It’s loud. It’s messy –
and, of course, it’s the
only way to maintain
the City’s 200-plus
miles of streets.
But in Shaker Heights, roadwork is
also an opportunity to ensure that what’s
underneath our streets – most notably,
the sewer and water lines – is repaired
and, when necessary, replaced.
This comprehensive approach helps
save the City – and taxpayers – money.
“We don’t want to pave a road and
then discover a problem, like a water
main break,” says Christian Maier,
assistant director of public works. “We
try to do everything we can before
repaving, so that once we’re done we
won’t have to be back on that street
This starts with the City’s annual
determination of which streets to
repave. Several factors go into this
decision, explains Maier.
“We have assigned scores to all
the streets in Shaker based on their
condition,” he notes. “They’re graded
on a scale of five to one, five being the
worst. We select as many of the fives as
we can, based on our budget.”
The City spends approximately
$2 million a year on its roadwork
program. For larger projects, like the
recent repaving of Shaker Boulevard,
the City also receives funding from
Cuyahoga County or the Ohio
Department of Transportation. Over
the past seven years, Shaker has
received $6 million in outside funding
for such projects.
8 SPRING 2020 | WWW.SHAKER.LIFE
to the Future
“We also look at the other work that a street might require or have
scheduled,” adds Maier. If a street is ranked as a five, but needs utility or other
work – the City will hold off until those projects are complete.
The Repaving Process
“Our goal is to be under construction once the asphalt plants open in April,”
But before any asphalt can be laid, the City’s Public Works Department must
get a lot done.
The first step: trim the trees on scheduled streets to limit damage to
branches from the machinery.
Next, it’s sewers. “Every sewer main and lateral, from the test tee to the
sewer main, gets cleaned, then inspected and repaired or replaced as necessary,”
Laterals are the pipes that connect your home to the sewer main; in addition
to the sewer mains, the City is responsible for laterals on public property.
“It’s not uncommon for us to have to do some lateral repairs and spot repairs
to the sewer main,” says Maier.
Finally, it’s water mains and anything else that requires repair. Note: water
mains are owned by the Cleveland Water Department. Twice a year, public works
applies for funding to replace water mains on potential resurfacing streets.
Then, and only then, is it time for repaving. Here’s how that process – which
is handled by a contractor – works: