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Linden City Council adopted a pavement assessment management plan Monday, April 26. It was the first in-person city council meeting since the pandemic began.

The plan lays out the rating of city roads and future road projects for Bridge Street, Main Street and neighborhood streets.

The plan was prepared by HRC. State law requires that municipalities submit pavement asset management plans on a regular basis to the Michigan Transportation Asset Management Council. The city was notified in January they did not have a file on plan and could potentially lose road funding in the amount of $440,000.

“This is not set in stone. It’s one of those check marks that we’ve got to hit in order to be compliant,” said City Manager Ellen Glass. “It’s a good start.”

Linden is responsible for maintaining 17.79 miles of public roads, according to the plan, and the city also owns and manages 0.8 miles of unpaved roads. Linden collects PASER data every two years on all federal-aid-eligible roads. PASER stands for Pavement Surface Evaluation and Rating. Due to COVID, many major roads were not rated in 2020. A rating of 10 means “excellent” and 1 is considered “failed.”

2020 state of city major roads

As of 2020, the city major road network has 5.4 percent of roads in the good condition category, 62.7 percent in fair and 31.9 percent poor.

Goal: The report states that the goal for city major roads is to have 10 percent rated “good,” 60 percent rated “fair” and 30 percent rated “poor.” The strategy involves preventing the “good” and “fair” road from becoming “poor,” and moving 8 percent of the paved roads out of the poor category.

2020 state of city minor roads

The paved city minor road network has 12.9 percent in the good category, 41.5 percent in fair and 45.6 percent in poor.

Goal: The goal is to have 20 percent rated “good,” 50 percent rated “fair” and 30 percent rated “poor.” The strategy involves keeping more roads from becoming “poor,” and moving 16 percent of minor roads out of the “poor” category.

“Treatments and strategies that counter pavement-damaging forces include reconstruction, structural improvement, capital preventive maintenance, innovative treatments, and maintenance,” according to the report.

With unpaved roads, the report indicates that their condition can “rapidly” change, which makes it difficult to obtain a consistent rating. The goal is to maintain or improve road conditions network-wide at 2020 levels.

The report outlines different treatment options and the estimated years of life with each. Crack filling is estimated to extend a road’s life by one year, seal coat may add five years of life, and different non-structural overlay plans could extend a road’s life by five to 18 years. Reconstruction can add 18-20 years to a road’s life.

Plans

The city is planning the construction and maintenance projects for 2021-2023. The total cost of these projects is approximately $412,600.

Projects planned for 2021 include crack sealing for neighborhood streets, such as Haystack Drive (rating 8), Ridgewood Court (rating 8), Rockway Drive (rating 8), Saddlebrook Drive (rating 8), Saddlevalley Court (rating 8), Sunflower Drive (rating 8), and Tickner Street (rating 6).

Another 2021 project is resurfacing Hickory Street, which has a rating of 4, and Bridge Street and Linden Road, which both have ratings of 5.

W. Rolston Road is scheduled for reconstruction in 2022. It has a rating of 3 and 2. Main Street is scheduled for reconstruction work with a rating of 2, except for the section from E. Broad Street to Tickner Street. That section has a rating of 6 and is scheduled for crack sealing.

The city plans to spend $134,400 on city major networks, according to the report, and it plans to spend $278,200 on city minor network roads.

Councilor Aaron Wiens said, “As a new city council person who hasn’t spent a lot of time thinking about roads, I was absolutely shocked at the cost of road repair and road maintenance.”

Crack sealing costs approximately $18,000 per lane mile and overlay/reconstruction costs approximately $530,000 per lane mile.

Mayor Danielle Cusson said, “I know that it’s hard to explain to residents how expensive roads are when they say, ‘you should fix all the roads,’ and you look at what our budget is … having this plan available to show our residents I think is going to be a huge step forward as we move on with our road plan.”

Glass said their goal is to educate the residents more on road funding.

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