Good news, bad news on Franklin Park road conditions
Edgington Sreett north of Grand Avenue is heat scarified the afternoon of Oct. 24. | Mark Lawton~Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 2, 2012 6:17AM
FRANKLIN PARK — The good news is that more Franklin Park streets are in decent shape than three years ago.
The bad news is that almost half of the streets are in very poor and serious condition.
Every three years, Franklin Park evaluates the condition of its 75 miles of streets on a scale of 1 to 100. Eighty-five to 100 is good, 70 to 84 is satisfactory, 55 to 69 is fair, 40 to 54 is poor, 25 to 39 is very poor, 10 to 24 is serious and 1 to 10 is failed.
In 2009, 16.5 percent of streets were better than poor. This year, that rose to 20.9 percent.
“We’ve made some fairly substantial improvements in the conditions of the streets,” Village Engineer Dave Talbot said.
Those include reconstruction of several failed streets, including Cherry, Birch, Pearl and Reeves Court.
Still, the largest chunk of streets – 49.6 percent – are in very poor or serious condition. And 10.4 percent of streets are in failed condition. Franklin Avenue west of Wolf Road, for example, is in failed condition.
To raise all the streets in the village to fair shape would mean spending $5.1 million a year for five years. Or $4.5 million a year for 10 years. Stretching out the rehabilitation of streets, however, has a drawback.
“If you did that, you’d have a bunch of streets deteriorating at the same time,” Talbot said. “The faster you can bring them up, the total cost is less. At 15 years, it goes to $4.4 million a year.”
Just maintaining the streets in their current condition would cost $1 million to $1.5 million a year.
Which leaves Franklin Park to engage in a balancing act. Failed streets require reconstruction, a more expensive process.
“You’re better off investing in streets that are in halfway decent shape,” Talbot said. “Its 20 to 30 blocks of resurfacing versus five blocks of reconstruction.”
Since the last evaluation, the village has resurfaced Grand Avenue from Mannheim to the village limits on the east, 12 blocks of Elder, Emerson and Hawthorne and parts of Birch and Cherry.
This year, the village fixed Riverside from West Manor to Greenfield, Sarah, Park and Louis. It’s doing Calwagner from Chestnut to Franklin, Ruby from Gage to Lesser, 25th from Grand to the railroad tracks and Edgington from Grand to King Street.
To stretch its dollars, Franklin Park is using a process called heat scarification on some streets. Heat scarification is essentially a way of recycling existing asphalt. The asphalt is heated, broken up, sprayed with a rejuvenating agent and rolled. Then a 1-inch overlay is added.