View Mobile Site

Lathrop streets need $2.9 million in maintenance on annual basis

Text Size: Small Large Medium
POSTED April 2, 2013 1:46 a.m.

LATHROP – When it comes to the condition of its pavement, Lathrop fares better than most.

At least for the time being.

According to Joe Ririe of Pavement Engineering Inc., the asphalt surfaces that handle the community’s traffic – whether it’s a minivan taking the kids to school or a fully-loaded 18-wheeler bound for the freeway – will need some work in the coming years in order to remain in the condition they’re in.

How much work? Some $2.9 million worth every year according to Ririe’s math.

And while the public works department, and its newly-hired director, will have $1.5 million this year to use in order to keep up city roadways, the typical allotment planted in the maintenance fund is $500,000. It is  money the city receives for unmet transit needs that can be used for roadway improvements if there are none that qualify.

Determining when the roads themselves will breakdown, Ririe told the Lathrop City Council in a presentation Monday night, is more of an exact science than most people believe.

Using a chart that showed three declining curves, multi-layered asphalt – the mixture used on nearly all of Lathrop’s arterial and residential streets – will break down faster with more use and with heavier loads.

Just one fully loaded tractor-trailer, Ririe said, passing underneath a freeway crossing is equivalent to almost 15,000 trips by a Chevy S-10 Blazer. Other large vehicles – buses and garbage trucks – also total in the thousands on the same chart.

When extreme heat and excessive moisture are added to the equation, Ririe said the bonding agent that holds the aggregate together breaks down and cracks start to form – which left untreated can lead to potholes and other less-than-desirable conditions.

But all hope is not lost for motorists hoping to keep their alignment in check.

As part of the contract the city inked with Ririe’s firm two years ago (he gave a presentation to the last council that actually gave Lathrop an overall lower grade at the time) a pavement management system – an organized way to determine maintenance and repair schedules – will be utilized as one of the ways that the city will stay ahead of the curve and prevent major breakdowns like the ones they recently overhauled where Interstate 5 intersects with Louise Avenue and Lathrop Road.

“You have 83 centerline miles of roadway at a value of $175 million,” Ririe told the council. “That’s an investment that you want to protect.

Commenting is not available.

Commenting not available.

Please wait ...