Street Repairs Deferred Until 2022


Each year the City of Crestwood budgets for street repairs. The city has both concrete and asphalt streets, so each year it alternates which type of pavement will be updated. Last year was asphalt replacement (also known as mill and overlay), so for 2021, $545,000 was set aside for concrete repairs (also known as selective slab replacement).

After inspecting the concrete streets, city staff designated the following for selective slab replacements in 2021: Brookview Drive, Fort Donelson Drive, Fort Henry Drive, Lodgepole Lane, Missy Court, Morningstar Trail, Oakmont Woods Court, Rosebay Drive, and Sappington Greens Lane. Combined, these streets needed nearly 2 acres of concrete slab replacements.

As usual, a Request for Bids was advertised in April, but this year only two bids were received with prices of $718,000 and $789,000 – well over the budgeted $565,000. This amount was way too high, and it was very unusual that only two bids were received, so the city issued a second request for bids hoping to get more bidders, but again only received two bids – this time at $662,481 and $714,513 (from the same two bidders) – still way over budget.

Several red flags went up, so city staff contacted other municipalities as well as other contractors to determine the cause. Apparently the pandemic had several impacts on the construction industry. There has been record demand in 2021, the cost for materials has increased, and there have been several contractors that went out of business. Due to all of these factors, just about all of the concrete contractors in St. Louis are booked for the 2021 season and are not seeking additional work. Those that are willing to take on additional work are doing so at a premium.

The city evaluated if they should accept one of the bids, but for fewer streets to meet budget, or just postpone until 2022 and catch up at that time. Not only was the price a concern, but so was schedule - the city didn't want to get into a situation where streets are torn up and the contractor has delays in finishing the project. During the May Board of Alderman meeting, it was decided (7-0) to postpone until 2022, but to advertise for bids much earlier next year (e.g. January or February). Two Request For Bids, one for 2021 concrete and one for 2022 asphalt, will be issued at that time. The funds designated to be spent for 2021 will be carried over until next year.

Staff reviewed the conditions of the streets and determined that nearly all slabs were good enough to wait one more year. For those that need replacement sooner, the city’s public works department can replace defective concrete slabs (and typically does some of this work each year). For 2021, they will identify those slabs that can’t wait and schedule them for in-house replacement.

On a related note - the city uses a street condition rating system known as PASER (Pavement Surface Evaluation and Rating). Each street is given a rating from 0-10, where 10 is basically a perfect brand new street. The city's goal is to have an average rating of 7.0 or better, and to replace streets before they reach a 3. All of the streets targeted for 2021 had PASER ratings of 4 or 5, and the city's overall average is 7.45. After these streets are updated, that score is anticipated to go up, so even with waiting one more year all pavement goals are still met.