Planning for Short-Term Maintenance and Long-Term Improvements  

Street Improvement Planning Committee: Mike Hoff, Kevin Holmes, Don Schiller, Paul Baker  3/1/21


Introduction: Facing The Continuous Task Of Maintenance And Improvement

In 2009 the OHA Board wrote a comprehensive report on a major crisis facing the Oakwoods community.  The leaders addressed the realities of deteriorating streets and limited resources.  This report recommended a referendum to increase annual dues. With the infusion of new money, the report also provided useful information to guide a series of key decisions about several maintenance and improvement projects.  We have learned much about managing the aging asphalt streets in Oakwoods.  But it is time to write a new comprehensive report.  We will build on lessons we have learned and report on new information about changing conditions of our streets.  

This report is divided into four parts.  The first part is a short history of street management in Oakwoods.  It tells the story of an evolving awareness of the complexity of managing asphalt streets. We are still moving forward on a learning curve.  The second part examines the basic principles of sound asphalt management made available in a set of technical bulletins given to OHA by the Bloomington Engineering Department.  The third section establishes a framework for planning by combining lessons we have learned from 12 years of experience and best practices recommended by asphalt engineers.  And the final section of this report examines each of the 15 streets found in Oakwoods.  Each street has its own history of aging, repair, asphalt replacement, and survival with minimal care.  In each case, we will look at the present condition of the street and consider appropriate plans for maintenance and improvement.

I.A Short History of Street Management in Oakwoods

The story of private streets in Oakwoods begins in 1978 with an annexation agreement between Jack Snyder, the subdivision developer, and the City Council of Bloomington.  The City leaders agreed to have 101 acres of land annexed to the City as the “Oakwoods Planned Unit Development” (PUD).  The PUD agreement allowed the developer to construct 3.5 miles of private streets that would be managed by the Oakwoods Homeowners Association.  Furthermore, the asphalt streets had a peculiar design not found on any Bloomington streets or any streets anywhere in cities throughout the nation.  The conventional design for virtually all city streets everywhere is crowned in the center with curbs and gutters on each side for drainage.  In contrast to this conventional design, Oakwoods has inverted crown streets with water flowing to the center. Sometimes water drains into an inlet in the center of the street but, sometimes the water drains off into the woods at the end of the street.  An inverted crown street is much cheaper to construct but in the long-run more costly to maintain and resurface.  We will discuss these additional costs later in this report.

The first eight streets in Oakwoods were constructed during the summer of 1980.  These streets were constructed at the north end of the subdivision near Six Points Road.  Seven years later construction work moved southward, and the last streets were finished in 1992.  The average life cycle of an asphalt street is 15 to 25 years.  This means that during the early years in Oakwoods (1980’s, and some streets 1990’s) managing the streets was truly trouble free.  In 1996 the first signs of asphalt deterioration appeared on Juniper and the north section of Woodhaven.  The work of maintenance and improvement of Oakwood streets had begun.  In the coming years the OHA Board would respond to bad conditions in the streets by resurfacing large sections or placing asphalt patches on smaller areas. The planning strategy was a “reactive approach” to replace “old” deteriorating asphalt with fresh patches of “new” asphalt.  For several years (1996 to 2006) the Board was constantly trying to stay ahead of the problems of deteriorating streets.  

The reactive approach to fixing asphalt streets created an endless problem of crisis management.  The problem started the day contractors constructed the streets in the 1980’s and 1990’s.  Oakwoods streets are 32 feet wide.  They are constructed by asphalt machines that lay down 16 feet of hot asphalt in two cycles of application. During the first cycle half of the street is put in place, and a few hours later the second cycle of hot asphalt is placed against the center line.  But the first batch of hot asphalt is cold.  The centerline on the street is formed as a “cold joint.”  This cold joint at the center of the “V”in the inverted crown is the lowest point in the street where all the water flows.  From the first day of construction, the inverted crown street is already leaking water.  In the winter this leaking water freezes and expands 9%.  In a few years a distinct centerline crack is visible on Oakwoods streets.  The deterioration grows over time.  

