YORKVILLE – Nobody likes to drive on a bumpy roadway, especially when that street is in front of the motorist’s own home.
Those ruts in the road are what engineers and street maintenance professionals call “pavement deflection,” and they can produce a rough ride.
And if a street isn’t repaved in a timely fashion, the roadway will end up needing to be completely reconstructed, a far more expensive proposition than a simple resurfacing.
That’s why the city of Yorkville has an aggressive pavement management program designed to rehabilitate its streets before they are too far gone.
For several years, the city was playing catch-up, after maintenance was deferred because of the 2008-09 recession.
“It’s improving greatly from where we were 10 years ago,” Yorkville Public Works Director Eric Dhuse said.
The city has been spending about $1 million a year on engineering and the actual construction work, Dhuse said.
In most cases, workers grind down the street surface by two inches and then repave the roadway.
They also install new sidewalks at street intersections in order to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Dhuse said.
The work includes widening the walkway, reducing the slope of the ramp leading from the sidewalk to the street and installing a pad with raised bumps to alert sight-impaired pedestrians that they are approaching the street.
Workers are expected to finish this year’s program by Nov. 1, Dhuse said.
Much of the 2021 effort has been concentrated in the Fox Hill area, including John Street, a major collector street serving local neighborhoods on the city’s northwest side.
The city typically targets a particular area because the streets tend to be the same age and are due for resurfacing and also because the construction crews can work more efficiently. As a result, the city gets lower bids for the resurfacing projects.
“We get the economy of scale,” Dhuse said.
Next year, the city will spend $1.5 million on the pavement maintenance program, and a major target will be the adjacent Greenbriar and Sunflower subdivisions on the southwest side of the city.
The streets there were constructed in 1993 and 1994, Dhuse said. They clearly are in need of resurfacing.
On a drive through that area on a recent rainy day, there was plenty of pavement deflection in evidence, with water pooling in ruts running along the edges of the streets.
The city uses a system called LIDAR, for Light Detection and Ranging, to inspect the condition of its streets, City Administrator Bart Olson said.
The system operates on the same principle as radar, but uses light lasers to determine if pavement deflection is beginning to occur beneath the surface.
As a result, the city is able to develop and continually update a five-year plan for scheduling the annual repaving work.
The 2022 plan has already been approved by the City Council. The city will go out for construction bids in January and the work is expected to begin on May 1, at the start of the city’s fiscal year, Dhuse said.
The 2022 pavement program includes the following streets:
Bruell Street from East Main Street to Wooddale Drive.
Burning Bush Drive.
Cannonball Trail from Route 34 to John Street.
Cannonball Trail from Route 34 to Blackberry Shore Lane.
Coral Berry Court.
Crimson Lane from Countryside Parkway to the north end.
East Main Street from Sanders Court to Bruell Street.
Prairie Point Drive from McHugh Road to Crimson Lane.
Spice Bush Court.
West Barberry Circle.
Walsh Drive from Route 71 to Greenbriar Road.
Worsley Street from East Main Street to the south end.