By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
TAYLOR – The city council authorized the issuance of Michigan Transportation Fund Bonds to fund the 2021 reconstruction of Goddard and Pardee roads at its Nov. 17 meeting.
Mayor Rick Sollars said the project would reconstruct the remaining section of Goddard Road, and all of Pardee Road, from Beverly on its north end to Superior on its south end.
He said Hennessey Engineering, which did the engineering analysis, also provided the construction cost estimates for the two sections of road.
“They are basically at the end of life,” Sollars said. “The bonds that were borrowed against previously on those two sections of road have recently expired – we paid them off – so we began the analysis to determine what we could afford, how quickly we could get it done and how long we should apply for the bonds.”
He said that this project could impact how quickly the city could do other road repairs using Act 51 money, the Michigan Department of Transportation’s Michigan Transportation Funds, which are allocated by county for road repairs.
“Based on Act 51 funding, we are obligated to fulfill major road obligations first,” Sollars said. “They are our priority, and these two roads, Goddard and Pardee, are probably the two most traveled roads by residents, with the exception of maybe Beech Daly.”
He said that, typically, Taylor residents avoid Telegraph, and will use Pardee and Beech Daly instead.
“Through our prioritizing, we feel that it is important to reconstruct these roads as quickly as possible, but I think it is absolutely real that it could impact future road improvements,” Sollars said. “Hopefully, not to the point where we are not able to do so, but I think it is fair to say that it will likely change how we do it.”
He said approximately 15 years ago, the city of Taylor participated in an experimental process, a recycling of the road material, reclaiming the asphalt by milling it, heating it and re-laying the material onto the roadway, without doing any base roadway repairs.
“Because we started having problems almost immediately after that, I believe the company went out of business, so there was no warranty, no ability to go after them or pursue any kind of litigation,” Sollars said. “This section of road within the city has always been on our target, on our radar, because of the anticipated failure.”
He said the Hennessey study confirmed what city officials already anticipated, and the decision was driven by the roads’ life expectancy as well as the current interest rates.
Council President Tim Woolley said that with interest rates being as low as they are, it makes the project more appealing, and will result in a savings to the city’s general fund.
Engineer Alan Cruz, of Hennessey Engineering, said Pardee and the section of Goddard under consideration have three to four years of life left.
“If you try to mill and cap and do a recondition of the asphalt, it is not going to last very long,” he said. “It is a band-aid, basically.”
Cruz said that by taking core samples they learned that there is eight to nine inches of concrete below the asphalt, which he said is in “pretty good shape.”
“There is some reflective cracking, but those can be repaired, and joint sealed and crack sealed,” he said. “The result is going to be similar to how we did Goddard in front of city hall.”
Cruz said the proposed method is not removing all of the concrete, which he said is a huge expense. He said their proposed approach is to preserve the concrete by doing crack sealing and joint repairs, and then putting a two-inch hot mix asphalt, HMA, which is a crack relief layer, a new MDOT standard for highways which has been proven to work, and then on top of that, another two inches of HMA asphalt, and then a final lift of 1.5 inches, which will provide 5.5 inches total of HMA over good, reconditioned concrete.
“Once we mill off all the asphalt, we will determine which area (of concrete) needs repair, and do the joint repairs also,” Cruz said.
Sollars said every two years the city conducts a pavement surface evaluation and rating study, and based on that, there are a couple more miles of Beech Daly which the city wants to reconstruct, and some sections of Wick Road as well.
“Most of the major roads that are city roads are in pretty good shape,” he said. “That is always the confusion, though, because there are roads in the city that are in really bad shape, such as Ecorse, but that is a county road, and it is a county responsibility, so we will be obligated to participate in the (Federal Aid Committee) program, where that is an 80/20 match, so if the county comes in and resurfaces Ecorse Road, we will be responsible for 20 percent of that match.”
Sollars said the city is committing a significant amount of money to Goddard and Pardee roads.
“It could potentially limit the local road construction, however, talking to the state, they continue to tell us that the Act 51 dollars are going to increase, not decrease,” he said. “We have yet to see that happen, though.”
Sollars also noted that 25 percent of the city of Taylor is in a tax incremental finance authority district, so TIFA budgets will be responsible for roads within its boundaries.