Street Project Information and FAQs

Prioritization?
The resurfacing program and reconstruction program lists are made by prioritizing streets based on their pavement rating that city staff puts together and reviews each year based upon national industry standards for municipal streets.  Streets that fall on the low end of the scale will generally receive the most consideration when deciding to repair a road. Vehicle traffic counts and accident ratios are also considered as factors that influence the decision to improve one street versus another. Other factors including available funding sources, storm water control needs and future projects are also used to establish priorities.

Safety
The City of O’Fallon is always concerned with the safety of its citizens and visitors.  Please be careful in work zones.  The equipment used in road construction is large and loud!  Visibility is not always to the standards the general public is accustomed.  While skilled workers and operators are always cautious, limiting your exposure to safety risks is the most prudent prevention to accidents.  Workers are concentrating on the task at hand and are not necessarily aware of vehicles or spectators.  Accidents can be minimized by following a few simple rules:

Avoid the work areas.

Slow down while in work areas.

If you are watching the operation, stay a safe distant back from equipment.

Realize that the workers are concentrating on their work and their own safety not watching for cars, pedestrians or bicycles darting in and out of their “office”.

If you have children or pets-Supervise them.  Do NOT let them play loose in the yard.  Both are curious and can, and do, put themselves at risk without realizing it.

Be patient.  Most operations are done in less than two days (except reconstruction) and then life is back to normal.

Resurfacing Operations
Streets to be resurfaced will be posted with "No Parking" signs restricting parking and alerting the public to the commencement of roadwork.  Parked cars prevent necessary access to areas scheduled to be improved. Parking is typically prohibited between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.  "No Parking" signs will be placed along the street at least 48 hours in advance of the date the work will start to alert residents and the public.

There may be times where sections of the road will be impossible to safely navigate. The City and its contractors will work with the residents as best as we can to limit this inconvenience and ensure reasonable access to homes and businesses are maintained.  Caution should also be taken to avoid damaging the road and other surfaces. Oil can be spread from the fresh paving to existing pavement and transfer of oil and sealant material to vehicle paint, bottoms of shoes and bicycle tires will result, in some cases, permanent damage.  Whenever possible-please avoid freshly applied materials until work has been completed.
      
What does the resurfacing project consist of?
Four different methods of street surfacing have been used  in O’Fallon in the past:
·         asphalt overlay
·         micro-surfacing
·         reconstruction of driving lane surfaces
·         oil and chip

Overlay is a process in which the contractor mills the existing asphalt surface along the curb, applies an asphalt primer solution and tops this with a sand application.  Finally the contractor places a new asphaltic concrete driving surface over the prepared road substructure. The asphalt used is required to meet IDOT standards.

Milling is necessary when Overlays are not possible due to the crown (cross-slope) of the road being in excess of applicable standards. The milling process consists of grinding down the existing pavement for a predetermined length of the roadway segment at a width of 6’ and depth of about 2”.  Each road segment is closely monitored for proper depth and often times field adjustments are necessary based upon conditions present.  This removes the older, deteriorated pavement to make way for the new pavement to be placed ensuring not to create drainage problems or large bumps at adjoining surfaces and a smooth driving surface.  A prime coat application is placed to help act as a binding agent and sealer for the new bituminous concrete (asphalt) that will be placed on this prepared bed.  The binding agent in conjunction with the bituminous concrete (asphalt) work together chemically to help stabilize the materials preventing the asphalt from breaking apart prematurely and to give the road a long useful life.  Finally, the new bituminous concrete (asphalt) is placed in 2-3” layers and steam rolled to provide a smooth roadway.

The Micro-surfacing process is a resurfacing method that consists of only applying a new surface to the roadway.  A large drivable machine slowly creeps along the road surface being worked applying approximately ½” slurry seal mixture.  This process helps extend the life of the existing pavement with less extensive and costly methods.  The micro-surfacing process has only recently become a viable option for the City of O’Fallon with local contractors now having the capability

Oil and chip is a rehabilitation method that applies an asphalt emulsion primer to the existing road surface and it is then topped with a ¼- ½” aggregate.  This process is the least preferred option that the City will use only on current oil and chip road segments and that do not fit into any of the other available options.

Reconstruction of a road segment will generally consist of removing the entire roadway pavement, curb and gutter and in many cases portions of the substrate and all materials are recycled.  New curb and gutters and road surface is then constructed in approximately the same footprint of the “old” street or road. Existing storm water features are exposed and inspected to ensure their viability.  Often times, new storm water system features must be added or replaced.  Engineered designs and drawings are required in most cases to properly facilitate this type of construction and reduce the impact of the road construction.  Sidewalks are typically added at this time too.  This project is much more costly ($100-200/SqYd) and much more inconvenient to residents, visitors and the motoring public than the other resurfacing options. It is typically held as a last option when no others are available or the street section has reached its maximum life expectancy due to poor soil conditions, excessive traffic loads or problems with the original materials or construction. A street will be closed entirely when this operation is conducted and construction may last for a few months.

How long does the construction take?
Under ideal conditions, the Overlay and Micro-surfacing process will take two to three days.  Reconstruction operations can range from as short as 30 days to as long a year.  Rain or threat of rain, adverse weather conditions, parked vehicles, equipment break-downs or other unexpected problems may delay the process.

