Improving Burlington's Roads

The Department of Public Works is considering all options to improve the significant weather-related problems affecting some of Burlingtons roads. This includes important commuting and commercial streets, like Colchester Avenue, North Avenue, Pine Street and Plattsburg Avenue, among others. Our region, state and city have seen an accelerated and intensified problem this year due to nearly record cold and freeze thaw cycles.

As residents and employees, we use these same roads and share your concerns with the winter road conditions on these streets. We appreciate every report youve made to us about the roads, as it helps us quickly identify problematic stretches, and we are grateful for trusting us to steward your infrastructure. Due to the voter-approved Sustainable Infrastructure Bond in November 2016, we have been able to double our annual paving budget and lane miles paved per year. In an effort to provide further transparency, we want to share with you our framework for how we will apply our resources to improving these road conditions.

Winter Maintenance 
- We continue to patch potholes - those pavement problems that are deep enough in which the available winter material (cold patch) can be suitably packed in to hold through additional bouts of winter weather and travel impacts. When the temperature drops below freezing and when pavement temperatures are consistently low, more effective methods than cold patch are unavailable. 
- The delamination (shallower depressions that are longer and wider than a typical pothole) we are experiencing on Pine Street, and other streets, does not respond well to cold patch. We are trying a novel approach by milling down small segments of Pine Street to smooth out these rough edges and improve the driving experience. 
- To be responsible stewards of public funds, we plan -- years in advance -- tentative work plans on how and when to repave your roads in coordination with things like subsurface water infrastructure work.

Spring Maintenance and Paving 
- For Colchester Ave, North Ave, Pine St, Plattsburg Ave and others, we are working on developing the right work plan to address conditions and will take corrective action in spring when weather allows more effective remedies to be applied successfully. 
- We are evaluating how to fit in additional work this year and find the resources so as to meet prior obligations, but also to respond to the unanticipated conditions of this winter. 
- For paving projects, we will seek to prioritize locations of highest traffic to be earlier in the construction season. There may be limitations with contractor availability, weather, and coordination with other planned work that impacts when work can occur. 
- In those situations, we will be hot-patching in Spring - as time, funding and weather allow - when the asphalt plants are open and the pavement temperature is consistently high enough. This will create a smoother, stable road surface in anticipation of repaving later in the construction year. 
- For impacted roads that wont be repaved this season, we will repair them by cutting and patching with hot-mix as time, funding, and weather allow. 
- We will continue to take your reports at 863-9094 or www.seeclickfix.com and respond to your concerns

We are proud to be your partners in keeping Burlington a great place to live, work and recreate. Please do not hesitate to let us know if you have any questions. You can reach me at RGoulding@burlingtonvt.gov, or 802-540-0846.

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Press Release Date: 
02/01/2018
City Department: 
Public Works Department