2019 Paving Project
It has been over thirty years since the streets in our borough have had major repaving done. After almost two years of review and consultation with PennDOT and our Road Engineering Consultant, Jason Snyder, PE, along with site visits to review other townships’ paving processes, we are ready to put the paving of all the our borough’s roads out to bid.
There are many solutions the Borough investigated, to improve the quality of our streets and everyday life of our residents. The problem stems from the way the streets were originally built in the borough, including what they were built on. They were not designed or “engineered”, they evolved over time to meet the Borough’s needs as a community. Unfortunately, the paving is thin and it is constructed over clay.
Members of the Council investigated many potential options, we attended seminars and classes, as well as received technical advice from PennDOT and our Road Engineering Consultant.
We initially investigated mill and overlay, in which a portion of the roadway would be removed (or shaved) from the top surface. Through the process we discovered that due to the Borough’s thin pavement coupled with the significant alligator cracking, this was not advised. In addition, the Borough would need to do “base repair”, digging up all the alligator cracking prior to paving. The major concern with this option was that the cracks were likely to come back in less than 3-5 years, resulting in continued poor pavement in the Borough.
We then investigated “Full Depth Reclamation”, which is similar to taking a very large roto-tiller grinding up the road, adding cement, and paving over everything, resolving our issue with the clay soil, and creating a 100% brand new road. This solution could be the ultimate solution for the Borough, but was cost prohibitive at approximately $250,000 – $300,000 per mile (including the asphalt). In addition, we were advised that in the event of utility work, cuts in the FDR were not encouraged. This would result in road which would perform very well for 12-20 years.
The Borough was advised that we had a similar traffic pattern to Elizabethtown, outside of Harrisburg. Elizabethtown is one of the first municipalities in Pennsylvania to use paving fabrics. They have used fabrics for nearly 30 years and have demonstrated and documented not only improvements to the road but monetary savings to the Borough and its residents. They continue to use fabric on all streets in the Borough, including areas which receive ongoing heavy truck traffic. Council members went to Elizabethtown to see the condition of their roads and discuss installation and maintenance procedures they used. Their roads were in excellent condition and the Streets Department said follow-up maintenance required was the same basic procedures as mill and pave applications. They have been using paving fabric exclusively to repave their roads for nearly 30 years.
After review and consultation with the Paving Engineer, it was decided that paving fabric was the best way to pave our roads to give our residents pot hole free, long lasting streets at a price comparative to a mill and pave project. This option will allow us to add the fabric and new asphalt to the road, adding strength, rather than taking it away through a milling process. The fabric will significantly slow or stop the cracking of the new paving surface and extend the paving life for 7-12 years. Elizabethtown paves their streets once every 19 years. The cost will be comparative to a “mill and overlay”, with significantly more life expectancy.
The Council has investigated and planned this project over the past two years to best utilize our residents’ tax monies. In addition we have successfully obtained grant funding to help defray the cost of the project, in order to improve everyone’s ability to safely navigate the Borough, whether in a car, on a bicycle, or just taking a walk.
If you are interested in learning more about the use of paving fabric for our roads, attached is a link where you will find a “Technical Information Sheet” from PennDOT’s Local Technical Assistance Program describing the use of paving fabrics.
There is also a link to a seminar provided by The Pennsylvania State Association of Townships at the 2018 State Convention concerning the use and benefits of using paving fabric as well as an article written by Ray Myers of the Asphalt Interlayer Association.
Also attached are the professional credentials of our Road Engineering Consultant who specializes in road construction and has been instrumental in helping Langhorne Manor Borough Council plan this paving project.
If you have further questions concerning this paving project, please call Nick Pizzola at 215-375-2037 and he will be happy to try to answer your questions.
PennDOT Paving Fabric and Recommendations PennDOT Paving Fabric and Recommendations
PSATS Recommendations PSATS Recommendations
Are Paving Fabrics Right for Your Project? Are Paving Fabrics Right for Your Project
Jason Snyder Professional Credentials Jason Snyder Professional Credentials
Paving Project Questions and Answers
Will the Paving Project address drainage issues that exist in Langhorne Manor Borough?
The road paving project is designed to re-surface—and to do base repair to the underlying streets, as needed, without having a negative impact on the existing drainage system of the Borough.
The road paving project specifications are designed to maintain the existing relationship in elevation between paved and unpaved surfaces by requiring the addition of topsoil (and grass seed) along all affected areas flanking the roadway. As explained below, the paving project does not include the installation of curbs and sewers.
- Curb installation costs pose an unreasonable economic burden on the Borough’s taxpayers, and perhaps especially so for residents who are living on a fixed income
The cost of installing curbs has three major components: curb installation, the sewer system needed to collect and convey the storm water, and ongoing maintenance costs.
Curb installation would involve the construction of 50,000+ ft. of curbing Borough-wide, the cost of which is estimated at more than $2.3 million. At a cost of $45/ft., a property owner with 100 ft. of street frontage would pay no less than $4,500. An owner of a corner property with 100 ft. of frontage on two streets would pay at least $9,000 in total. This cost does not include the additional expenses of project specifications, project management, other administrative costs, financing or inflation.
