The Street Division has many responsibilities. They provide regular and preventive street maintenance, service programs to residents and other communities, as well as perform emergency service responsibilities.
Regular Maintenance includes:
• Patching potholes
• Concrete Repairs
A supervisor drives every street in the City by work district twice a year. Each pothole is logged. Large and dangerous holes are logged separately. The pothole crew then uses this list to determine where to patch. Large and dangerous holes are completed first. Completion dates, man-hours and materials are all tracked in a computer.
The Street Division mows grass and weeds during the warm months of the year. This is done mostly on City maintained areas. We do, however, mow high visibility areas of right-of-way.
The Street Division maintains ditches as time allows. Manpower restrictions prevent us from doing ditch maintenance on a day-to-day basis.
This is the removal of deteriorated areas of concrete pavement. Due to manpower restrictions, this program can only be done during the fall and winter seasons when other maintenance work cannot be done.
Concrete Street Marker Replacement
The concrete street marker program is designed to straighten, replace, and refurbish the white street markers that were once common place in the older neighborhoods of St. Joseph. Principally bounded by 36th Street, concrete markers were installed at street corners to identify the intersecting streets for the public.
Modern street signage conforms with the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) and utilizes signs mounted on a steel post, with white letters on a green field. However, the City Council has requested that standard signage be supplemented with the maintenance and refurbishment of concrete markers.
The program involves in-house efforts from the Street Division, during off-peak periods, to cast the markers, re-set, and paint the markers. Areas are designated annually for work and are completed in that calendar year.
This type of maintenance is done to prevent, or slow down, pavement
deterioration. Preventive maintenance has helped reduce the City’s
needed resurfacing from 86 miles to less than 12 miles. Preventive
maintenance programs include the following:
• Joint and Crack-sealing
• Permanent Asphalt Repairs
Micro-surfacing is a mixture of emulsified asphalt, aggregate, cement and polymers. Micro-surfacing is spread in various thickness over a pavement. This protects the asphalt pavement from the harmful effects of weather and UV rays from the sun. The more protection a pavement has, the longer it will last. The City of St. Joseph places its own micro seal for a cost of $.97 per sq. yd. Statistics show that a surface seal such as micro-surfacing, placed every 5 to 7 years, will keep a pavement in excellent condition for an indefinite period of time. Micro-surfacing will make a good pavement better. It will not make a bad pavement good.
Joint and crack-sealing is done on concrete and asphalt pavements to prevent the intrusion of surface water into the pavement. This prevents base failure and pavement deterioration. Crack-sealing is usually done for the first five years after a street is resurfaced. After that, micro-surfacing is done to seal the pavement surface.
This program removes any areas in a pavement that could cause pavement failure. The program is done within the micro-surfacing program.
The Street Division also provides public services. They include the
• Culvert Installation
• Alley Maintenance
• Program Assistance
Street sweeping is done on all curbed streets, by work district, at least twice annually.
Street flushing is done along with street sweeping as a joint operation.
The Street Division has a unique culvert installation program. Residents can purchase a culvert from the City at the City’s cost, and get it installed by Street Division crews. The pipe must be installed in the street right-of-way. Residents cannot purchase culverts from the City and install them themselves or on private property.
The Street Division does not have maintenance responsibilities in alleys. They do, however, provide minimal maintenance. The Street Division will blade a gravel alley at no cost to the property owners. If rock is required, the Street Division will haul, spread and compact the rock in 8-ton increments if the property owners purchase the rock. The City will also patch concrete and asphalt alleys if the property owners purchase the material. Some restrictions apply.
The Street Division provides assistance to other communities. This involves technical support and advice in helping them set up programs like we are currently using. Such programs include snow removal, ice control and pavement management.