Steve Meyer P.E.
Wydown Blvd Resurfacing
As part of the city's pavement maintenance program, Wydown Boulevard will be resurfaced in 2014. Planning for this project began in February 2011, when the city applied for and received a federal grant for almost $3 Million through the East-West Gateway Council of Governments. This project will include not only the milling and overlay of the asphalt, but also upgrades to curb ramps and crosswalks and replacement of curb and gutter where needed. The video at the bottom of the page gives a further explanation of the project.
Water Main Replacement:
All of the work that took place in the winter/spring of 2014 was related to the replacement of water main by Missouri-American Water Company. The 6" main has been replaced from approximately Hanley Rd. to Big Bend, and crews are now replacing the main from University Lane toward Skinker.
Bids for the resurfacing project were opened on April 11th, and a contract with Krupp Construction was approved by the Board of Aldermen at their April 29th meeting. Work began the week of June 16th and is expected to last through October. The first phase of work will be the removal and replacement of deficient curb and gutter, as well as the replacement of curb ramps that aren't ADA-compliant. After curbs and ramps have been replaced, the street will be milled, resurfaced, and striped. After paving, paver crosswalks will be constructed, increasing pedestrian safety. The project video below references rumble stripes, an additional treatment to protect bicyclists and pedestrians from veering cars. However, due to response from the bicycling community, this treatment has been removed from the project.
A letter was sent out to all residents adjacent to Wydown Boulevard on May 30th, 2014.
On Monday, June 23rd, a seven-foot wide strip of asphalt was removed along the northernmost and southernmost curblines, from Westwood to Big Bend, and back to Hanley. Krupp then removed and replaced the southern curbline and removed the northern curbline. They are now in the process of rebuilding the northern curbline. Removal and replacement of the median curblines is also underway. Once this work has been completed, the contractor will move on to the section of Wydown east of Big Bend.
Several citizens have expressed concern regarding the trees along Wydown Blvd, and the effects of removing and replacing the curb and gutter. The curb and gutter is being replaced in some sections due to its deteriorated condition and lack of height (granite curb will remain in place). Deficient curbs don't keep water or cars in the street. It should be noted that the curbs are not being moved any closer to the trees. Six to twelve inches of overdig are needed in order to place the concrete forms. It is in this overdig that roots are being exposed. The contractor has a saw on-site to prune roots cleanly when necessary. The entire curb and gutter cross section is 30" wide. In-between trees, the contractor is using a 36" bucket. When they come to trees, they are switching to a 24" bucket. When directly adjacent to some trees, installing a form will not be possible, so a strip of expansion joint will be placed between the tree and concrete instead.
Prior to the start of the project, the City's Project Manager and City Forester drove the project and noted locations where trees required extra protection due to their proximity to the curb and their species. In those cases, the curb was marked to be left in place in order to not disturb the trees. In time, if/when those trees have to be cut down, the rest of the curb can then be replaced. Some trees were not identified for protection due to their anticipated removal because of species or sickness. For instance, most ash trees will be removed within the next few years due to the emerald ash borer.
The City has two full-time arborists on-staff, and by their efforts, we have been a "Tree City" for twenty years. One has a bachelor's degree and over 40 years of experience, while the other has a master's degree and 15 years of experience. They have been consulted throughout this project, and they have educated the contractor's crew on best practices. While this work is not the healthiest thing for the trees, they should fully recover within two years. It is a compromise that must be made in order to maintain our streets.
Last updated: 7/22/2014