In the early years the problem was not understood by many homeowners in Oakwoods.  The center sections of streets were paved by large patches of asphalt that destroyed the inverted crown drainage system.  Jeff Stromberger chaired the OHA Road Committee in 2008.  He wrote a report for the new Board in the fall of 2008 describing this situation.  “The problem with paving our streets down the middle is that paving equipment cannot recreate the inverted crown design of our roads; they do not meet at as sharp a “V” as they should.  This causes there to be significant bumps at the center drains and do not channel water as efficiently as before.  Other long term issues with this repair comes during the freeze thaw cycle we get in Illinois, this portion of the road can heave causing deterioration around the patch…”            

In the summer of 2008 the Board made a critical decision to abandon the reactive practice of placing hot asphalt patches on deteriorating sections of various streets.  Instead, they took money from reserves and spent $80,000 to repave a major section of Timberview.  Contractors milled out the old asphalt and replaced it with 3 inches of new asphalt.   This project kept the inverted crown in the center of the street.  The project was a success, but the Board had no reserves for other large scale re-pavement projects that needed to be done.  But in the coming year a new referendum for higher annual dues provided essential money to continue the new approach to street management.

A new Board in the fall of 2008 conducted a comprehensive strategic plan to address the crisis of Oakwoods streets.  The Board appealed to the City for help and on January 9, 2009 two engineers from the Department of Engineering, Doug Grovesteen and Jim Karch, consulted with Board members on the next steps essential to planning a new direction for managing Oakwoods streets. Mr. Grovesteen opened the meeting with a clear declaration about the management of asphalt streets. The most important task in the management of asphalt streets is keeping the asphalt sealed.  Grovesteen was very clear: An asphalt street must be sealed for longevity; preventative maintenance is the highest priority. When streets are severely deteriorated and cannot be sealed, the old asphalt must be removed and replaced with new.  

Mr. Grovesteen also explained the importance of assessing the condition of the asphalt to determine best strategies for maintenance or improvement.  He recommended an evaluation instrument to make this assessment: the Paser Rating Scale with a top score of 10 for excellent condition to 1 for severe deterioration.  Mr. Grovestein then made arrangements to have Oakwoods streets evaluated by a City engineer, Mr. Jeff Kohl.  A member of the Board accompanied Mr. Kohl on his 90 minute appraisal of Oakwoods streets.

Jeff Kohl’s evaluation of Oakwoods streets placed most of them in the middle zone of the Paser Scale with scores of 4 to 6.  These streets were showing signs of moderate deterioration, but they were sufficiently stable to be sealed.  He said the City was now experimenting with a new sealant treatment for streets found in the 4-6 range: CRF Restorative Seal produced and applied by Corrective Asphalt Materials (CAM).  CAM also produces another sealant—Reclamite Preservative Seal—for new streets.  Both CRF and Reclamite treatments extend the life of asphalt pavement for an additional 5 to 7 years. In the summer of 2009 the Board launched a comprehensive three year program with CAM to seal all the Oakwoods streets that had Paser scores of 4 and above. 

 Some sections of some streets had scores of 2 or 3.  Streets located in the southwestern quadrant of Oakwoods suffered from excessive water that failed to drain after rainstorms and snow melt. Four streets were too deteriorated to be sealed: the southern section of Palm court,  Persimmon, the southern section of Woodhaven, and the southern end of Scenic Point.  After a major rainstorm, 16 pools of water remained on these streets for several days.  The first order of business was hiring engineers to design a new drainage system.  Two engineers from Farnsworth, Neil Finlen and Tom Stoltz, spent the next two years designing new drainage systems for streets located in the southern quadrants of Oakwoods.  

The first problem with the existing drainage system was the developer’s failure to install inlets.  Only one inlet existed for the SW quadrant of Oakwoods.  Seven new inlets were installed.  The second problem to be addressed was the need for a more stable drainage ditch to move water down the center of the street.  Asphalt centerlines leak and are not stable systems for long-term use.  A new cement centerline was designed.  The cement trough is 5 feet wide and capable of moving a great deal of water quickly off the street.  The total footage for these cement troughs is 1103 feet.  The new inlets and stable cement troughs cost OHA more than $200,000, but they are major long-term investments in Oakwood streets.

Two major water problems also needed attention in the southeastern quadrant of the subdivision.  In the 2500 block of Timberview homeowners have excessive water in their backyards.  This water flows into basements and on to the street.  In the winter a safety hazard is created when large sheets of ice are frozen for many days on the street.  Engineers designed a new drainage system by installing a 10 inch drainage pipe and 5 inlets in the backyards of the homes.  The pipe drained into a ditch at the southern edge of the subdivision.  This project solved the problem; after heavy rains the street is always dry.

