So what goes into paving a street?
Even a simple surface course replacement takes a lot of planning and work. Because the road right of way is shared by utilities, we need to coordinate work so that utilities are upgraded before paving. The water and gas departments have state mandated to upgrade parts of their system much of which is in the right of way. Drainage issues need to be evaluated and addressed and trees need to be assessed. All before we can consider paving.
The street itself is evaluated for needed base repairs and handicap ramp locations. In some cases, a simple seal coat or micro-surface can be applied to extend the life of the pavement. In other cases, a mill and fill approach, where the top layer is removed and replaced, can be used. In the worst cases, a complete street replacement from stone base to surface course is required.
Detailed plans, specifications and bidding documents must be developed for each project. Federal law requires that curb ramps meeting ADA requirements be installed or brought into compliance. These include material quantities, traffic controls and estimated costs. Once the documents are completed the Ohio Revised Code requires a public bid to identify the lowest and best bid.
Once a contractor is selected and a contract is in place work can still be affected by weather and material availability. Work must also be planned around the Lancaster Festival, County Fair and school schedules. Paving season generally runs from May 1-November 30.
All in total a project schedule may look like
18-24 month planning, utilities improvements and design
3 months bidding and contracting
3-6 months construction
24-33 months total