Back in 2013, the Davis City Council adopted a funding strategy to allocate roughly $4 million of local funds annually to support pavement maintenance for streets and bike paths. The council will be asked to approve the Draft 2016 Pavement Management Report.
The Pavement Management Program “focuses on a few key factors to provide ‘big picture’ long-term (20-year) forecasts of which streets should be addressed each year, while still requiring some human judgment for refinement on a year-to-year basis.”
According to the city, key factors include “the current condition of the pavement, the street classification (arterials, collectors, local streets), the maintenance treatment strategy (patch repairs, surface seals, overlays and reconstruction to name a few) for each street classification, and the available budget to perform maintenance.”
In the last round of maintenance, 65% went to paving, 28% to ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance, and 8% to bike paths. Staff notes that “due to the bid amounts, only 8% of the contract amount went to the bike paths,” and for future work, “Staff will add longer segments of path to resurface so the cumulative percent approaches 15% or higher.”
In 2012, the city surveyed the entire network of streets and bike paths. “In 2015, the City again surveyed the arterials and collectors. City Staff will continue to survey the street and path networks every three years for arterials and collectors (next surveys in 2018 and 2021) and every six years for local streets and bike paths (next surveys in 2018 and 2024).”
There has also been some discussion about the proper inflation rate for 20-year scenarios. Staff notes, “In the 2012 Pavement Management Report from NCE [Nichols Consulting Engineers, Chtd.], an inflation rate of 8% was used for the 20-year scenarios. This was based on a projected rate for the increase in oil prices according to Caltrans. Since then, the price of oil has decreased. Our consultant NCE recommended using 6% for this report. However, NCE surveyed surrounding municipalities and found that the majority were using 3%. This would give rise to the assumption that they felt the price of oil would continue to decrease from current prices.”
Based on this, NCE was asked to run under both 3% and 6% inflation rates.
Staff notes that only Scenarios 3 and 6 meet the current PCI (Pavement Condition Index) goals. That scenario finds that the city needs to average about $5.1 million per year in order to meet current projections. That would put the city somewhere between $109 and $150 million with a backlog of between $32 and $58 million if these inflation scenarios hold.
However, “When factors are applied for non-pavement allocations, construction contingencies and soft costs that results in an average annual total project budget need of approximately $10M.”
This is two and half times more than the $4 million currently being budgeted. Clearly, even under a revised inflation projection, the city is still in need of additional tax revenues.
In 2013, the council made the following decisions:
- Budgeting the Program: Since 2008 virtually all of the past Federal funding mechanisms have disappeared with the exception of competitive SACOG grants. Cities must apply for the SACOG grants annually and compete with other cities for a limited amount of money. The submitted projects must show a “complete street” component or other type of enhancement. Pavement maintenance is not typically competitive for grant programs. City Council considered several budgeting options and landed on the one listed in Fiscal Impacts (allocate roughly $4 Million of local funds annually to support pavement maintenance for the City’s streets and multi-use paths).
- Priority Local Streets: Staff presented a list of local streets that were near parks, schools, commercial districts, and other points of interest. These streets were approved by Council and re-classified in StreetSaver as Collectors.
- Target PCIs: Staff presented, and Council approved, target PCIs for arterials, collectors and local streets as shown in Pavement Condition Index comparison Table above. Council also directed that the target, average PCI for bike paths should be equal to or greater than the highest PCI in the street classifications (PCI of 68).
- Pavement Management Scenarios: Many scenarios were presented to Council over the year. The basic conclusions drawn from these scenarios is that it will take more funding than is currently being budgeted to improve the street and path conditions in the next twenty years and that the more funding allocated as early as possible improves the situation versus waiting (as streets approach low PCI levels the likelihood of complete reconstruction increases – a considerably more expensive project).
The 2016 pavement project will continue to attempt to improve the streets. Staff notes that “the PCI goals for arterials and collectors have been met for the next few years but the goals for local streets and bike paths have not. Additionally, during the construction season of 2016, two projects are anticipated to be in construction that will resurface Mace Boulevard (an arterial, CIP 8257), from Montgomery Avenue to Chiles Road; and L Street (a collector, CIP 8256), from Fifth Street to Covell Boulevard. Both of these projects will receive significant funds from SACOG grants (roughly $3.3 million for both projects).”
Staff recommends, due to “the fact that currently the target PCIs for arterials and collectors have been reached and the fact that two arterial and collector streets are being resurfaced in 2016 with SACOG grants,” that the 2016 budget focus on local streets.
Staff continues to receive complaints about their poor condition. “With the exception of east Olive Drive which requires full reconstruction, all of these streets are local streets requiring preventative maintenance treatments.”
Staff will return to council in March to present the final list of local streets and bike paths recommended for the 2016 Pavement Project. “The approximately $4M Council directed investment is making a meaningful difference in the City’s ability to more pro-actively address pavement management. Substantial pavement rehabilitation projects have been accomplished with these funds.”
However, to approach a truly sustainable pavement management system “will require investment of $10M annually.” To get there, the city will need to implement new revenue measures.
—David M. Greenwald reporting