Parkersburg releases tentative road repair list

PARKERSBURG – There should be a smoother ride on more than seven miles of city streets after this summer’s paving program.

Parkersburg Mayor Bob Newell this week released the tentative list of roads to be addressed by in-house and contracted workers in the coming months, noting some tweaks could still be made to the estimated $1.176 million project.

“We’re trying to get the worst of the worst main streets covered,” Newell said, while adding that side streets in too bad a shape to be patched are also addressed.

In the next couple of weeks, the city will put more than 33,000 feet of road milling and paving out to bid. The bid is based on the amount to be paved rather than specific streets, so the list can change as council members make suggestions on roads they’ve received complaints about or other issues arise, Newell said.

“Even after the contract is awarded, we can add or delete streets,” he said.

As it has for the last few years, the city has allocated $1 million for milling and paving in the 2014-15 municipal budget. That follows years of smaller amounts that were divided between the nine council districts.

Newell said that system resulted in a number of “very minor, minor projects” being done and now the city’s playing catch-up.

Still, the projects on this year’s list are spread throughout the city with anywhere from five to seven segments identified for paving in each of the nine districts.

“We touch every part of the city, every district,” Newell said. “You’ll see that some districts are in worse shape than others and longer lengths of paving will be done.”

In addition to the contract, city employees will pave another 4,353 feet of streets. Those roads can be done without first milling the existing surface, Newell said.

Roads to be paved are selected in part based on the Micropaver computer program, which rates the quality of streets based on data entered by city employees. Streets are rated on a scale of zero to 100, said Justin Smith, city engineer.

At 15, the lowest-rated segment set to be paved this year is a portion of East Eighth Street, going west from Swann Street to a dead end. There are others throughout the city with grades of 20 or 25. No road with a rating higher than 45 is on the tentative list.

“We also take a look at the streets that are most heavily traveled,” Newell said.

The longest section planned for paving is 1,755 feet in City Park.

This fall, the Engineering Department will start gathering data for next year’s projects.

“After this paving season, we’ll go out in October and re-rate the streets,” Smith said.