The bill authorizes the city to draw from reserve funds to the extent necessary to pay for the contracted work. It also stipulates that the board must review and authorize the contract and its costs prior to awarding and signing it. The resolution passed by a vote of 5 to 0, with alderman Kevin Klingerman [Ward 1] absent.
At its workshop on June 19, the board learned of the need for street maintenance. Zucker set the context by saying: “This is one of the most important roles of our city government. For the benefit, welfare and safety of our residents, we must open the piggy bank and use some of our reserves to increase what we are doing for concrete slab replacement and sealing of cracks.”
Zucker invited a discussion about the street maintenance urgently needed in McCluer Village Plat 4. He explained that the maintenance need was communicated “by a flurry of emails from Plat 4 residents to the mayor and the board, [which were] verified by an in-person inspection of the streets.” Zucker and City Engineer Luke Kehoe did the inspections.Zucker commented that “McCluer Villages Plats 1, 2, and 3 have concrete pavement that is in relatively good condition compared to Plat 4, even though those plats are older.” He further explained that the inconsistency in concrete pavement life is caused primarily by a use of inferior aggregate in the concrete mix.
“Prior to about 1990, cities and counties had inspectors personally verify that aggregate and concrete mixtures were of proper quality to provide a 25- to 30-year life of the pavement. Then, in the 1990s, everyone moved to having the concrete contractors and builders themselves certify that the aggregate and concrete mix met contractual standards. That led to inconsistent concrete quality,” Zucker said. “We cannot undo the past, but we can take steps to prevent similar problems in the future.”
To prevent future inconsistencies, Dardenne Prairie has joined the Eastern Missouri Pavement Consortium [EMPC], along with other St. Charles County municipalities.
Per its website, EMPC is a cooperative effort of [member] public works organizations in the St. Louis Metro area. Its goal is to propose standardized material specifications for durable concrete on public works projects to members and to simplify the approval process. Some highlights of the proposed specifications include requirements for aggregate, cement and mix proportions, which are intended to improve the durability of concrete. The specifications are a culmination of more than three years of research by municipalities aimed at discovering and preventing the causes of premature cracking and deterioration of pavement, sidewalks, curbs and storm drainage inlets.
Dardenne Prairie will take advantage of information available from this membership to set and enforce concrete standards for all new construction and concrete maintenance projects, the city has said.