Auburn, Calif – Placer County’s investment in road maintenance work is getting a big boost this year.
The Public Works Department maintains more than 1,000 miles of roads in unincorporated areas throughout the county. The county pared back the road maintenance budget significantly during the recession, but has been working to restore budget support since then. The 2015-16 proposed county budget, similar to the budget approved for 2014-15, includes an additional General Fund contribution of $1 million for roads.
“I compare road maintenance projects to having the oil changed in cars and trucks,” explained Engineering Manager Kevin Taber of the county’s road maintenance division. “Oil changes don’t make a car run noticeably better, but help prevent major breakdowns that require expensive repairs. Road maintenance projects are a cost-effective way to achieve a similar goal: prolonging the life spans of county roadways.”
Work has already been completed on the first of this year’s three major projects: a $1.8 million road resurfacing program that provided chip-seal and other surface treatments on almost 50 miles of various county roadways. For the chip-seal work, Telfer Highway Technologies used smaller rocks than usual and swept roads after work was completed to give bicyclists a smoother ride on newly resurfaced roadways.
Chip-seal treatments provide good wearing surfaces and act as weather-proofing membranes. They typically are used on rural roads with relatively low traffic volumes or as the bottom layers of multi-layer surface treatments.
On July 7, the Placer County Board of Supervisors awarded a $1.4 million contract to Teichert Construction of Rocklin for the second project: a hot mix asphalt overlay treatment for English Colony Way, Seeno Avenue, Cedar Oaks Drive and Fuller Drive in the Granite Bay area. In addition, overlays are scheduled for stretches of Virginiatown Road affected by pipe-laying work for the Mid-Western Placer Regional Sewer Project.
Work on that project got underway last week and paving is set to begin this week. Hot mix asphalt overlays are a maintenance option used to extend the useful lives of roadway pavement. The overlays reduce the rate of deterioration, correct surface deficiencies, reduce permeability and improve ride quality.
On July 21, the board approved going out to bid on another $1.4 million project: hot mix asphalt overlay work at North Lake Tahoe. Approximately six miles of roads in Carnelian Bay will receive overlays.
The board is tentatively scheduled to award a contract on Sept. 1 so work on the project can begin after the Labor Day holiday.
The selection of roads for maintenance work is based on such factors as road conditions, traffic volumes and funding.