How soon can I drive on the new pavement?
After the hot mix asphalt has been applied and rolled, generally light vehicle traffic can resume in 1-3 hours after application. But please drive slowly to prevent damage to your vehicle or the new road surface.  Remember--hotter air temperatures require longer curing times.  Light rain (while reducing the pavement temperature) also presents wheel slip conditions.  Always practice safe driving techniques appropriate to pavement conditions, weather conditions and Rules of the Road in construction areas.

What if I get an asphalt emulsion on my vehicle?
If noticed quickly; 2-5 minutes, water will usually rinse it off. If allowed to set, most hand cleaners and some car care products will make removal easier.  Newer vehicle paints may require professional removal processes and products be used based upon amount of material on the paint surface.  Consultation with auto dealerships or car care specialist is recommended to avoid using products that while removing the asphalt may unknowingly damage painted surfaces. Caution in work areas and taking an alternate route should be considered to prevent this from occurring.

What if asphalt primer and/or rocks get onto my driveway or sidewalk?
Control of this loose material in these areas is reduced by use of qualified application companies, proper application and restricted traffic on fresh surfaces. But occasionally it does happen.  We ask that you sweep it back into the street so that street sweepers can clean it up.  The asphalt primer may stain surfaces and have a sticky characteristic but in time it will usually wear off, although in some cases it will permanently stain surfaces. This is one of the reasons we ask that the road be restricted to traffic use.  There is no method to speed up the proper curing process.  Most times cautious, slow, attentive and restricted use will reduce this condition.  Dependent upon the work schedule, material in curbs and other “loose” material will be removed by the contractor in a day or two.

What if I have a vehicle in the street that does not run?
Please make arrangements to remove all vehicles in the area removed to prevent damage or delays. Vehicles in areas posted No Parking will unfortunately be towed at the owner’s expense. The need for the pavement operations is obvious but additional hazards you may not have considered are:  vehicle being inadvertently damaged by large construction equipment, limited visibility conditions presented to workers and other motorists, damage from material being splattered by passing equipment or vehicles.  Bottom-line; move the vehicle to avoid damage and help prevent damage to your property.

How will I know the construction is completed?
Construction is over when the final application of asphalt material is applied and has cured.  The "No Parking" signs will be removed from your streets and construction vehicles and equipment will be removed from the area.  In some cases, striping of lane features must be applied and this is usually done a week or two following the pavement operation.  Additional cleaning of curbs, sidewalks and driveways in addition to the new surface (in some cases), follows in the days immediately following the paving operation.
   
I had to walk across the newly paved road, should I walk into my home?
NO!  This is not advisable, especially on hot days. Inspect and remove your shoes before walking in your house or getting into your car. The “oil” (asphalt) from the road will take time to cure and can be tracked onto other surfaces for quite some time.  If you get it on your shoes, let it dry completely before wearing and then still be cautious.  If you get the asphalt on carpeted surfaces, use car care or household products available for the removal.  If the tracking of asphalt material is extensive, professionals may need to be employed to remove and this is not even successful in sever cases.  Also, pets should be restricted from the surface.  While not lethal, the asphalt can present complications to their paws, fur or digestive system if swallowed.  Remember it is a petroleum based product and common sense should be used.

No Parking signs were up, but no work was done on the following day!  Why?
Signs are placed using a schedule that is determined from meetings between City staff and the contractors.  Many circumstances present delays or complications to the processes.  Weather, equipment repairs, material delivery delays, vehicles parked in no parking areas, unusually heavy traffic in the work zone are some of the problems that can delay the work.  Please continue to adhere to the signs and restrict or avoid areas that work is obviously or scheduled to be undertaken.

Why has the City oiled and chipped City streets every year in the past? 

The funds could have been applied to asphalt resurfacing each year and eventually all of the streets would receive a new asphalt surface.

The oil and chip process seals the moisture out of the pavement’s base material and helps prolong the life of the pavement.  The cost of oil and chip is about $1.15/square yard and City had been spending about $100,000 annually on the process.  The cost of asphalt resurfacing is about $10.00 per square yard and has a 10-15 year life expectancy before resurfacing is required again.  Considering the number of streets in O’Fallon, it would have taken approximately 150 years to resurface the streets by spending $100,000 per year!  Fortunately, with voters’ passage of Proposition S in 2000, the City is now able to resurface some of its streets for the first time in many years instead of the oil and chip treatment.  However, we still use an oil and chip process to do some spot repairs to streets and seal them against water invasion.

Why does the City spend so much money building streets in the new subdivisions?
The City does not pay for this new construction.  In residential subdivisions, the developer pays for the cost of the new water, sewer and street infrastructure.  These costs are then recovered through the sale price on the individual lots.

The developer also pays a fee to the City equal to 3% of the cost of the new infrastructure.  This fee reimburses the City for manpower costs to review the subdivision plans and periodically inspect field construction of the infrastructure.  The City’s efforts help assure that public infrastructure is of acceptable quality when it is built.  Additionally, the developer pays for third party review of subdivision plans to ensure that the plans meet city standards.

Does the City apply for federal or state grants to improve streets?
Yes.  The City applies under every program that the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) administers.  Additionally, we seek state and federal grants directly from our area’s elected state and federal representatives.  O’Fallon has had a tradition of being very competitive in receiving road grants.     

How many miles of streets are in the City of O’Fallon?
The City has approximately 120 miles of streets and they are inspected every 2 years for their rate of deterioration.