It’s paving season.
The City of Humboldt is looking to add a few more paving projects to this year’s budget after hearing a report from Joe Doxey, the Director of Planning and Engineering.
This year, City Council budgeted $463,227 for paving projects around the city. The contract was awarded to United Paving Ltd. for $442,496.05 — $20,730.95 under budget.
Doxey brought the information back to Council, asking if they would like to add more to this year’s paving program, considering how far under budget they were.
“One of the areas included with the work for 2012 was the milling and paving of Highway 5 from 7th Street to 9th Street,” said Doxey. “To make this work possible, a number of previously identified areas were deferred.”
Doxey split the locations that need to be paving into four areas in his report, based on what needs to be done and how much it will cost to do the repairs.
He started with Area One, about 13 locations cut that were under four and a half square metres.
“They were small enough, our crews could do them,” explained Doxey.
He explained with the new patcher the City purchased last year, they could patch those areas. That project would cost about $3,000.
Next were the locations in Area Two. This area includes about 25 repairs that need to be done between 14th Street and 2nd Street in the 500 to 700 blocks.
These locations have problems either with alligator cracks or need to be repaired because they have been dug up to work on water issues.
“These were cut for the reason because the water and sewer underneath will have to be replaced over the next 10 years,” said Doxey.
He explained there is no point in repaving just to dig up the streets again right away, saying it would be a waste of money.
“When we pave, we would hope it would last at least 20 years and if we do a complete base, 50 years,” said Doxey.
To patch Area Two, it would cost $144,919.22.
“We still need to do something there,” said Coun. Leon Fleischhacker. “It can’t stay that way.”
Doxey agreed with Fleischhacker, but said repaving the streets is not the right thing to do at this moment.
Since this area will have to be dug up to deal with water and sewer issues in the near future, Doxey did not recommend paving them this year.
“We don’t know when we will be digging it up to fix water issues,” said Doxey.
Council discussed using the pothole patcher and other options for a temporary fix in this area.
Area Three is a smaller area that needs repairs. It includes three locations on 5th Avenue, 10th Street, Hwy. 20 by KMK Sales and 16th Street and Swain Crescent.
The cost to patch those locations would be about $18,779.
“There is no water or sewer that needs to be done in these locations, so it should fit well,” said Doxey.
“Area One, we can do in-house within our current resources along with Area Three,” said Eaton. “We can add these to the contract within our existing numbers.”
Area Four is four separate locations that are well-placed timing wise, said Doxey. These areas are 12th Street from 1st Avenue north to 2nd Avenue, 2nd Avenue from 5th Street to 3rd Street, 4th Avenue from 8th Street to 10th Street and 6th Street from 2nd Avenue to 1st Avenue.
This area would cost about $702,377 to repair.
Eaton considers 4th Avenue in Area Four to be a priority. Council discussed the cost of doing a couple of the locations in Area Four if they could come up with the financing and if United would be willing to do it.
“It will have to be added to their contract,” said Doxey. “They may want to negotiate a higher price.”
Although Council wanted to see 4th Avenue fixed this year, Doxey explained it would be better to fix that area next year, as it will be difficult to do.
Since the damage goes down to the base, it cannot be patched. It would have to be taken down to nothing and restarted or try a new technique where they grind the old base and recycle some of the pavement.
Doxey said they can tender 4th Avenue out this fall to get someone for next year.
Eaton wanted to put as many paving projects on the plate this year as possible.
“If we do it this year, we will be paying for it next year anyway,” said Eaton.
All the council members agreed they cannot defer the projects every year.
“It doesn’t feel like we are getting ahead,” said Eaton. “Some of the main streets will be put as gravel another year and why?”
Eaton said he would like to see an additional $386,000 added to the paving project this year.
“These things have to get done,” said Coun. Phil Smith.
When it was mentioned they might not have anything to work on next year if it was all done this year, Doxey assured them otherwise.
“We have a fair amount on the project list — I don’t see it shrinking,” said Doxey. “I’m sure I could make an even bigger list.”
In the end, Council decided to add Areas One and Three to the current paving program and to add two locations from Area Four (12th Street and 6th Street) if they can get the financing and if United will agree to take on more this summer.
Director of Finance Steve Brown said he would look into getting financing for the project.