Another component of storm water sewer system installation includes inlets, pipe, outfalls and any expenses that may be charged for storm water discharge. The Borough’s road project engineer estimates construction costs of $1.5 million. The estimated cost does not include the additional costs for permitting, project design and specifications, land acquisition (if applicable), project management, administration, financing and inflation.
System maintenance is another cost relating to curbs. Whatever the cost, it would be borne by the Borough’s residents. Maintenance costs would include line flushing, as necessary, and repair/replacement of the sewer system’s components. Changes in federal or state storm water regulations pose the possibility of additional costs for permitting, inspection and water quality monitoring costs. Besides paying for a share of costs for system maintenance, each property owner would be solely responsible for the cost of curb maintenance or replacement along their property’s street frontage.
- Curb installation is inconsistent with the Borough’s storm water permit plans
In 2017 the Borough received from the PA Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) a renewal of its MS4 (municipal Separate Storm Sewer System) general permit, which requires the Borough to manage storm water community-wide according to regulatory standards.
During the past few years the Borough, its consulting engineers and PADEP have been corresponding regarding the Borough’s permit-required Pollution Reduction Plan (PRP) and Total Mass Daily Loading (TMDL) plans. Earlier this year PADEP notified the Borough that both plans passed PADEP’s technical review—a necessary step in PADEP’s permitting process. When the permit is issued, the Borough will implement the plans as stipulated.
The plans describe several alternatives that the Borough may implement to reduce sediment and other pollution migration to the local water sheds, Neshaminy Creek and Mill Creek. The alternatives include various designs that would modify existing roadside soils to reduce both storm water velocity and sediment/pollutant migration. The Borough chose not to specify curb installation in the plans because curbs would increase storm water velocity and accelerate the rate of pollutant/sediment migration to the local water sheds. Also, the installation of curbs would pose an unrealistic economic burden in the form of capital outlays and ongoing maintenance expense, the most recent estimate of such, are noted above.
- In general, it is Council’s sense that curb installation would, to some extent, adversely impact the Borough’s character.
Curbs and sewers would increase storm water runoff causing larger sediment and pollution loads being drained into the Neshaminy Watershed. The existing swale drainage system reduces the velocity of storm water runoff and helps filter out sedimentation and pollutants. Whatever residual water is retained recharges the ground water. Please refer to the PADEP brochure When It Rains, It Drains. A link to this brochure appears at the bottom of this article.
How Much Will the Paving Project Cost?
The current Paving Project is estimated to cost the Borough around one million dollars, plus or minus 10% depending on market conditions for paving asphalt. Of this amount $450,000 will be funded by the Borough’s combined liquid fuels revenue and the road tax assessments that are already on hand ($359,000 PLUS $92,000 that will be collected in 2019). Also, in response to the Borough’s grant application for the paving project, the Bucks County Redevelopment Authority awarded the Borough a $200,000 grant, which must be used this year. The remainder of needed funding ($350,000 to $450,000) will be financed by a low interest loan that is in the process of being approved by the PennDot Infrastructure Bank. The PennDot loan will be paid back over 10 years.
Source of Funds for Project
Borough–Highway account, fund balance – $34,934
Borough–Highway Capital Reserve – $324,714
2019 Revenue, PennDOT Liquid Fuels – $45,000
2019 Revenue, Capital Highway Levy – $35,000
2019 General Fund – $12,000
PennDOT Infrastructure Bank loan- $450,000
Borough–Highway account, fund balance – $34,934
Annual Income Statement, Roads 2019-2029
Revenue, PennDOT Liquid Fuels – $45,000
Revenue, Capital Highway Levy – $35,000
General Fund – $12,000
Revenue, total – $92,000
Expense, PennDOT loan – $50,906
TOTAL – $1,101,648
Available for road maintenance – $41,094
How will we pay for the project? Will your real estate taxes increase?The loan repayment will be guaranteed by the Borough’s liquid fuels allocation that is received annually from the Commonwealth of PA for road repairs and snow removal. Presently the Borough receives about $45,000 per year from the Commonwealth for liquid fuels. A second source of funds for roads is the Borough road tax which generates approximately $35,000. The last source of funding is $12,000 from the general fund. The total of all sources of annual funding is $92,000.These annual funds are more than sufficient to cover the combined loan repayment and annual road maintenance and snow removal costs which are expected to average approximately $70,000 per year. There will be no real estate tax increase for the paving project as it is currently being bid.
Will Homeowners’ driveways be tied into the roadway to insure a smooth transition from the driveway to the roadway?The Paving Project includes the cost of tying in approximately 180 driveways in our Borough to the new roadway. This will be done at no charge to the homeowner. Members of Council responsible for the Paving Project, in consultation with the Project Engineer, will meet with the homeowner at their home to review the work that is to be performed. There is no “one size fits all” driveway tie-in. Each driveway tie-in will be done taking into account the condition, type of surface and slope of the existing driveway to make sure the driveway tie-in presents a smooth transition to the new roadway. Driveway tie-ins will not be done without the homeowner’s written permission.