Further north at 2301-2305 Timberview another water problem existed.  The two lots on Timberview are in a low area that collects a huge amount of water from the roofs and basements of ten homes located west of Timberview.  In the winter damaging ice forms on the street.  The problem deserved action, but at the time (summer of 2010) funds were exhausted and no action was taken.  Ten years later, Paul Baker was inspecting streets after a  winter storm and wrote the following e-mail to the SIP Committee, “On the evening of January 19 and the early morning of the 20th a period of rain was followed by a sudden plunge in temperature from 36 to 2 degrees.  The rain to ice condition created the perfect frozen evidence of surface water street problems.  Sure enough, the worst place for ice on the street is 2305 Timberview.  The sheet of ice is huge—4 to 6 inches thick and 12 to 14 feet wide and over a 100 feet long.  We may see evidence of street damage in this area this spring.”  The SIP Committee recommended installation of a catch basin and inlet on the west easement of the street.  The Board approved the recommendation.  On February 4, 2021 another winter rain was followed by sudden freezing temperature creating another “perfect storm” for ice on the street.  But this year, the street remained dry.  Once again, the Board has invested money in a long-term preventative strategy to keep water (and ice) off the street.     

For a brief period (2009-2012) the Board and a newly formed Street Improvement Planning Committee (SIP) were able to receive sound technical guidance from five civil engineers (Jim Karch, Doug Grovesteen, Jeff Kohl, Tom Stoltz, Neil Finlen) who helped the Board manage  Oakwoods streets.  Jeff Kohl’s evaluation of streets included his advice on appropriate strategies for various conditions of deterioration.  The Board and OHA received his advice with gratitude.  Mr. Kohl returned to Oakwoods in 2012 and once again he helped the SIP Committee make appropriate recommendations for various maintenance and improvement projects.  Mr. Kohl’s advice in 2012 was the last occasion for any technical advice from the City.  Oakwoods is a private corporation, and the City has discontinued its technical support.

After OHA members approved higher annual dues (July, 2009), the Board dedicated the next four years to spending all of its street money (approximately $50,000 to $60,000 per year) on sealing the streets and reconstructing a new drainage system in the southern section of the subdivision.  After these years of big financial expenditures the SIP Committee and the Board adopted the practice of spending relatively large sums of money one year ($60,000 to $70,000) to be followed by relatively small sums of money the next year ($30,000 to $40,000).  The largest amount of money was spent on re-paving projects (Juniper and the main loop), and the smaller amounts of money were spent on a scatteration of small maintenance projects found on various streets.  This pattern seemed stable for several years (2014-2020).  In 2020 the cycle may have come to an end.  An old crisis may have re-emerged.  

In 2018-19 the SIP Committee recommended a short list of maintenance projects that needed a small street project.  The SIP Committee was holding back money for a big project in 2019-20—repaving the north section of Woodhavens.  The street budget for 2019-20 was $85,000.  The bid for repaving Woodhavens was $73,000.  This left SIP Committee with $12,000 to cover all maintenance projects in 2020.  But the SIP Committee and the Board needed $50,000 to cover all the bids.  (Whoops, we have a problem!)  The SIP Committee re-examined its list of maintenance projects and identified a shorter list of “highest priority” projects.  The revised list cost $17,000.  The Board approved $17,000; but the street budget still had an overage of $5,000.  In 2019-20 the Board authorized the largest street budget ever approved by an OHA Board–$85,000.  Yet, they still fell short of money they needed.   Questions have returned. Is the OHA crisis of 2000-2007 back? Does Oakwoods have too many bad streets and too little money to fix them?  We will respond to these questions in the next pages of this report.

II.Elementary Principles of Asphalt Street Management: Lessons Learned from Engineers

January 9, 2009 is an important moment in the history of managing Oakwoods streets.  For the first time a City, engineer, Doug Grovesteen, introduced basic principles of asphalt street management to members of the Board. He gave the Board a packet of technical bulletins about asphalt management written in non-technical language for laypersons.  Paul Baker read the bulletins and xeroxed pages from them for others to read.  Board members and neighbors began a new kind of conversation that was guided by knowledge found in the technical world of asphalt street management.  This section of the report highlights some of the critical topics engineers consider to be essential for managing asphalt streets. 

The conventional wisdom of engineers recognizes a basic truth about asphalt street management: Providing comfortable, safe, and economical streets to a community is not a simple task.  Three essential steps must be taken: (1) inventory all of the streets, (2) periodically evaluate the conditions of all streets, (3) use evaluation data of street conditions to set priorities for various treatments for various streets.  Sound street management requires knowledge of street conditions and how they inevitably change over time.  During the six year period (2009-2015) the SIP Committee and the Board adopted the above three step framework in its planning and decisions to maintain and improve the streets.  The OHA lost the services of the expert Paser evaluator, Jeff Kohl, and the last six years evaluation has been less rigorous and formal.  Recently the City has offered to provide the services of an engineer to provide a new Paser evaluation of Oakwoods streets this spring.  This information will be included in the final comprehensive report to be written in 2021.

