JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — Johns Creek Public Works launched into a new cycle of neighborhood repaving this spring, marking the fifth consecutive year of the maintenance program.
In 2014, the city decided to take a proactive approach to neighborhood road maintenance. It used a consultant with a specially equipped vehicle to drive each of Johns Creek’s streets and rate their conditions.
Pavement Quality Index (PQI) rates streets on a 1 to 100 scale developed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The index measures cracking, potholes, rutting, weathering and other road conditions. Low PQI scores reflect a lower condition of the pavement.
The 2014 survey revealed that many streets had a substandard PQI. Using data from the survey, the Public Works staff developed a five-year repaving plan for the city. The lower the PQI score, the higher the priority when scheduling the repaving.
The city’s goal was to bring all neighborhoods in Johns Creek to a minimum PQI of 65.
In the 2016 fiscal year, the city increased funding for the project to accelerate the timeline, and the original five-year plan was completed in four years (2015-2018).
Last year, the city commissioned a new survey, and a plan was developed for subdivisions to be resurfaced over the next five years (2019-2024).
“This year the lowest (rating) was in the 40 range,” Deputy Public Works Director Chris Haggard said. “The first time we did it, some of them were down in the teens, so overall we’ve caught up on all the really bad ones, and now our base is higher.”
The city plans to resurface all roads below a PQI score of 70. This year, crews are slated to pave 8.5 miles in 16 neighborhoods and 3.3 miles of main roads this year.
The resurfacing project is not a total reconstruction, but improves the quality of the road by targeting specific areas, like potholes. This more affordable process is known as patching. Typically, about 20 percent of neighborhood roads are patched, Public Works staffer Alton Matthews said.
“A crack in the asphalt does not mean the road has failed,” Matthews said. “A total reconstruction would mitigate those cracks, but the perception that a crack in the asphalt coming through to the overlaying surface means that the pavement is faulty, that is not true. Pavement does expand and contract.”
Rainfall and freezing weather can increase the number of potholes, as was the case this past winter, Haggard said.
“By maintaining your asphalt you’re reducing the rebuild cost that you could occur,” Haggard said. “If you just let it deteriorate, the cost to then fix it is much higher because you have to go deeper.”
By taking a proactive approach, the city is minimize the impact on the residents’ daily commute, Haggard said.
“We can get in and out of a neighborhood in a week,” he said.
The repaving program improvements also helps sustain property values, Matthews said.
Work has begun or been completed for The Vicarage, Kensington Oaks, Stevens Creek, The Regency at Wellington, The Enclave at Wellington, Windermere Park, Oakmont, Glenside, Morton Reserve and Jones Estates.
Jones Bridge Landing is scheduled to begin patching June 5, and Haydens Walk is set to begin work June 7.
Edgewater Estates, Parkside, Bellacree and Belcrest are set for repaving later this summer. For a detailed schedule, visit johnscreekga.gov/residents/public-works/neighborhood-repaving/repaving-schedule.
The schedule is subject to change based on weather and availability of additional crews. Paving will be done during daylight hours.
The city asks subdivision residents to not park on the street and to turn off sprinklers during the repaving process.