Town of Grand Bay-Westfield Street Condition Report

Dillon Consultants

 

1.0 INTRODUCTION

This street condition report had been prepared by Godfrey Associates Ltd. at the request of the Grand Bay- Westfield Council. It is our hope that the findings of the comprehensive street condition survey and the accompanying information will assist Council in assessing the need for capital street improvements in both the short and long term planning horizons. With the inclusion of previously identified priorities for storm sewer and curb and sidewalk improvements the enclosed construction budget summaries should enable Council to prepare a street surface rehabilitation and improvement strategy for the next 10 to 20 years. By assessing the entire street inventory at the same time, Council will be able to project the level of capital investment required on an annual basis in order to maintain the desired level of service.

The following information will direct the reader through a logical sequence of data and thought required to present an overview of the condition of existing municipal streets and requirements for a reasonable level of rehabilitation.

2.0 BACKGROUND

The ongoing care and upkeep of municipal streets generally involves two different levels of activity. The first is the routine day to day or annual maintenance activity which is normally covered by the annual transportation operating budget. Included under the heading of Street Maintenance are activities such as winter snow removal, grading and shoulder repair and patching of damaged asphalt. Flexible pavements such as asphalt and chip seal have a limited service life, usually a maximum of 20 years for a new asphalt surface. The deterioration process occurs slowly usually evidenced by cracking and wearing of the asphalt surface. Crack sealing and patching with hot mix asphalt are maintenance methods which help to slow down the gradual deterioration and prolong the life of the asphalt surface. Minor maintenance methods for flexible pavements include crack sealing, pot hole repair, spray patching, shallow patching and drainage improvements. Major maintenance activities include full depth patching, scarification, texturization, slurry sealing and micro-surfacing. Some of these large surface applications are only feasible for large collector roads and arterials where an economy of scale can be realized.

The second level of activity is referred to as pavement rehabilitation and usually involves an extensive treatment to the entire street surface and, due to cost implications, is usually funded by annual capital expenditures. Some options for the rehabilitation of flexible pavements include: total street reconstruction, resurfacing, milling and resurfacing, hot in-place recycling and full depth reclamation. Most local streets are rehabilitated by resurfacing with some full depth patching and milling as may be required to restore the integrity of the existing base course.

As design standards improve and the traffic loads increase, some streets may require total reconstruction for the purpose of horizontal or vertical realignment or for major roadway widening. Highland Road, from Woolastook Drive to Route 7, has potential need for improvements in this category particularly if direct access to Route 7 is provided at some point in the future. Depending on the traffic load anticipated, it may be more feasible to construct a new collector road along another route. At any rate, the street condition survey conducted during this study focussed only on pavement conditions and did not include major changes roadway geometry.

3.0 STREET CONDITION SURVEY

The street condition survey included a visual inspection of all roads and streets within the municipal street network. It is interesting to note at this point that over 40 percent of the public streets within the Town of Grand Bay-Westfield are classified as provincially designated highway, the maintenance and rehabilitation of which is the responsibility of the Province of New Brunswick. Table 1 provides a summary of existing street inventory by jurisdiction and classification.

Street Report Table 1

 

Based on the street lengths provided in Table 1, the total length of municipal streets is 45.2 kilometres of which 83 percent have an asphalt surface, 6 percent chip seal and 11 percent gravel. These totals do not include private roads and lanes or future street rights of way.

The findings of the actual street condition survey are summarized in Tables 1A, 1B and 1C of the attached Appendix. Streets in these tables are listed in alphabetical order for ease of reference. Streets are broken into segments if there was a significant difference in overall condition from one section to another. The tables are arranged based on street surface type i.e. Table 1A Asphalt Streets, Table 1B Chip Seal Streets and Table 1C Gravel Streets. The street length and average width is provided as well as a visual estimate of the degree of pavement distress as evidenced in three types of cracking, rutting and settlement. During the visual survey observations were also made with respect to shoulders and drainage. The pavement distress in each category is estimated as a percentage of the entire street surface and is very approximate.

Each street or street segment was given an overall rating based on the pavement distress severity. The rating is based on a numerical range from 1 to 5 with 1 being a new or resurfaced street in good condition to 5 being a severely deteriorated street probably requiring total reconstruction. In terms of priority for rehabilitation, the entire rating range can generally be broken down as follows:

Street Report Condition Rating

All existing municipal streets are rated in Tables 1A, 1B and 1C of the Appendix. For convenience and, to provide a concise overview, a summary of the street inventory based on street type and condition rating is provided in Table 2.

Street Condition Report Table 2

The entire street inventory is also shown on the street plan provided in the Appendix where streets are colour coded based on condition rating. The condition rating for asphalt streets is self evident with over 50 percent of asphalt streets having a rating of 3.0 or higher. Options for rehabilitation of chip seal streets include a new application of chip seal or resurfacing with hot mix asphalt. With 80 percent rated at 3 or higher, rehabilitation using chip seal is very limited. Most of the streets rated 3 or higher have large patches made with hot mix asphalt making resurfacing with hot mix asphalt the preferred option. Gravel streets are generally in fair condition with chip seal or asphalt surfacing being options to improve level of service and reduce maintenance costs. Streets such as Alder or Broad, being centrally located, should probably be given priority for hard surfacing over more remote streets.

