Paving equipment will head into residential neighborhoods this summer as the city of Bend continues to catch up with about $79 million in deferred maintenance on its streets.
The Bend City Council approved a $5.3 million contract with Granite Construction to repave about 50 miles of “travel lanes” — an amount that is greater than the actual length of roadway being paved because it involves multiple lanes, turn lanes and bike lanes. Bend has about 850 miles of “travel lanes.”
It’s the most the city’s spent in the past five years, said David Abbas, director of the city’s streets and operations department.
“It’s a busy summer and spring, one of our busiest in history,” Abbas said.
Crews will completely repave roads, by grinding up and replacing asphalt or layering new asphalt on top of the existing roadway. Work is expected to be finished by early September.
Major roads that will be repaved include Century Drive south of the Century/Mount Washington Drive roundabout, Brosterhous Road, Skyliners Road and Olney/Penn/Neff Road east of Wall Street. Several smaller residential streets throughout the city are included.
The city selected those streets, in part, based on a pavement management software program, StreetSaver, that Bend and other local governments use to track road conditions.
“We also take a look at it, boots on the ground, to judge if that’s the right treatment,” Abbas said of roadway conditions.
Repaving takes one or two days. On major roads, most of the work will be done at night to avoid interfering much with traffic.
In addition to the full repaving work, the city will apply seal treatments to another 75 miles of the “travel lanes.”
Chip seal, a protective coating of hot oil and rock, will be used on about 15 of those miles, primarily in northeast Bend off Jones Road.
Slurry seal, which seals cracks and preserves existing pavement, will be used on Vogt Road, a few small streets south of Brinson Drive and several areas in south Bend. Slurry seal treatments typically cause one-day closures, and that work will be done over the course of two weeks starting in the end of May.
Slurry seal will be used on nearly twice as much roadway as the previous year.
“Every year, we’ve done more,” Abbas said.
The city also will pay Alex Hodge Construction about $825,000 to reconstruct the roundabout at Shevlin Park Road and Mount Washington Drive. The roundabout, one of the oldest in the city, was built with a few inches of asphalt and has been worn down over the intervening years.
When it’s completed around mid-June, it will have about 9.5 inches of concrete and be built to stand up to decades of heavy truck traffic, Abbas said.
Road maintenance this summer is intended to raise the city’s pavement condition index from 73 to 74 or 75.
The pavement condition index is on a scale from 0 to 100, with scores in the 80s preferred to avoid expensive road repairs.
After several years of increased spending on road maintenance, major roads in Bend have a pavement condition index around 82, Abbas said. Residential streets, though, are at 69.
If roads deteriorate too much, they can’t be fixed by a seal or simple repaving. Instead, they have to be reconstructed, a much longer, more expensive process.
Most of the city’s $79 million in deferred maintenance is for roads that need to be rebuilt. Some of them will likely be included in a bond measure the city of Bend plans to send to voters in 2020.
For now, summer street maintenance work is focused on keeping roads that are starting to deteriorate from getting worse, Abbas said.
“This is that intermediate treatment before they fall off the edge of that cliff,” he said.
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