If some Peters Township streets seem like they haven’t been resurfaced since the 20th century, that’s because they haven’t.
The township’s 2019 pavement maintenance program calls for taking care of some locally maintained streets that last were addressed as far back as 1994.
“The average age of the roads on this year’s resurfacing program is nearly 20 years,” Mark Zemaitis, township director of engineering, said. “I like to think we’ve gotten a lot of life out of the roads we’re resurfacing this year.”
He told Peters council members during their Feb. 11 meeting that 30 percent of the 112.8-mile local road network has not been resurfaced for at least a decade and a half, which represents the township’s targeted time frame for meeting the needs of every street.
“While we shoot for the 15-year cycle, the reality is that we usually end up at about 18 years as the average age of the road by the time we resurface it,” he said.
The 2019 pavement maintenance budget is $1.55 million, which will cover between 5.25 and 5.98 miles of road. Four streets, including the one providing access to the township maintenance facility off Meredith Drive, are listed as alternates, with their completion depending on the availability of funds once bids for the project are received.
“As is standard practice, the roads selected for improvement were generally arrived at on the basis of Pavement Condition Index, age, traffic volume and other factors such as groupings, nearby structures, existing detours and known utility projects,” Zemaitis wrote in a letter to township manager Paul Lauer. PCI is a relative statistical measure based on visual evaluation of roughness and surface distress.
Toward the end of the year, the township plans to work with RoadBotics Inc., an East Liberty company that provides automated road assessments using technology including road-mounted cameras. The information gathered will be used in the decision-making process for future resurfacing programs, according to Zemaitis.
Council members also would like to reinstitute their annual tour to see road conditions for themselves, and such a trip will be planned for the spring.
Other road improvements scheduled for this year include a rejuvenator program for 10.5 miles of streets that were resurfaced in 2016 and 2018, and a crack-sealing program of an estimated 6 to 7 miles.