Park City Utilities Dealing With Road Damage Including Large Potholes
As spring approaches Park City utilities department is dealing with an increase in road damage including deep potholes.
Park City Municipal’s Street and Streetscapes Manager Troy Dayley says that Deer Valley Drive and Bonanza are two of the worst when it comes to big potholes, especially the one connecting Heber Avenue to Deer Valley Drive. Dayley explains During the winter the department make temporary fixes to the potholes. Dayley says they can’t make a full repair until late spring.
“What we use is a cold mix,” Dayley explained. “It is soft it stays pliable and we’ll fill the hole with the cold mix and compact it a little bit and allow the traffic to continue to compact it but at the same time it does come out. That’s probably the best way of doing this as opposed to putting hot asphalt in and then water get underneath it. It freezes and it pushes up this block of hard asphalt which becomes a hazard in itself.”
The winter weather also brings frost heaves where water gets underneath the road, freezes and then stays frozen creating a pyramid like shape in the road. Dayley says that heaves will subside as spring comes. Public Utilities Director Clint McAffee says that neither problem is unique to Park City.
“I think we spend about $900,000 a year on pavement management,” McAfee said. “Troy will look at the entire road system in Park City. He has a goal of a remaining service life of 10 years. That means we don’t like to see a road get to where it only has six or seven years left. We try to do the maintenance work in the winter time with potholes. I think the more important factor is the overall pavement management program. We’re keeping 120 miles of pavement in good condition.”
Dayley also discussed the challenges of snow removal from Park City’s narrow streets. He says they’ve used the majority of their budget up. Dayley says in an average year Public Works will haul snow away from town once during the winter, this year they’ve hauled away snow three times. McAfee says the snow hauling is very impactful.
“They have to really bring in a lot of equipment,” McAfee continued. “Pull the snow out into the road, blow it, there’s a line of dump trucks. If we were to do that as it was snowing the traffic would come to a standstill. So, you kind of phase the snow removal. You scrape it off the road when its snowing. Typically, these guys come in the middle of the night and do the old town area. So it’s really about balancing community impact and keeping the roads going during the snowstorm.”
Dayley explains that the department budgets for an average snow pack, in years such as last year with a low snow pack the unspent funds return to the city coffers. With this year’s snow pack being 132% of normal thus far the department has requested additional funding. In 2008 the city set aside a contingency fund of $50,000 which the department has used on a few occasions. Dayley says that amount should cover this year’s shortfall. McAffee says the department is prepared for the challenges of spring.
“Troy and his team, since storm water has become a priority, have really done a good job at salt reduction,” McAfee explained. “Really conscientious about their application of salt rather than just turning the spreader on and driving around town they’re really becoming misers about salt use so we’re seeing monetary savings but also increased water quality from less TDS in the creeks and runoff season. The other thing is the city hauls all of their snow to the Quinn’s area to a contained facility and it does have storm water protections in place. On a big year like this you might get some spill over but generally it’s the melt and runoff, and all the garbage and salt and nasty stuff that gets hauled out there with the snow is contained in kind of a big basin and then in infiltrates into the ground.”