2023 Priority Pothole Patching Contracted Services IP 23-15

  1. Project Information
  2. Background

May 26, 2023

Dozens of miles of City streets have significant numbers of potholes deeper than 2 inches and/or areas where the upper 2 inches or less of pavement are missing due to a phenomenon known as surface stripping, resulting in unsafe conditions for drivers and pedestrians. The number of streets exhibiting these severe pavement distresses grows yearly. In recent years, the Public Works Department struggled to repair these distressed pavement sections and, in the process, were forced to neglect other core duties, such as street sweeping. In 2023, the number of streets with deep potholes and surface stripping has increased significantly such that Public Works staff cannot maintain these distressed pavement sections in a timely manner.  These poor pavement conditions are primarily the result of older streets being constructed with pavement sections that are less substantial than today’s standards require, followed by decades of minimal pavement maintenance. Other factors include the adverse effects of surface stripping under sealcoats, followed by last winter’s severe weather conditions with record-breaking rain and snowfall totals and a higher-than-normal number of freeze-thaw cycles. 

In 2022, during the 2023 budget process, the City Council authorized bonding for approximately $12M for additional Pavement Management Program (PMP) projects (pavement overlays and street reconstructions) over the next ten years. The City Council also authorized budgeting an additional $750,000 to the streets maintenance fund for temporary spray patching improvements on an estimated 19 miles of City streets that were not identified for overlay or reconstruction improvements in the 2022-2031 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) but are exhibiting significant surface stripping damage.  The bituminous pavement on these streets is prone to accelerated deterioration due to water pooling in the surface depressions, which is then forced between the pavement base and the wear courses as vehicle tires drop into the depressions and push the water into pavement voids. Therefore, the serviceability of these streets will continue to decline while other streets receive overlay and reconstruction improvements. Staff recommended spray patching the estimated 19 miles of streets while PMP projects in the 2022-2031 CIP are completed and until streets with PASER ratings of 4 or less that were not included in the 2022-2031 CIP can be reconstructed.  

This Spring, City staff developed plans to hire one or more contractors to perform temporary pavement repair work throughout the City in 2023.  While developing this plan, several types of pavement repairs would be needed to most cost-effectively maintain pavement on streets awaiting overlay and reconstruction improvements. The three types of pavement repairs recommended by Staff for 2023 include spray patching areas with shallow surface stripping damage, patching potholes deeper than 2 inches, and completing 2-inch mill and overlay improvements over critical areas with extensive potholes resulting in significant calls for service and vehicle damage claims.  Pavement striping will also be needed in some areas after the contracted work is complete.

On April 25, the City Council directed the City Engineer to solicit quotes for contracted services to immediately patch as many of the highest-priority deep potholes across the City as possible. A figure of the streets proposed to receive priority pothole patching as part of this project may be seen here.

On May 9, the Ramsey City Council adopted Resolution #23-100, accepting quotes and awarding a contract for construction for Improvement project #23-15, 2023 Priority Pothole Patching Contracted Services, to Diversified Paving, Inc. (DPI) in the amount of $139,269.00. 

On May 22, DPI started patching potholes in Area 1 and will progress to subsequent areas until finishing work in Area 7, scheduled for June 9. 

Funds for this project are proposed from the $750,000 dedicated to the street maintenance budget in 2022 for temporary pavement repairs in 2023.