June 20 was the first day of summer. But in the northwest, the first true day of summer—when the mercury starts to rise—is usually July 5. This year was no exception and our belated summer start just so happened to correspond with the first day of the City of Bellevue’s 2012 Overlay Program—an annual repaving program that helps to extend the life of City streets.
What does the Overlay Program entail? It’s a $5 million street maintenance package that improves the City’s road network through pavement, curb, gutter, sidewalk and walkway repair, bridge inventory and maintenance, and Americans with Disabilities (ADA) retrofit work.
This year, there are four primary project sites, focused on some of Bellevue’s busiest thoroughfares:
- NE 8th Street: 124th Ave NE through 156th Ave NE;
- 148th Ave NE: Main St to SR 520;
- 156th Ave NE: Bel-Red Rd to NE 28th St; and
- 164th Avenue: SE 14th St to NE 8th St.
During the Overlay Program, there may be travel impacts such as lane closures or delay. However, traffic delays are deftly mitigated by flaggers and police officers that direct traffic through the construction site or detour motorists to predetermined routes around the site. You can learn of real-time traffic impacts by following Bellevue’s Twitter feed (@BellevueWA) where the day’s repairs are posted every morning (or in the afternoon if there night work is scheduled).
Crews have been hard at work to ensure the repaving is completed on-schedule. The grinding and overlay work is complete for the 156th Ave segment; new striping and channelization will complete that portion.
The regular maintenance that is part of the Overlay Program extends the life of the roadway in a cost-efficient manner. If a roadway is neglected too long, all of the old asphalt must be removed, then replaced by six to ten inches of new asphalt depending on the roadway’s type and level of use. This complete rebuild can cost up to three times as much as an overlay.
How are roads selected to be overlayed?
Projects are selected through the Pavement Management System, which selects roadway candidates from the City’s 942 lane miles for maintenance at the most cost-effective time in the pavement’s lifecycle. It prioritizes the streets based on their functional classification (neighborhood/residential, arterials, etc.), roadway defects, and current street ratings to create a five-year overlay plan.
Once this year’s hard work is complete, a new set of streets will be selected and the process will be repeated in 2013.
- Overlay Program page
- 2012 Overlay Map
- 2012 Overlay news release
- City of Bellevue Twitter feed
- Overlay video
- Overlay process
- Contact the City about a traffic safety concern (parking and speeding enforcement, street light outage and traffic signal problem, traffic volume, speeding (non-enforcement), and parking concerns)