Engineers begin with a basic fact about asphalt: it is organic.  Like all things organic (trees, flowers, dogs, people) it changes over time, because it is constantly aging.  Engineers study the aging process by constructing measurement instruments such as the Paser scale.  There is a direct relationship between pavement age and the Paser rating on asphalt condition.  In 2009 Jeff Kohl found that most streets in Oakwoods were in the middle range of 4 to 6.  This range requires attention to various maintenance methods such as filling cracks with hot asphalt and appling various sealants to the entire street.  If streets are left without any treatment, they will soon decline to Paser ratings of 3 or less.

It would be misleading to assume that each street in Oakwoods has a single Paser rating.  In reality, most Oakwoods streets have mixed scores.  Some streets have sections of new asphalt and other sections of severe deterioration (e.g., Cedar Court).  These mixed ratings suggest that the management of Oakwoods requires detailed attention to various conditions found on each street.

The continuous process of aging is the most important aspect of asphalt that engineers must consider.  The second most important fact about asphalt is the damage caused by water.  Several technical bulletins emphasize the water problem. To quote one of the bulletins: “We can’t overemphasize the importance of good drainage.  Engineers estimate that at least 90% of a [street’s] problems can be related to excess water or to poor water drainage.” (Bulletin # 19) Another engineer writes that the problem of water grows over time as streets deteriorate.  “Once deterioration begins, it is common to see pavement decline rapidly.  As a pavement ages and additional cracking develops, more moisture can enter the pavement and accelerate the rate of deterioration.” (Paser Manual) 

Jeff Kohl offered invaluable technical assistance to the Board by evaluating our streets.  But equally important was his insistence that on those streets with middle range ratings (4 to 6) action should be taken to seal the streets.  The Board was able to consider two sealants—CRF and Reclamite—because the City was experimenting with them and getting favorable outcomes.  The sealants are also cost effective.  In 2009 we compared the cost of repaving Autumn Court ($30,000) to CRF ($3,000).  We could not afford repaving, but we were able to treat Autumn Court with CRF.  In the next two years we continued the sealant project for all Oakwoods streets that could be treated.  We also asked contractors to seal streets with hot crackfill. Asphalt never lasts forever, but the Board placed high priority in having streets last as long as possible. 

III.Managing Oakwoods Streets: Lessons Learned

In 2009 the Street Improvement Planning Committee was created as an ad hoc group advising the Board.  A few years later it became a permanent standing committee with official duties stipulated in the OHA By-Laws.  The SIP Committee has been holding regular meetings throughout the year for the past 12 years. There are many variations on the same basic agenda at every meeting.  Two questions guide the discussion: What are the conditions of Oakwoods streets?  What needs to be done to maintain or improve the streets?  Every spring these questions are asked  for a broad review of street conditions following the hardships of winter on the asphalt.  The work of studying conditions and setting priorities starts in earnest.  This section of the report identifies some of the guidelines that shape SIP deliberations.

Guideline # 1 Two central goals of street management: maintenance and improvement

Maintenance refers to the continuous task of sealing the asphalt.  This work never ends, because even new asphalt streets begin to deteriorate a few years after installation.  In Oakwoods these streets are treated with a CAM sealant—Reclamite.  As the street continues to age, cracks appear on the surface; they need to be crackfilled with hot asphalt.  Several years later CRF sealant is considered as an appropriate treatment. 

Improvement strategies are considered when asphalt deterioration is so severe that sealing is no longer an option. New asphalt is never paved over old asphalt.  In all cases, the old asphalt is removed by a process called “milling.”  There are two methods for repaving streets: (1) 1.5 inch mill & overlay, and (2) 3.0 inch mill & resurface.  McLean County Asphalt Co. (MCA) has used both methods of repavement in Oakwoods.  All major repaving projects on the main loop are cases of resurface (e.g., the north section of Woodhaven).  Examples of overlay are Juniper and a section of Cedar Court.  The cost for overlay projects is $17.46 per square yard; and the cost for resurfacing a street is $24.62.

