City begins road repaving in residential areas

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A map of the city of Kent with roads to be repaired highlighted in yellow.

Alicia Balog

Kent residents may want to add five or 10 minutes to their travel time for the next few weeks as the city has started repairing 15 roads in local residential neighborhoods.

Jim Bowling, Kent superintendent of engineering, said the road repair project involves repaving five residential roads and repairing 10 others. He said the division uses factors such as a pavement condition index to determine what roads to repair.

“It’s basically like a rating from 0 to 100, rating the quality of the pavement,” he said. “Every other year, we have an outside firm come in and get the PCI (pavement condition index) rankings for all the streets in the city by block.”’

The engineering division also uses road classification and the amount of traffic in its decision, Bowling said.

“We also need to take into consideration that some streets, say, like Fairchild Avenue – Fairchild Avenue has over 10,000 cars a day compared to some residential streets that may be in worse condition, but they only have 200 cars a day,” he said. “So that those with higher traffic counts will affect more of the general public, and therefore, we’ll want to get to those streets…we won’t let them get in as bad a condition as some of the streets that have less traffic on them.”

Availability of outside funding also affects which streets are chosen to be repaired or repaved. Bowling said if a road is a federally classified road, the city could receive federal funds to repave it.

The city uses a mix of city, state and federal funding to pay for projects like these. Bowling said the current 12-road project costs $780,000, which includes the contractors’ labor and material costs.

Potential contractors submit bids that include the costs of materials and labor and Kent Engineering Division chooses the contractor, which Kent City Council approves based on past experience and lowest bid, Bowling said.

The city contracted Delta Asphalt, Inc., a Tallmadge repaving company that has done roadwork before in Kent, to do the repaving and repairs.

Ted Fortseras, senior project manager at Delta Asphalt, said the weather will determine when the repairs will all be done.

“I don’t want to open up everything, have ground surfaces everywhere and then all of the sudden this weather comes,” he said. “Because even though the ground surface still has plenty of asphalt underneath it, it’s still compromised because now it’s just rough, and the cars run over it.”

The company will start the project by tentatively beginning grinding, or removing 2.5 inches of existing asphalt with a milling machine on Beryl Drive and Morris Road on Thursday, Fortseras said.

“After we’re done with the milling, we’re going to clean up the surface so that we can see what we got,” he said.

A city representative will then come and mark areas on the street that need work. Then, the company will do repairs on the subgrade and add a leveling course of asphalt, a geotextile fabric and a surface course.

The work on Beryl Drive and Morris Road, the two bigger projects, will take one to two weeks, Fortseras said. After work on the roads is complete, the company will possibly start work on repaving the three other streets and then repairing the remaining 10.

Fortseras said the crews will temporarily close roads during the paving but might keep it open during other parts of the process.

“For the safety of travel and all workers, we ask that you maintain safe speeds through the work zones that will be properly signed,” he said. “Proper signage will be in place and flaggers in place if necessary.”

Contact Alicia Balog at [email protected].