Monday, March 23, 2015

Cleveland City Council announces plan to deal with poor conditions of streets - increasing funding by 2016 from $4.4 to $10 million per year

Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley held a meeting at noon Monday to announce a comprehensive plan to resurface city streets and fix pot holes.

The Council President provided information on intent to create a detailed systematic plan to resurface every roadway in the city at least every 20 years and maintain streets through aggressive crack sealing and repairing every year.

The following are notes from today's Council Caucus where we discussed plans for a comprehensive plan to deal with the poor conditions of City streets.

2012 Pavement Conditions Ratings for primary and secondary roadways in Cuyahoga County.  Source NOACA.
  • Funding Amounts -- City Council has in recent years been allocated $4.4 million per year, divided by the Wards for streets resurfacing.  In working with the Administration, Council estimates that the City would need to expend $8 to $10 million per year, to adequately maintain and bring the conditions of Cleveland streets to acceptable standards.
    • The city of Cleveland has spent approximately $31 million over the last ten years 10 years on streets resurfacing.  During those ten one year of funding was aggregated and expended using a pavement management system where the Administration made unilateral decisions of what streets would be resurfaced.  Another year funding was reallocated to focus on seal coating across the city, of streets that were resurfaced since 2008 - newer streets where best practices deem it is important to seal coat in years 2-4, which can extend a street's life by 2-5 years.
  • Street Resurfacing costs were referred to indicating the challenges of the increased costs for resurfacing and maintaining streets:  For the late 1980's early 1990's -- asphalt costs increased from an average of $6 per ton to between $15-20 per ton;  Trucking costs increased from $20 to almost $40 per truck load.
  • The plan calls for a comprehensive and systematic approach.  Five percent of the City's streets would be targeted for resurfacing per year.  Over a twenty year period, all City street's would be resurfaced.  The system began to a certain extent when the Administration and Council agreed to use bond funding tyo ensure all newer streets (two to four years old), were crack-seal coated several years ago.  Those A-conditioned streets will likely gain three to five years of useful life due to that best practice management approach.
  • Leveraging Bond Funds.  The City's Administration will continue to leverage City bond funds for obtaining matching NOACA and State road funding.  In recent years the City leveraged $2 million in City funding for $12 million in NOACA funding for purpose of resurfacing select Cleveland streets.  The amounts of funding needed for leveraging other funds will decrease.


  1. When was the City's last pavement management system completed?  2009, status of new update - completed a windshield survey, how do we sustain the system)
    • 2009; City Administration has conducted a "windshield survey" to update for this construction period the city's worst streets (5%).  List will be available soon for planning resurfacing expenditures for this year (estimated $6 million, $350k per Ward, or $110k more than previous year's $240k).
  2. Request a list of streets per ward with Pavement Condition Ratings (PSR) of all streets
    • As indicated above, City Administration will provide worst streets list per Ward, and an update of the City-wide PSR will be completed by 2016.
  3. Of the $8 to $10 million, does this include maintenance ?, i.e., seal coating, brick maintenance of brick streets, repairing failed utility cuts etc...
    • No.
  4. Resurfacing funds allocated to Wards must be spent each year. In response to balances of funds.
  5. Concern for transparency and responsible management - that data from the PSR and data showing what streets are done and how money is spent be communicated to Council and the public.
    • Discussion regarding other city departments and problems with sharing information and management systems and processes, i.e., 311-system, street plowing and pot-hole progress, etc..
  6. Alleys and Courts are considered public streets and will be eligible for the additional funding.
    • Discussion about the need to maintain alleys and courts and utilize them as service alleys as intended, i.e., trash collection, snow plowing, street light maintenance, etc..
  7. Concern for not guaranteeing a minimum amount to be allocated to each Ward and being told that funds will be allocated equitably and that Council leadership and the Administration will make decisions.
    • Some members discussed after the meeting for getting commitment for 75% - 80% of total funding distributed per year, for the next 5-years in equal distributions.  The remaining 20-25% would be utilized for equitable resurfacing as discussed.   


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