On numerous occasions the SIP Committee finds potholes and the immediate area around the pothole is also seriously deteriorated.  This situation gives SIP two options: (1) fill the pothole with cold asphalt patch, or (2) install a hot asphalt patch by saw cutting and milling a square area of old asphalt and repaving it with hot asphalt.  The hot asphalt patch is usually an overlay project.  Filling a pothole with cold asphalt does not improve the street for the long-term, because it does not seal the street.  Cold patch in potholes is cheaper and it saves tires, but it leaves the street in the same condition of leaking water and continuing deterioration. 

Guideline # 2 Asphalt street management requires reliable guidance from civil engineers

On numerous occasions in this report we have mentioned the indispensable role professional civil engineers play in helping OHA the Board manage Oakwood streets.  The expert guidance was especially crucial in the period from 2009 to 2012.  During these years five major water problems required new drainage plans designed by engineers and submitted to the City Engineering Department for approval.   

In the comprehensive street report the Board sought a formal inter-governmental agreement between the City and OHA.  This formal agreement was never developed, but the City Manager, David Hales, sent a letter to the Board stating that “the City will provide limited field work to rate streets in Oakwoods every three years.” (June 17, 2010)  This letter assured one more Paser evaluation and consultation with Jeff Kohl in 2012.  David Hales’s letter was not binding on the City and after his departure, technical support from the City ended.  

Guideline # 3 Oakwoods streets are managed according to their structure as “loop streets” or “side streets”   

Oakwoods has 15 streets, but they are not all the same.  These streets have different functions and structures.  One set of streets is distinctly different than the others: The main loop is a composite of 3 streets (Woodhaven, Timberview, the eastern end of Persimmon) and is much larger than the other streets.  One hundred and thirty-nine homes are located on the main loop. Eleven side streets feed into the main loop, and it carries the most traffic (including school buses).  Given the central importance of the main loop, it is not surprising that during the past 12 years the Board has devoted large sums of money on maintenance and improvement projects to keep the main loop in top condition.  

The Juniper loop has not been ignored, but it is much smaller.  Only three streets feed into Juniper and it carries less traffic.  It has taken fewer resources to maintain and improve.

Side streets serve the residents on the streets.  Most of them are cul-de-sacs or dead-end streets and have very little traffic.  Many have elevated slopes that provide excellent drainage (e.g., Ivey).  This topography means that many of these streets have required minimal care since they were constructed.  However, the aging process continues with the asphalt, and during the last few years, they have shown new signs of deterioration.  The one street with the least elevation is Cedar Court.  It has serious water problems that require constant resurfacing of deteriorated areas. 

Guideline # 4 Since deterioration begins in the center of the street and spreads outward, attention is given to the centerline 

The cold joint in the middle of the street is the beginning of trouble for Oakwoods streets.  Most initial maintenance work is sealing the centerline cracks with hot crackfill.  As the deterioration spreads out from the center, long strips of hot patch asphalt (24 to 44 inches wide) is repaved down the center of the street.  Three drainage projects (2010-2014) in the southern quadrants of Oakwoods were designed with cement centerline drainage troughs.  The early success of constructing cement centerlines suggested new possibilities for all Oakwoods streets. This idea was taken to one of the smaller side streets as an experimental improvement project.  When the bids came in for $20,000, it was obviously too costly.  An asphalt strip cost $5,000, and asphalt won the bid.  There is no “quick fix” for the centerline problem.  It requires an annual inspection of all centerlines, determines best solution, and selects affordable projects that fit the budget.

Guideline # 5  Oakwoods streets are no longer “old or new,” rather, they are a mixture of “old and new”

In the early 2000’s Jim Karch constructed a spread sheet of all Oakwoods streets and the dates of construction and resurfacing.  It was an attractive spread sheet with useful information that offered an overview of all streets in the subdivision.  But today this spread sheet can give the misleading impression that the way to manage Oakwoods streets is according to age.  Repave the oldest street that then becomes the newest street.  Simply continue this cycle year after year.  There are two problems with this approach.  The first is financial.  We will demonstrate with detailed financial costs in the next section of this report, that this approach in not affordable. The second problem is that Oakwood streets are all “old” by the assumption that the average life of an asphalt street is 20 years.  Some of our oldest streets are 41 years old; and our youngest streets are 29 years old.   During the past 20 years, most streets have been resurfaced in a segmented fashion.  One part of the street is brand new, another part is the original asphalt and very old.  

Today Paser ratings of the same streets often yield mixed scores that range from 10 (top condition) to 3 (severe deterioration).  It is important to take this variation into account each year as plans are made for maintenance and improvement.  Managing Oakwoods streets is never simple.  Streets are a complex mixture of “old” and “new.”  Therefore, managing them is complex work that requires inspecting various conditions on each street.

