The Orono Engineering and Public Works Departments strive to provide systematic and routine preventative maintenance of the city’s streets. The City adopted a Pavement Management Plan (PDF) in 2014. This plan is used to inform the city's Capital Improvement Program (CIP) which is updated annually. It includes recommendations from the Public Works staff for various street projects. Street projects include:
- Crack seal
- Mill and overlay
- Seal coat
View City Projects to find details on ongoing project or projects in the planning and design phase.
Pavement Management is responsible for:
- Crack Sealing - After a new street is constructed or reconstructed, it is typical to see some cracks in the new asphalt within its first few years. Therefore, two to three years after the new streets are installed they are crack sealed. The cracks are sawed and cleaned before the sealer is installed. This process usually is completed in one day. During the crack seal project, streets are kept open to the public with minimal disruption.
- Seal Coating - The city uses a process called chip sealing on our low-volume roads. This treatment is used to waterproof the surface, seal small cracks, and improve friction. For optimal effectiveness in extending the life of a pavement chip sealing should be performed within the first three years of a new pavement and then approximately every 7 years thereafter.
- Mill and Overlay - A mill and overlay is proposed when existing streets show cracking, rutting and flaking, but the material underneath the asphalt is adequate. A typical mill and overlay includes removing and replacing the top 2” of asphalt, minor utility work and concrete curb and gutter replacement where necessary. This type of project takes from a few weeks to a month to complete. Disruption to traffic can occur during mill and overlay projects while the work is being performed, but traffic is generally maintained at all times. These projects are generally assessed to the adjacent property owners.
- Reconstruction/ Reclamation - A reconstruction project is proposed when the streets have significant cracks and potholes. Generally, the underlying material is in need of replacement. These projects can take the entire summer to complete and significant disruption can be expected throughout the course of the project. Delays and road closures should be expected.
- Street Funding - The city currently uses two sources of funding for road maintenance. The City Levey (Taxes) and the Municipal State Aid program. The city does not have and assessment policy for streets/roads.
- Levy - The city has a dedicated levy that allocates funds to the City’s Pavement Management Fund. These funds are used for larger preventive maintenance reconstruction projects in the City. A portion of the General Fund Levy funds reactive maintenance such as pothole patching, tree trimming and snow removal.
- Municipal State Aid - The City of Orono is a Municipal State Aid (MSA). As such the City can designate 20% of its streets as MSA routes. The City is then allocated funding annually based on a formula that involves population and miles of streets within the City. The annual State Aid funding that the City receives can be used to maintain, improve and reconstruct the roads on the City’s MSA routes.