As part of its major construction projects planned for this year, Oregon earmarked $800,000 for its roadway improvement program when it put together this year’s budget last November.
Roads had taken a backseat since the recession in 2008. As the local economy stabilized due to cost cutting measures and industrial development, city officials decided to ramp up the road program this year.
With area roadways littered with potholes in the midst of record low temperatures and snow accumulation, the timing couldn’t have been better.
Councilman James Seaman said at a council meeting in January that Brown Road is among the roads that has been hit hard this winter.
“Parts of Brown Road really seem to be affected by this weather, with the cold, freezing, and plowing,” said Seaman. “Fortunately, we do have a significant amount of money for road repair. We’re going to need it. This weather is just playing havoc with the roads”
Councilman Terry Reeves said he was surprised to see that some newly repaved roads, particularly in Toledo, are marked by potholes.
“Some of the roads that were just redone within the last year or year and a half, have gigantic potholes with the asphalt. What causes that? How does that happen with brand new asphalt?” he asked.
Public Service Director Paul Roman said one inch of asphalt overlay lasts just one year.
“Then eventually the cracks will protrude through that one inch layer. So if you do a two to three inch layer, you have about two or three years. The trick to it all is why was the crack there to begin with? What was the reason for doing the road? We always try to mill it down to try and see what’s going on with the base. We do a lot of base repairs. In past years when we were short on money, we tried to do a lot of base repairs. In those situations where we had done them, even without doing a full overlay, it’s not as pretty. But we took care of the main problem. The question is, when they did all that work in other areas, did they take care of the original problem? If all they did was an overlay, you’re going to see those same problems come right back up within a year or two. And that’s a problem. Again, when we do our projects, they may be a little more costly, but we’re actually doing base repair. On Corduroy Road, it’s bumpy right now because we’re doing a lot of base repair. There are these old joints.
But that will pay off in the future,” said Roman.
Reeves said he drove down the Anthony Wayne Trail recently and swerved to avoid hitting large potholes.
“It’s like slalom skiing trying to miss them. That’s how bad it is,” he said.
Roman said another “culprit” contributing to the deteriorating roadways is poor drainage.
“In some cases, you never had proper drainage for a road. As cold as it is, when you have more freeze-thaw cycles, more warm ups and more rain events in the winter, that’s what causes deterioration. If the drainage is poor it’s even worse,” he said.
“I think the City of Toledo has already acknowledged that when the Trail was repaved,” said Councilman Jerry Peach, “they didn’t do a number of drainage repairs and did not address several areas. As Mr. Roman pointed out, that just shortens the life of the roadway. When Dustin Road was repaved, you recall that the administration and Paul Roman’s department made the extra effort to make sure the drainage systems that ought to be included protecting the base when it was originally put in was done before we repaved the roadway.”