Guideline # 6 Street management is a case of continuous improvement planning   

Managing asphalt streets in Oakwoods demands commitment to continuous inspection and improvement planning.  Asphalt streets are never “fixed and finished” as discrete episodes of completed improvement that can last for 20 years.   Asphalt projects are not like painting one’s house or putting new shingles on the roof.  When these projects are finished, they can be left alone for several years.  Such is never the case for asphalt streets.  They begin to leak water and deteriorate the very day they are repaved.  For example, a new asphalt strip 44 inches wide down the center of the street “fixes” the bad condition in the middle, but the new strip now has two cold joints on each side of the strip.  This must now be fixed by hot asphalt crackfill.  But in a few years, leaks have led to new evidence of asphalt deterioration.

The demands of continuous improvement planning go with the design of streets serving both as lanes for vehicles and drainage ditches for surface water.  This dual function means that no street will ever be “okay” for several years.  This is especially true in the coming decades with aging asphalt streets.  Recently (3/9/21) Paul Baker was inspecting asphalt conditions on all the streets.  He discovered deterioration on a stable side street that he had never seen before.  Each spring the hardships of winter are found on the streets of Oakwoods.

IV.Taking Stock: Oakwoods Streets In 2021                                                                                                                                                                                   

The final section of this Report examines possible plans for Oakwoods streets in the next 2 to 3 years.  We do not pretend to have a five year plan, because we do not believe anyone can claim definitive knowledge of asphalt conditions on aging inverted crown streets found throughout Oakwoods in 2026.  Such knowledge does not exist.  We stretch our limits when we plan for 2 to 3 years.  The first part of this section examines some of the basic options available to the Board as it makes decisions each year to maintain and improve the streets.  We look first at two improvement strategies: (1) repaving the whole street, and (2) repaving smaller areas as hot asphalt patches.  We then turn to two maintenance strategies: (1) sealing the streets with CAM sealants (Reclamite and CRF C-85), and (2) filling cracks with hot crackfill. 

Repaving whole streets   We begin our discussion of repavement of whole streets with data on the size of each street presented in Table 1.  The streets are divided into five categories: (1) main loop, (2) small loop, (3) long side streets, (4) medium side streets, (5) short side streets.  Data in Table 1 indicates huge variation in size of streets; the main loop is the largest by far (20,809 square yards) and constitutes 45% of the street surface.  The main loop is the ‘”main street” of Oakwoods.  

                                                         Table 1  Oakwoods Streets

Streets                                                                                        Square Yards

Main Loop:                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Woodhaven                                                                                  9,959                                                                                                                            Timberview                                                                                   8,140                                                                                                                             Persimmon (Woodhaven to Scenic)                                         2,705                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Small Loop:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Juniper                                                                                           3,234                                                                                                                                           Long Side Streets:                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Palm                                                                                               3,660                                                                                                                                      Edgewood                                                                                     5,150                                                                                                                                      Medium Side Streets:                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Cedar                                                                                             3,070                                                                                                                                          Ivey                                                                                                3,008                                                                                                                                             Yew                                                                                                2,790                                                                                                                                          Short Side Streets:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Lake View                                                                                      1,200                                                                                                                                         Shagbark                                                                                        1,150                                                                                                                                          Scenic Point                                                                                   1,407                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Clearbrook                                                                                     1,250                                                                                                                                  Autumn                                                                                          1,825                                                                                                                                              Spiria                                                                                               1,840                                                                                                                                Timberview (Cul-de-Sac)                                                              2,105                                                                                                                              Persimmon (Woodhaven to Palm                                              1,015

                                                                                 TOTAL          53,508

During the past thirteen years, most of the street funds have been dedicated to resurfacing various sections of the main loop.  Less money has been spent on some of the small side streets.  In 2020 north Woodhaven was resurfaced by milling 3” and 3” of new asphalt.  The contractors resurfaced 30% of Woodhaven (2,989 square yards) for $73,589.  What would it cost to continue this practice for the rest of Woodhaven and all the other streets (51,619 SY)?  At current costs for asphalt paving, the answer is more than one million dollars ($1,270,860).  Each year we have on average $50,000  for street maintenance and improvement.  Some of this money is available to repave streets.  With this amount of money, our resurfacing plan would take approximately 25 years to repave all the streets.  Given the heavy traffic that includes school buses and big trucks, the main loop begins to show signs of serious deterioration after 12 to 15 years.

