MUNROE FALLS -- The good news is that the city streets have been given a "B" grade overall.
The bad news is that to maintain or improve that rating, it's going to cost money.
At the Jan. 10 meeting, Council members and the administration heard a report from the GPD Group, the engineering firm contracted by the city.
"It's rough; it's a work in progress," said Dave Martin of GPD. He stressed it was not a final recommendation on how much money the city should spend or what streets should be considered a priority, but rather a preliminary look at the condition of the streets and estimated amounts to improve or maintain the infrastructure.
The Pavement Condition Ratings is the system developed by the Ohio Department of Transportation in conjunction with the Federal Highway Administration System, according to GPD. Each street will start with a score of 100 and then points are deducted for such issues as cracking, potholes, etc.
Martin noted the ratings are subjective ones based on visual observations.
Overall, the cumulative PCR for the city is 76.55, Martin said, giving it the B grade. Ratings between 0 and 40 receive a Very Poor (F) rating; 41 to 55 are Poor (E); 56-65, Fair to Poor (D); 66-75, Fair (C); 76-90, Good (B); and 91-100, Very Good (A).
One street received a PCR of 100 -- Gay Road from Castle Drive to its deadend. The lowest PCR -- 49.2 -- was given to Richard Drive from Spriggle Drive to Munroe Falls Avenue.
Several scenarios were presented based on the preliminary PCR projections. Martin said one was a "do nothing" scenario. In that case, Martin said, the 76.55 PCR in 2017 would drop to 62.53 by 2022 if no money was allocated for improvements and/or maintenance. The estimated cost for an entire infrastructure rehab would be almost $6.4 million in 2018 but would double to almost $12 million in 2022, as the roads deteriorated.
Under the "do nothing" scenario, F-graded streets would go from 0 to 7 percent of the total number of streets in the five years, with E streets jumping from 4 percent to 18 percent and D streets from 7 percent to 42 percent. Conversely, streets in the C, B and A ratings would drop significantly. Presently, 40 percent have a C rating -- that would decrease to 17 percent in that time frame. B streets would drop from 39 percent to 11 percent and A streets would be cut in half, from 10 percent to 5 percent.
'This shows the importance of maintaining infrastructure," Martin noted. "It shows the ramifications of doing nothing, which is what's been done in the last 10 years."
He reported that asphalt roadways have a life of about 15 years, while concrete one can last 25 to 30.
In the second scenario, Martin based what changes would occur in the PCRs depending on an annual set amount for maintenance and improvement.
With an annual expenditure of $300,000 doing the worst roadways first, the city's overall PCR rating would fall from 76.55 to 65 in the five-year period. Spending $575,000 annually would lessen the decline in the rating, dropping it to 68.
The last scenario offered was based on the funds needed to maintain the overall 76.55 PCR. In 2018, the city could need to expend $601,570; it drops to $508,702 in 2019 and goes back up to $664,996 in 2020. Over a 10-year period a low figure would be $468,015 in 2022 and a high of $757, 484 in 2025.
To maintain a PCR of 61 (a D grade), the costs would be around $300,000 in each of the 10 years.
Martin added that the dollar amounts did not have any outside funding, such as federal or state monies that could be available for some streets, factored into the estimates. He noted borrowing to do the repairs and/or maintenance was also a possibility.
"If you wait, you will pay the piper doing the roads -- in fact, you will pay him twice," Martin said.
Martin told Council and the administration GPD plans to return in the next few months with a more definitive plan. Jim Bowery, the city's service director, said there are other factors, such as the need for sidewalks and curbs or waterline work, to be considered in coming up with a list of priority projects. That information would also include reaching out to the county about replacement or improvements to sewer lines.
Council president Steve Stahl thanked the GPD representatives for the presentation. "It was very informative," he said.
Sorry--meant to say "administration". Just one question--why didn't the city have the needed information prior to election day so that priority lists could be created and shared with the voters?
It's a good thing that the citizens approved the capital funds improvement levy! It sounds like the Council and admisistration have quite a bit of work to do in order to create that list of priority projects while staying within the confines of the budget and additional capital imrpovement funds the voters approved. I am confident that they'll be able to do it!