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Pavement Management Program

Maintaining Service Standards

The City of Lake Elmo has established and implemented a Pavement Management Program to define a procedure for scheduling maintenance or reconstruction of city streets.  The goal of the Pavement Management Program is to maintain the city streets at an acceptable service quality standard while minimizing the long-term costs of managing the city’s street infrastructure system. This balance is achieved when street maintenance activities are applied at the appropriate time in order to extend their overall expected life cycle in the most efficient and economical manner.

Program Background and Process

Under the city’s pavement management program, the physical condition of every city street surface is evaluated and rated. The condition of the pavement is evaluated and measured using a pavement condition index rating system. This approach assigns a numerical rating to each section of road being evaluated for the presence of pavement distresses, distress type/cause, and the severity level of each distress (low, medium, high).  A database program tracks the street inventory, pavement condition and the history of maintenance of every street segment.

A determination is made as to where the street is in its projected life cycle. This information is helpful in deciding what maintenance options might provide the most economical long-term benefit. Some areas will require routine crack sealing and seal coat treatments, while others may require more significant corrections such as overlays, reclaims or complete reconstruction.

There are several other factors that are considered by the city to make the final determination for the 5-year street maintenance program and the 5-year street improvement program. These factors include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Availability of Program Funding.
  • Condition/effectiveness of existing surface drainage system.
  • Coordination with maintenance of other infrastructure, such as watermains and sewers.
  • Opportunities to improve water quality of lakes downstream of street.
  • Elimination of hazardous situations and to provide safety improvements.
  • Reconstruction of adjacent city streets.
  • Time and Resources expended to continue maintaining street segment.
  • Neighborhood/resident petitions.

The following improvements are part of the city’s Pavement Management Program:

  • Crack Seal and Sealcoat – This is the surface application of an asphalt emulsion followed by the placement of small graded aggregate.  This process creates a wear-resistant coating that protects pavements from oxidation and the effects of moisture. Crack Seal is placed prior to the asphalt emulsion.
  • Mill and Overlay (Resurfacing)– This process removes the top 1 – 2 inches of distressed or cracked pavement and replaces it with a new layer of hot mix asphalt.
  • Reclaim/Recycle (Rehabilitation) – This process is used when the distresses indicate a pavement failure, but a sufficient depth of road exists that allows for material recycling of the aggregate base and bituminous surface. A mill/reclaim machine removes the entire full-depth road surface and grinds the materials to a specific gradation that can be reused as a base before paving a new bituminous surface.
  • Reconstruction – When a road has reached its useful life and is structurally failing, the road requires a complete rebuild of the street subgrade section.  The existing roadway materials are excavated and hauled away and a new subgrade, aggregate base and pavement surface and constructed.

Click here to view the city’s current 5-year Street Capital Improvement Plan.

Click here to view the city’s current 5-year Street Seal Coat Plan.

Program Funding – How is the work funded?

Crack Seal and Sealcoat:  100% City’s General Fund

Resurfacing – Rehabilitation – Reconstruction:  General Fund and Special Assessments – Benefitting residential properties are assessed 30% of the project costs with 70% of the costs paid through the city’s general Fund.

View the city’s Special Assessment Policy.  Special Assessment Policy