Resurfacing all streets with 3” of milling and “3 inches of new asphalt is not feasible with the current annual OHA dues of $270.  What if we adjusted our plans by using the 3” model for the main loop, and then adopted an alternative plan (overlay method (1.5” of milling & new asphalt) for the rest of the streets?  Now the cost for the rest of the main loop is $438,605 (17,815 SY) and $571,011 (32,704 SY) for Juniper and all the side streets.  This alternative plan costs $1,009,606.  The alternative plan saves $261,254, but it is still slightly more than one million dollars.  

These two comparative estimates of costs to re-pave Oakwoods streets indicate the challenge that lies ahead.  We believe the resurfacing method of 3 “of milling and new asphalt is needed for the main loop.  We also believe the overlay method of 1.5 “ inches of milling and new asphalt can work for Juniper and side streets.   But large repaving projects like the north Woodhaven project in the summer of 2020, cannot happen every year or even every other year.  Such large scale projects would depend on the OHA budget and the scope of the project.

Improvement through hot asphalt  patches    In the past five years, the SIP Committee has identified sections of several streets that require hot asphalt patches.  Patches range in size from large (east end of Timberview, 737 sq.yds; east end of Cedar 280 sq. yds) to small (Spiria, 9 sq. yds; Shagbark 25 sq. yds).  Some streets have several patches.  Whether patches are large or small, it is still the most cost effective way to improve streets.  Most of these patches are found on side streets that require 1.5 “ of milling and 1.5.” of new asphalt.  In the coming years strategies of hot asphalt patches will be weighed against the option of repaving the whole street.  Given budget constraints, hot asphalt patches offer an affordable strategy to stretch out the longevity of the streets.

Maintenance strategies through CAM sealants    In the first section of this report we write about the three year comprehensive strategy (2009-2012) to extend the longevity of Oakwoods streets through two sealant treatments (Reclamite and CRF Restorative Seal)  produced and applied by Corrective Asphalt Materials (CAM).  This strategy is used by the City and proves to be highly successful.  The SIP Committee assumed that the CRF treatment could only be used once in the life cycle of an asphalt street.  In 2020 Paul Baker consulted with a City engineer, Kevin Kothe, who informed him that CAM had a new sealant product, C-85, that could be used on deteriorating streets as a second CRF application.  The City engineers were pleased with the results from C-85 and recommend it for Oakwoods streets.  

The SIP Committee contacted a CAM representative, Rachel Lang, who conducted a systematic inspection of Oakwoods streets.  Ms Lang presented the SIP Committee with a three year plan that would start in the fall of 2020 with C-85 treatment of Timberview.  In the next year (2021) the north section of Woodhaven would receive Reclamite treatment and the rest of the main loop would receive C-85 treatment.  In the fall of 2022 five side streets would receive C-85 treatments.  The total cost for this three year plan was $57,000.  These plans were being worked out in late summer of 2020, just before September elections for a new Board.  

A new Board was elected and at the first Board meeting (10/6/20) the SIP Committee recommended implementing the first phase of C-85 treatment on Timberview for $16,257.  A Board member objected to this bid for three reasons: (1) it is too costly for CRF treatment for just one street, (2) C-85 treatment by the City in another subdivision was controversial and the Board member questioned the merits of CRF treatment, (3) the Board had not received a much needed comprehensive report of street improvements for the next five years.  Such a report is needed, before expensive CRF treatments are considered.  The Board did not act on the SIP recommendation.  There is no consideration of C-85 treatment at this time by the Board.  

During the week of October 20, 2020 two CAM crews came to Bloomington to apply C-85 sealant on several Bloomington streets.  A top manager at CAM, Tina Revermann, came to Bloomington to supervise the two crews.  On October 22nd Paul Baker arranged a consultation with Tina Revermann in Oakwoods.  Ms Revermann inspected all streets in Oakwoods and made an appraisal of each street for possible C-85 treatment.  Revermann C-85 recommendations for treating the main loop and 5 other side streets was consistent with earlier recommendations by Rachel Lang.  Two independent appraisals of Oakwoods streets came to the same conclusion: the main loop and at least 5 other streets would benefit from C-85 treatment.

Ms Revermann also informed Mr. Baker about an important aspect of C-85 treatment.  It must occur in the cooler weather of autumn and tree leaves on the street are a problem, if they are not swept up ahead of the CAM spraying trucks.  Bloomington coordinates it schedule with CAM and has the leaves swept off the streets prior to the arrival of CAM trucks.  If, on rare occasions leaves are on the street, a CAM sweeper sweeps them off the street and back on the homeowner’s lawn.  This new information creates some serious logistical challenges for Oakwoods.  We would have to have careful and close coordination with the City to remove street leaves prior to CAM arrival to apply C-85.  These details would have to be worked out before any contract was signed with CAM.  At this time the SIP Committee will make a thorough review of C-85 treatments in Oakwoods, before any recommendations are made to the Board.

