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Many of our city streets are in significantly better condition following long-needed repair work that began this summer. This work remains underway and should be completed no later than early November.
By this fall, more than 24 miles of city streets will be restored — as many miles as the last seven years combined. As we near completion of this project, we are already benefiting from the results.
The streets we focused on were those in the worst condition. They were all long-overdue for maintenance, which has required us to take additional steps to reconstruct them. Beyond the normal patching, milling and repaving, we have had to rebuild the crumbling foundations of these streets. The foundations have disintegrated over time because of moisture that seeps through the cracks brought on by age and lack of maintenance.
We must patch large sections of some of the streets we are repairing to rebuild the foundation before we can resurface the street. This process may appear odd because it looks like we are patching the street, only to tear it down again and repave it. You may see crews in your neighborhoods patching parts of your street, only to return days later to mill the entire surface and repave it.
This is an integral part of the overlay project. These crews are actually digging deep beneath the surface of these streets to rebuild their foundations. Without this reconstruction, the improvements made to provide a new top surface will not last and will be lost quickly. We are also installing drainage tiles under new sections of streets and improving storm sewers to help reduce the moisture that can damage our roads. In short, we are rebuilding the streets to last in addition to just pouring a new top surface.
Once the new foundations are complete, the entire street can be milled and resurfaced. This requires different crews with different equipment, resulting in a delay between when the foundation is rebuilt and when the street is resurfaced.
This well-needed investment in our infrastructure has required a great amount of coordination, effort and time to complete. We understand it has caused some inconveniences, and we greatly appreciate your continued patience as we finish the last few miles. Once completed, our streets will be in the best shape they have been in years.
Steve Rucker of Columbus is assistant city engineer for the city of Columbus. This letter was received on Sept. 25.
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