Rocky Fork Enterprise

Gahanna council planning 2013 road improvements

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Gahanna City Council is considering legislation to bid its 2013 roadway improvements.

City engineer Karl Wetherholt said $500,00 has been appropriated for the capital maintenance project that would consist of asphalt resurfacing, slurry seal and crack seal on various streets. He told council committee Feb. 25 that Wittenberg Street, Marquis Court and Haymarket Place also have been identified for the city's Detroit Street rebuild program for which $400,000 has been appropriated.

He requested the roadway-improvement program and Detroit Street rebuild be bid as a package.

The Detroit-style street originally was all concrete pavement and wasn't designed for the addition of an asphalt surface, according to Mike Andrako, deputy service director. Over the decades, as funds became too limited to properly repair the concrete street, the Detroit-style streets began to receive a thin asphalt overlay, resulting in problems with drainage at driveways and downspout drains.

Since the late 1980s, Andrako said, the city has been reconstructing those streets as funds allow. For the past decade, that has amounted to about one street per year.

Detroit-style streets are rebuilt to today's street standards and include an asphalt surface, a concrete base and a separate curb and gutter.

Gahanna has about 12 miles of Detroit-style streets remaining in the city; that equates to about 11 percent of the entire roadway network, according to Andrako.

City Council members heard a presentation from Wetherholt and service director Dottie Franey about the 25-year outlook for the Gahanna street-paving program during the meeting.

Wetherholt said Andrako devised a method that rates streets every year.

The system is based on a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 being a perfect rating.

Four categories are used to rate the streets, including extent of cracking, concrete condition, crack-seal condition and pavement defects.

The city targets paving projects for streets where the majority of the pavement is rated as a 75 or below to meet the goal of a rating of 75 or above.

The five-year cost for asphalt overlay is $4.9 million to meet minimum requirements to sustain the city's streets.

Assistant city administrator Brandi Braun said the administration would continue to delve into several parts of the city's five-year plan during future committee meetings because many of those projects drive the May ballot's income tax proposal.

Braun said street maintenance is one service Gahanna would increase significantly if voters approve of raising the city's income tax rate from 1.5 to 2.5 percent. Concurrently, the credit given to residents who pay income taxes to other municipalities would be adjusted from 83.3 to 100 percent.

Mayor Becky Stinchcomb said she would begin "Coffee with the Mayor" as another opportunity for the public to ask questions about the May ballot issue. Coffees will be at Panera Bread at 7:30 a.m. March 7, 11 a.m. March 14, 2 p.m. March 21 and 5 p.m. March 28.

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