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Published: Sunday, 2/3/2013

Toledo City Council will consider UT engineering students to assess streets

BY IGNAZIO MESSINA
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Toledo City Council next week will consider continuing the city’s 15-year tradition of sending college engineering students to assess street conditions.

The Bell administration is asking council to approve spending $73,508 this year and up to $80,000 next year to help pay for the joint citywide, street-by-street review project with University of Toledo students.

“We get actual field data and they go out and take pictures and do ratings of the streets,” said Dave Dysard, Toledo administrator of engineering service. “Each street is rated every three years and we have a running three-year picture of pavement conditions in the city. UT has viewed this as a partnership opportunity where they [get] to do research … and [are] helping the community they are in.”

The data helps the city to decide whether to rebuild or repave a street, he said.

“There is a computer-based system where you evaluate different types of treatments — tearing it out and rebuilding or just doing a resurfacing by taking off the top three inches, or seal just the cracks,” Mr. Dysard said. “Sometimes you want to spend more money on preventative [work] rather than sinking all your money on rebuilding. There is really a science and artistry to selecting the proper treatment.”

The city has worked with UT’s college of engineering since 1998 to develop and use a “Pavement Management Information System.” It always has been a jointly funded program with contributions from both the city and the university. The 2013 project will include $62,241 from UT.

UT reviews two council districts each year. Last year, districts 1 and 2 were studied and this year, districts 3 and 4 will be studied.

Toledo City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved the city’s 2013 operating budget and capital improvements budget — which includes funding to repair or replace a record number of lane miles.

Mayor Mike Bell’s capital improvements budget sets aside funding for paving 51 miles of road lanes. In all, the city plans to repave 61 miles of roadways, because there is funding left from previous years. About 23 of the 61 lane miles are residential roads throughout Toledo’s neighborhoods and downtown.

Major projects this year will include Secor Road between Central Avenue and Monroe Street as well as part of Collingwood Boulevard in the Old West End.

District 3 Councilman Mike Craig said surveyors won’t have a hard time finding streets needing repair in East Toledo and his section of South Toledo.

“A lot of my smaller streets — secondary and strictly residential streets — are in bad shape,” Mr. Craig said. “A few of my primary streets are in bad shape. Part of Oak Street is just a mess. ... This [citywide street review] puts an objective number on the condition of your streets so no one can say ‘you are just saying that because it is your district.’”

Contact Ignazio Messina at: imessina@theblade.com or 419-724-6171.



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