance procedures that help preserve the road surface. An overlay is a two inch layer of paving installed when other procedures are inadequate to preserve the integrity of the road. This procedure typically extends the life of the road paving by about 50%. It costs about $120,000 per mile and by policy is assessed 100% to the benefited property owners. Shouldering means maintaining the gravel shoulder of the paved surface to support the paving so it isn't broken down by traffic. A paved road's general life expectancy is approximately thirty years according to the City Policy.
Grant owns and has responsibility for maintenance of 31.16 miles of gravel road and 32.76 miles of paved roads. In addition, the state and county maintains 27.16 miles of road with Grant addresses. The Road Contractor is responsible for all road issues, including plowing, brushing and mowing. The City will be mowing every roadside with at least one pass where it is passable.
Drainage continues to be an issue on our roads. We will be replacing culverts and improving ditches as needed and allowed by the budget.
The City was required by Federal mandate to complete a sign inventory by the end of this year and replace all signs that do not meet minimum standards within three more years. That mandated project has been completed by the Road Contractor. If your street sign is missing please contact me at the contact information provided at the beginning of this report.
Gravel road maintenance consists of three primary procedures in addition to the general road maintenance discussed above. Grading, graveling and dust control are detailed below.
- Grading. The grading contract was extende wih local contractor Klein Brothers came in at a blended rate of $70 per hour. With Klein Brothers,a substantially improved grading schedule was implemented. A program to improve surface drainage and recapture gravel was implemented on our gravel roads. We have been reclaiming gravel that was plowed into the ditches and moving it to the shoulders to dry then spreading it back on the road while also improving the crown of the road. You may notice some sod etc. temporarily after this gravel recovery. This process takes time but will ultimately save the City money while improving the road and its drainage. Generally, the grading schedule is based upon weather, traffic volume, quality of gravel and dust control. When the weather is too wet or dry or if there is dust control on the road, grading is limited. High volume roads are graded on a weekly basis. Low volume roads are graded on an as needed basis.
- New Gravel. New gravel is added based upon the greatest need as determined during the road tour by Klein Brothers and he City Engineer. The budget allowed 2.22 miles of gravel road to receive 2 inches added to the base. Spot repairs will also be done on a greatest need basis. The graveling policy the council has approved is that every gravel road will get gravel every 5 years. The current funding level provides for gravel every 12 years.
- Dust Control. Because of the increased cost of dust control the City was not able to apply this to as many roads as in the past few years. In addition, the dust control was not as effective in reducing grading due to the number of large rain events experienced this year. The dust control was applied, based on traffic volumes recorded in 2003, to 56,000 running feet of city roads. The City spent $26,583 and saves approximately 24% of this cost on roads graded weekly. For example, Ironwood dust control cost about $3,550 and reduces grading costs about $840. In addition, there are undetermined City savings on gravel and drivers' savings on car maintenance. A second coat will be applied to a few roads, with the highest counts, that are graded twice weekly. The budget of $40,000 will not be exceeded.
- I believe that a special note on Goodview Avenue is appropriate. Goodview is the highest volume gravel road in the City. However, it has very few Grant residents on the road. I have been working with the City of Hugo and White Bear Township to improve the road maintenance while reducing the cost to Grant residents. This effort has successfully improved the road, reduced our share of maintenance costs and improved our working relationship with both of these neighboring cities.
Paved road maintenance in 2016 consists primarily of pothole patching and crack filling. There are some identified spots where simple patching is inadequate and repairing the road base is needed for a more permanent fix. The budget in 2016 does not allow this level of repair.
- Pothole repair. Due to the weather conditions this last winter and the age of our roads we have had to expend a large sum to patch our roads keeping them safe and passable. In order for this to be accomplished we have used money from the seal coating budget as we are up to date on seal coating. We are continuing to find potholes and are trying to maximize our budget by timing the repair to coincide with other maintenance. Potholes will continue to be an issue for the City next spring. My goal is to have all of the potholes filled, including new arrivals this summer, repaired prior to the first snow giving us a good start to the winter.
- Crack filling. On roads that are in the appropriate condition we are crack filling to keep the road in good condition. We have received a very good bid on crack filling and are able to do more work in this area than originally planned.
- Seal Coating. Seal coating is appropriate on roads in good condition with few or no potholes and little alligator cracking which are repaired prior to the application. The seal coating schedule is up to date so no seal coating is scheduled until 2016. In addition, other cities that we normally bid with are not seal coating this year so that it would not be cost effective.
- Shouldering. Shouldering work consists of placing or removing gravel to maintain the strength of the edge of the pavement and move the water off.
- While there is no plan or city funding for overlay work, for which the policy calls for 100% resident assessment, some roads would benefit from an overlay and are in good enough condition to have a cost benefit.