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    The city focuses significant resources on an annual basis for the maintenance and repair of 600 miles of streets. The City paved 23 miles of streets in 2005  

    Requests for street surface repairs may be relayed directly to the department at (616) 456-3232 during normal working hours. If you are reporting a particularly large pothole that is disrupting the flow of traffic, alert the dispatcher that a barricade may be required.

    Water damage is the usual reason for potholes. This is the reason more potholes occur during the rainy season. During these times, it may take longer to respond to requests because of the work volume. Rain can also contribute to a slower response time because asphalt can not be applied effectively in wet conditions.

    Pavement Management:

    The City has a Pavement Management program that prioritizes streets repairs by pavement and ride condition. Pavement management is a continuous, year-round evaluation and record-keeping process whose goal is to extend the normal life span of asphalt and concrete surfaces through a variety of maintenance applications used at pre-determined ranges of the road surface condition.

    If we look at the life span of 20-year pavement, its rating of excellent to fair condition would last only 12-15 years. Within 15-20 years, its rating would fall below fair to completely failed.  In order to extend pavement life, maintenance and repairs need to be scheduled and performed before the surface falls to a fair condition.  The pavement management system monitors the condition and deterioration and suggests appropriate maintenance applications.

    Why is Pavement Management important?

    If the City of Grand Rapids is able to keep up with street maintenance, it will ensure a smoother, safer ride.  In addition, Pavement Management saves time and money. Scheduling and performing street maintenance and repairs is considerably less than completely rebuilding the streets every 15-20 years. For every $1.00 spent now on maintenance and repairs, it would cost $4.00 to $5.00 later to rebuild the same streets.

    With all the Streets in Grand Rapids, how does Pavement Management do it?

    A specialized computer system allows employees to keep a current inventory on the conditions of the City' 565 miles of paved surfaces. Pavement condition is rated on a Pavement Condition Index (PCI) scale from 0-100, 100 being excellent, 0 equaling very poor. 

    A PCI rating of between 55-65 is considered the "critical condition" at which point roadways begin to slip into the range where more complex and expensive repairs need to be made.  Roadway condition data is entered into Pavement Management software and is continuously updated. This software prints out all possible streets that need to be put on the schedule for maintenance/repairs.

    How do projects get on the list for repairs?

    After a list of all potential road repair needs for the upcoming construction season is generated from the computer analysis, the Pavement Management Team evaluates each road segment to determine the highest priorities. This evaluation is done in coordination with other agencies, such as utility companies, to arrange work schedules years in advance.  Funding and future projects (such as the East Side CSO) are also taken into consideration when developing a work plan.

    No longer are repairs done using the "squeaky wheel" scenario. Instead projects are carefully planned and executed as part of a structured maintenance program.  By making the right fixes to the right streets at the right time, resources are used most effectively to ensure the highest possible level of safety and driveablity of the City's street system.

    What is the goal?

    The goal over the next 15-years is to bring the average PCI of City streets to 70 or higher.  We believe this will provide for an excellent riding surface on City roads, decreasing complaints and making travel safer.  In addition, maintaining roads once at this level is less expensive than in the critical PCI range of 55-65 or below.

    Street Operations:

    Specific services provided by the Street Maintenance Division span a wide variety of service ranges from basic maintenance operations, such as pothole patching to all types of Emergency Response to Special Events. Major services include:

    • Street and alley pothole repair
    • Crack and joint sealing
    • Street resurfacing
    • Trench repairs
    • Larger scale street and alley repair
    • Shoulder maintenance
    • Curb reconstruction
    • Street resurfacing
    • Brick street repair/restoration
    • Cleaning and mowing of rights of way, medians, street islands, and vacant lots.
    • Response to severe storms and other weather related emergencies, natural disasters, transportation.

    Emergency Street Repairs:

    Street Maintenance responds 24 hours daily to all types of street repair needs. Telephones are answered around the clock and crews are dispatched immediately for HAZARDOUS SITUATIONS. To report any of the following hazardous situations after normal work hours
    (M-F 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.) call 456-3232.

    • Dangerous potholes
    • Stopped up street drains or flooding
    • Debris blocking streets or alleys or creeks
    • Loose or missing storm sewer lids
    • Missing or damaged guard rails