The city of Pickerington plans to spend more than $50,000 to crack seal nearly two dozen streets this fall.

The city of Pickerington plans to spend more than $50,000 to crack seal nearly two dozen streets this fall.

After recently increasing the city’s street maintenance budget by approximately $180,000, Pickerington City Council on Sept. 20 unanimously approved an expanded contract for surface repairs to be made to local streets. Pickerington now will spend up to $51,975 for crack sealing on 23 city streets. The work is expected to take place sometime in October.

“Because of the great unit price that we received, city council authorized us to do more streets up to a maximum of $51,975,” said Greg Bachman, Pickerington city engineer. “We could seal 10 to 12 miles (of roadway) total.”

The city will contract with American Pavements Inc. of Plain City for the work.

Initially, Bachman recommended hiring the company to crack seal seven miles of city streets. However, when American Pavements’ base bid came in at $34,650 — or 33 cents per square yard — he asked city council to consider authorizing more money to repair additional streets.

Council members were receptive to the plan, in part because Pickerington paid American Pavements 73 cents per square last year for crack sealing, but also because unappropriated general fund money allowed council earlier this year to increase the city’s street maintenance budget from $20,000 to $200,000.

Rather than increasing the contract amount by 25 percent, as Bachman requested, council approved council member Brian Wisniewski’s proposal to increase it by 50 percent.

“It’s money well spent to protect our roads and to save money in the future,” Bachman said.

According to Bachman, crack sealing entails cleaning out and refilling cracks in asphalt pavement with a sealant. He said the work prevents moisture from getting into the cracks and extends pavement life by two to four years.

“The freeze-thaw cycles in the normal central Ohio winters wreak havoc on our pavements if they are not relatively well-sealed,” Bachman said.

The city engineer’s office has a complete list of the streets identified for this year’s program. Bachman said people living on or near the streets being repaired this fall will be notified before the work starts.

“There will not be any road closures, just lane closures for a few hours at the time,” he said. “Obviously, parked vehicles will have to be moved to do the crack sealing.”