Filling asphalt cracks with hot crackfiller   In 2008 the Board, under the leadership of April Jackson, McLean County Asphalt Company (MCA) conducted a comprehensive project to crackfill all streets in Oakwoods.  This was a wise plan that demonstrated best practice to keep the asphalt streets sealed.  On numerous occasions during the past 12 years the SIP Committee has requested crackfill projects on various streets.  On some streets, it might be a few cracks that need to be filled, and on other streets, it might be a network of cracks that deserve attention.  In either case, each crack represents a break in the asphalt seal that leads to leaking water and frozen ice that expands to create an even larger crack during the next cycle of vacillating temperatures between ice cold and water warm.

Inventory of Oakwoods Streets: Recommendations for Maintenance and Improvement Bids   This section of the Report provides specific details on the conditions of 11 streets that deserve consideration for action by the Board in 2021.  The SIP Committee recommends bids for approval for projects on these 11 streets.  Comments will also be made about asphalt conditions on 5 streets that do not need money for repairs this year.

CEDAR COURT   In 2009 the SIP Committee believed that all the serious surface water problems were at the south end of Oakwoods.  They were wrong.  They failed to realize that the fair condition of Cedar concealed a major drainage problem that would eventually create major problems of asphalt deterioration.  The poor condition in the western half of Cedar is the most severe found in Oakwoods.  Today this section of the street has 13 hot asphalt patches, 7 potholes filled with cold asphalt patch, and 7 new potholes that need to be filled this year. The SIP Committee contacted an engineer, Neil Finlen, to do a preliminary study of the Cedar situation. We suggested that Finlen consider the same drainage system found on Persimmon. Finlen agreed and his preliminary work has led to the development of bids by MCA and Stewart Concrete.  Bids are now being drafted for this project.

Each year the SIP Committee does a preliminary inspection of Oakwoods streets. A technician from MCA, Scott Duvall, accompanies a SIP Committee member on a second inspection of the streets.  They visit all the areas of deterioration that deserve consideration for repair work.  After discussing each site of deterioration, Mr. Duvall returns to his office and drafts a separate bid for each site that has been reviewed.  This year Mr. Duvall and Mr. Baker identified 10 sites with bids that are now ready for SIP review and possible recommendation for Board approval.  The following 10 bids were written by Mr. Duvall on March 10, 2021.  They are presented in rank order from most costly, to least costly.

SPIRIA COURT   Hot asphalt patch (150 sq. yds)  & apply hot rubberized crack filler                                 $6,101   

SCENIC POINT   Hot asphalt patch (144 sq. yds)                                                                                                $5,337

TIMBERVIEW CUL-DE-SAC   Hot asphalt patch (107 sq. yds)                                                                          $3,965

LAKE VIEW POINT   Hot asphalt patch (75 sq. yds)                                                                                            $2,779

AUTUMN COURT   Hot asphalt patch (49 sq. yds) Repair center line joint with crack filler                       $2,691

CLEARBROOK COURT Hot asphalt patch (70 sq. yds)                                                                                         $2,594

PALM COURT   Hot asphalt patch (52 sq. yds)                                                                                                     $1,927

IVEY COURT    Crack fill center lines and other large cracks                                                                              $1,320

YEW COURT   Crack fill center lines and other large cracks                                                                               $1,320

EDGEWOOD COURT Crack fill center lines and other large cracks   Fill potholes                                          $1,172

The total cost for these 10 sites is $29,206.  A brief description will also be given to four other streets that will not be considered for either maintenance or improvement work during the summer of 2021.

SHAGBARK  Shagbark is the smallest side street in Oakwoods. There is no inverted crown or drainage system for the street.  Two asphalt patches were applied in past years.  

TIMBERVIEW   This long street has areas of deterioration, but at this time SIP Committee is postponing any further treatments, until a future decision about CRF-C-85 is made.

PERSIMMON  Several sections of this street are in fair shape.  Alligator cracks exist in west sections and in east sections.

WOODHAVEN  This street is in fair shape.  During the past decade most sections have been resurfaced.

JUNIPER  Six years ago this street was repaved as an overlay project (1.5” milling, 1.5” new asphalt)  It is in good condition.  

This concludes the inventory of Oakwoods streets.       

Categories: Streets


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