4.0 STREET SURFACE REHABILITATION COSTS

To assist in the development of a street resurfacing implementation schedule as well as facilitate short and long term budget preparation, an attempt was made to estimate the rehabilitation cost for all municipal streets. The costs thus developed are very preliminary and are based on several assumptions. Tables 2A and 2B of the Appendix provide cost estimates for all streets or street segments. To assist in the prioritization process, the streets are arranged in descending order of condition rating which means the worst streets are listed first. Resurfacing costs include an estimated asphalt tonnage based on an average overlay application rate of 150 kg/m2, an allowance for granular shoulder material, pavement reinforcement to control crack migration and an allowance for full depth patching or granular subbase restoration when required. Asphalt cost is based on a unit price of $80. per tonne. Table 3 provides a summary of the total rehabilitation cost for each street type. 

Street Condition Report Table 3

The rehabilitation costs for both chip seal and gravel streets are based on resurfacing with hot mix asphalt. Since the existing chip seal streets listed in Table 1B of the Appendix were given a condition rating and since rehabilitation cost for chip sealed streets is based on resurfacing with hot mix asphalt, chip sealed streets have been combined with asphalt streets for prioritizing and costing as shown in Table 2A of the Appendix. The chip sealed streets are listed with asphalt streets in order of condition rating.

Existing gravel streets did not have a condition rating which could be used for prioritizing and are therefore listed in alphabetical order in Table 2B of the Appendix. As suggested earlier, part of the rationale in prioritizing gravel streets for hard surfacing might be to give a higher ranking to centrally located streets which are surrounded by asphalt streets. Examples of this existing status include Alder, Broad, Douglas and the west end of MacLean. As a general objective for existing gravel streets, it may be desirable to target a maximum time period, say 10 years, for example, during which time all existing gravel streets will be paved.

Given a maximum service life for new asphalt of 20 years, all rehabilitation should be completed within this time frame in order to maintain a reasonable level of service. A shorter cycle time is required if the overall level of service is to be significantly improved.

5.0 RELATED STREET COMPONENTS AND COSTS

In addition to street surface rehabilitation, there are at least two other street improvement categories. The first is a list of identified storm sewer and drainage related projects maintained by Town Staff. Council has typically selected from this list during the determination of the annual capital budget for street improvements. The resurfacing costs included in Tables 2A and 2B have covered many of the items on the original capital improvements list. The remaining items specifically relating to storm sewer and drainage are summarized in Table 4.

Street Condition Report Table 4

The projects listed in Table 4 are additional to the resurfacing costs covered in Table 2A of the Appendix. In some cases, the work proposed in Table 4 must coincide with or precede the street resurfacing.

The second additional category for street improvements includes existing sidewalk rehabilitation and the construction of new curb and sidewalk. Table 5 provides a summary of curb and sidewalk improvements which have been identified during recent budget discussions. A street plan showing all existing and proposed curb and sidewalk is included in the Appendix.

Street Condition Report Table 5

The first category listed in Table 5 is the replacement of existing asphalt sidewalk with new concrete sidewalk. The construction of the section on River Valley Drive south of Murray Street would complete the sidewalk restoration to the south Town limit.

Under the category new curb and sidewalk, the section on Epworth Park Road from River Valley Drive to Inglewood has been previously identified as a high pedestrian traffic area with high priority. The final category in Table 5 makes provision for the Town to compliment the Designated Highway Program with the addition of concrete sidewalk along upgraded sections of River Valley Drive. While funding under this program has been allocated to paving Route 177 north of Route 102 during the past two years, there is reasonable probability that the focus will return to storm sewer and curbs in the future.

A future potential demand for capital street expenditures could also arise from the need to construct new collector roads. An example is the proposed Ridge Road concept which would provide direct access from the Highland Road interchange to Route 177. While there are no financial commitments at the present time, an allowance for future expenditures in this regard should probably be factored into the long term financial planning for the Town’s transportation sector.

6.0 IMPLEMENTATION

All of the proposed street improvements discussed in the foregoing commentary can be budgeted for and implemented based on the following or a similar rationale.

Street Surface Rehabilitation: Total Cost as per Table 3  – $6,702,470

If street rehabilitation is based on a maximum 20 year cycle average annual expenditure is approximately $335,000. 

Storm Sewer and Drainage Improvements: Total Cost as per Table 4 $ 700,000

If these improvements are scheduled over 10 years average annual expenditure is approximately $70,000.

Curb and Sidewalk Construction: Total Cost per Table 5 $1,655,000

Average annual expenditure over 10 years is approximately $165,000.

If the previous numbers are rounded to an order of magnitude, an annual capital budget of $570,000 would be a reasonable allocation to complete the street improvements previously identified over a 10 to 20 year time frame. The annual capital budget could be generally proportioned as follows:

  • Street surface rehabilitation $340,000
  • Storm sewer $ 80,000, and
  • Curb and sidewalk $150,000

with the actual allocation varying from year to year.

Based on the foregoing implementation rationale, current street condition rating and previously committed projects, the following is a suggested list of street improvement projects for the year 2003.

Street Condition Report Table

Condition Codes (See Wall Map)

Street Index Plan Showing Curb, Sidewalk and Trails (See Wall Map)