Street Construction and Maintenance FAQs
The approach is considered to be the responsibility of the property owner. The gutter in front of the approach is considered to be a part of the approach. If the gutter pan needs replacement with the approach, it is the property owner’s responsibility to do so.
Areas shaded blue (driveway approach and the gutter in front of approach) are the property owner's responsibility. Property owner may hire an insured and bonded contractor to make repairs or replace the approach and gutter. If approach is being replaced, property owner is also responsible for area shaded black (18" asphalt cut-out.) Asphalt must be cut out and patched to match new approach gutter. A driveway approach permit from City Engineering is required before starting construction.
There are several reasons why the City won’t replace deteriorated driveway approaches:
- Driveway access to the public street directly benefits the individual property, so the responsibility for maintenance and construction remains with the property owner.
- Most driveways replacements are done when the property owner desires replacement. It would not be logical for the City to mobilize a contractor to the site to repair the gutter and/or driveway approach while the property owner has their own contractor on site replacing the driveway. It is more efficient for one contractor to complete the work. Note: If a City project requires removal of the approach or gutter (for example, during a utility reconstruction) the approach will be replaced during the project.
- Many property owners choose to construct their approach and gutter monolithically (in one piece). Without a joint between the approach and gutter, it would not be feasible to replace the gutter without replacing the entire approach. A gutter-only repair on these driveways would not meet expectations of the property owner.
The City uses best contracting and project management practices to coordinate work within the right-of-way:
- Project management: experienced project engineers engage with staff, contractors and citizens to oversee maintenance of traffic plans for construction projects. They also oversee construction and can assess penalties based upon a contractor’s traffic control.
- Traffic management: experienced traffic engineers oversee traffic operations and review contractor proposals to keep traffic moving during closures.
- Coordination: we routinely coordinate construction closure schedules with community activities, businesses, school districts, Sioux Area Metro, emergency responders and other stakeholders. When unanticipated construction closure traffic conflicts arise, Facebook and Twitter in addition to traditional media are used to get the word out quickly.
- Financial incentives and disincentives: bonuses for reducing the expected impacts on traffic and fines for increasing the impacts are utilized on major projects.
The City and contractors working for the City take advantage of nighttime construction when it is feasible. Nighttime construction can provide the benefit of reducing the impact on the traveling public and allowing construction workers more working space during times of low traffic. However, many projects are not good candidates for nighttime construction due to the following:
- It is often safer for drivers and workers if crews complete some types of work during the day, when visibility is better. Studies have shown the proportion of alcohol-impaired drivers is five times higher at night, presenting additional concerns for worker safety.
- Some materials, like certain types of pavement and pavement markings, are not as durable if they are installed overnight (temperature dependent.)
- It takes a significant amount of time – sometimes hours – to safely set up and take down a work zone on a street. It can also take a significant number of hours to set up heavy construction equipment and supplies. When crews are limited to overnight work we increase the work hours spent on these activities and limit productive work hours. This extends the project timeline and increases project costs.
- Sometimes crews can complete a huge amount of work with brief and intense traffic closures. For example, closing a highway ramp for an entire weekend may eliminate the need for weeks of overnight closures. This approach can be more convenient for drivers overall and allow crews to complete the job faster, deliver high quality results and lower costs.
- Construction work can be very noisy, despite efforts to minimize noise. A majority of City projects are less than a block from homes or apartments. Night construction projects are not viewed favorably when neighbors are trying to sleep.
- Often construction workers are paid a premium for working the night shift. As a result, night work can significantly increase costs.
Submit your inquiry online or call the Engineering Division of Public Works at 367-8601.
An asphalt mill & overlay is a moderate cost street rehabilitation process that requires removal of the top layer (typically two inches) of a street by grinding action of a large milling machine. After the top layer is removed, repairs to any remaining defects are made before paving a new layer of asphalt pavement back. Mill & overlay projects typically include spot repairs to the curb and gutter, utilities and upgrades to ADA curb ramps.
A second option is to pave the street privately and agree to share the costs amongst the property owners. All owners must agree to the project and costs, including engineering, and plans must be approved by the city.
If it is determined that additional right-of-way is needed to construct the proposed improvements, the City will discuss the need for property with the owner. Independent land appraisers make appraisals of the property to establish a value. The City negotiates with the property owner to purchase only the property that is needed to construct the improvements. In some cases, the City may ask for the property to be dedicated at no cost for the benefit of the public.
Additional temporary easements may also be needed to blend private property into to the new street project. It is rare for a project to impact a property to the extent that a resident has to move.