Streets, like most things, begin to show signs of wear and tear with age. As streets get older they require repairs to help maintain a good driving surface. Different types of street surfaces require different types of repairs. Brick streets, although not necessarily the smoothest, do require the least amount of repairs and maintenance. If a brick crumbles or pops out it is simply replaced with another brick. Concrete streets provide a different challenge altogether. Moisture and cold weather work together to crack and deteriorate concrete surfaces. Therefore it is imperative that concrete and asphalt streets be sealed to keep out moisture before the cold Nebraska weather comes each year.
How Streets Are Repaired
The Public Works Department uses two different methods in an attempt to keep streets sealed from moisture and prevent more costly repairs. The first method is pothole repair. Each spring, and as needed during the summer months, crews survey the entire town and use cold asphalt mix to fill potholes and depressions of various sizes. This not only makes for a smoother ride but also allows moisture to drain into the gutters and off of the driving surface.
The second method is joint and crack sealing. Every fall, usually in October, crews are sent to first blow dirt and moisture from cracks in the street and then fill them with a hot tar sealant. These two methods are effective in prolonging the useful life of concrete and asphalt streets. Yet repairs of this type can only be effective until a certain point of deterioration when more costly repairs such as replacement become necessary.
The Public Works Department replaces small areas of streets as needed that have broken up significantly or settled to create a large depression. When entire sections of street are in need of overlay or replacement, they become part of the city's One and Six Year Plan. The Street Superintendent is required to annually prepare a plan for street improvements for the current year and the following five years. This plan is then filed with the Board of Public Roads Classifications and Standards in Lincoln. Each January the Street Superintendent submits this plan to the City Council for approval at a public hearing. This plan and the yearly repair activities mentioned above are devised to help maintain Wayne's network of streets.