Larry Benshoof, Road & Bridge Director
comments open from July 2 until July 21
The Road & Bridge Division construction season is in full swing. Patching of failed asphalt and full scale asphalt overlays of our roadways may already be affecting some of you in your neighborhood. Please use caution in our work zones and try to keep the speed down for your safety and the safety of our employees. We precede the asphalt work with the removal and replacement of failed concrete sidewalk, curb & gutter and crosspans that meet our damage criteria.
In the areas of the county with unpaved roads, we re-grade the gravel roads that have sufficiently good material on them. We haul in new roadbase or recycled asphalt basecourse on the roads lacking material. The recycled asphalt basecourse comes from our paving projects that require rotomilling prior to the asphalt overlay. The use of recycled material saves upwards of $200,000 per year as opposed to buying new roadbase and helps to reduce dust.
You may wonder how we decide where to spend the limited funds that we have available for repair work each year. We maintain nearly 3,000 lane miles of paved roads and 700 lane miles of gravel roads in the unincorporated portion of Jeffco. In order to manage that size road network, we use an asset management system to evaluate current conditions on each segment of road. This system consists of data collection on the roads via a specially equipped van and then the loading of that information into the asset management program. Each segment of road is then given an overall condition index (OCI) rating from 1 – completely failed to 100 – brand new.
All of the ratings can then be mapped, analyzed and then used to group roads into the most efficient use of repair dollars in particular neighborhoods. The final step prior to actually scheduling any repairs is for us to drive each segment and verify that the information we have received is valid and that the road has been prioritized properly for the coming year’s proposed repairs.
When performing the actual repair work, be it asphalt or concrete, I have found that a two pronged approach works best. We hire private contractors for larger projects where they can achieve high production rates and therefore give us the lowest prices. We use our own forces on the smaller jobs which would be very expensive to have done by a private contractor. This approach allows us to keep sufficient manpower productively employed during the 8-month construction season in order to provide an excellent snowplowing effort during the 4-month winter season. Citizen surveys have indicated that a quick and efficient snow removal program is one of their highest priorities and the above approach allows Road & Bridge to deliver on those desires.