Grading our roads

1st St. East — especially the blocks to the south of Elm St. — has been labeled by the City as one of the worst streets in town. Photo / Per Peterson

Preventative Maintenance Plan one step in addressing failing roadways

By Per Peterson

With a number of Tracy streets getting a complete overhaul during the last few years, Tracy Public Works Director Shane Daniels on Monday updated the city council on the ones that aren’t.

As part of a Pavement Maintenance Planning presentation, Daniels offered a glimpse of the condition of the city’s roads — from those deemed “excellent,” to the ones considered “bad.”

Daniels said road maintenance has been an ongoing issue for decades in Tracy and was a talking point at last week’s budget workshop.

“There is a lot of maintenance that needs to be done,” Daniels said.

Roads were rated by their current condition:

Excellent — free from cracks, minimal surface wear, usually less than 5 years old (ex. 4th St. East)

Good — minor cracks, minimal surface wear, usually about 5-8 years old, due for crack sealing and seal coating (ex. 4th and Morgan)

Fair — Several cracks have formed, overdue in crack sealing, seal coating and chip sealing, about 12-20 years old with minimal maintenance performed (north 4th St. East)

Poor — starting to form “alligator” cracks, well overdue on maintenance, could be prolonged if immediate action is taken, could be a mill and overlay candidate if base is good, usually over 20 years old, has been poorly maintained (ex. Greenwood Ave.)

Bad — Too far gone to save and have a durable surface, base is likely compromised, potholes have formed, patching is usually done to prevent plows from scraping asphalt off the surface, will need to be reconstructed, may have to mill and turn to gravel (ex. 1st St. East).

Daniels said they are in the information-gathering stage of road inventory to track current conditions of all roads in the city. He said maintenance is a more cost-effective approach versus mill and overlay or total street reconstruction projects.

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.