Woodbury is poised to create a taskforce to deal with roads going to pot sooner than expected.
About 90 miles of city streets—most built during the housing boom of the 1990s—are deteriorating about 10 years sooner than they should.
The issue appears to be tied to recycled materials used for roads at the time, and it’s not limited to Woodbury, said Tony Kutzke, principal engineer. “The problem is everywhere.”
During a Wednesday workshop session, the Woodbury City Council discussed its options, and seemed ready to create a taskforce to address the problem.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation, which comes up with the “recipes” for blacktop mixes, is researching the matter and working closely with Woodbury, said Klayton Eckles, city engineer.
But it would be hard for the city to recoup the money it will likely spend on repairing the roads in the future, as MnDOT has its own funding issues, he said.
“It’s a really big uphill battle,” Eckles said.
During the ’90s, cities started using a recycled mix and water-emulsified oil, and one of those is the likely culprit, said Jim Triebold, street supervisor.
Using a “virgin” mix is generally cost prohibitive, he said, though it has been used on some newer streets in Woodbury.
Still, the city is at least entitled to have the conversation with state officials about the possibility of getting some funding for the fixes and finding a solution, Mayor Mary Giuliani Stephens said.
Added Councilman Paul Rebholz: “It’s what we do as a leader.”
He likened it to a “warranty defect issue.”
To address the problem, it could cost $10 million more than the city had planned to spend on roads, according to a council memo.
The problem began to crop up about nine years ago, Triebold said, and he could foresee an issue with homeowners regarding assessments for the work.
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