Powell officials discuss street, path repairs


By Dillon Davis - [email protected]



During Tuesday’s meeting of Powell City Council, Pavement Management Group (PMG), a pavement management consultant, provided an update to council members on the conditions of the city’s streets and pathways as part of the Street and Path Maintenance Program.

The City of Powell began outsourcing the rating of its street program in 2021, replacing the labor burden on the city with PMG’s highly-detailed evaluation system. Speaking to council members on Tuesday, PMG founder and CEO James Golden defined pavement management as “nothing more than a systematic approach to the annual maintenance and repair of your roadway and pathway networks.”

Golden summarized the need for a pavement management system by saying, simply, “What gets measured gets improved.” As for the goals of a pavement management system, Golden highlighted four specific areas that represent what PMG sets out to do for the city. Those goals include maximizing the city’s annual maintenance repair budget, returning taxpayer dollars, extending the life of the current pavement networks, and optimizing those conditions over the entire landscape.

Through PMG’s condition assessment, which includes a Pavement Condition Index, pathways are evaluated for a total of 20 different types of distresses for asphalt and 19 distresses for concrete. Pathways are ultimately graded on a scale ranging from excellent condition to a failed pathway.

PMG’s 2021 report for the city of Powell showed an average PCI of 70, which is considered “good” according to their grading scale. A further breakdown of the evaluation showed that 61 of the 626 total sections were given an “excellent” grade, while 325 sections fell in the “good” category.

Ninety-one of the sections graded in the “poor” category, and one section — Glen Abbey Court — failed the evaluation.

Of the 211 sections of paths evaluated around the city, 14 were graded as “excellent” and 94 were graded as “good.” A total of 36 sections were deemed to be “poor,” and four more sections failed the evaluation. The city’s path network received an overall grade of 67 of “fair.”

Golden said of the value of the system, “We do all of this project planning capabilities … We’re now able to define the maintenance policies here within the city, what those costs associated with each recommended treatment looks like, identify the maintenance needs out there within the city for both pathways and roadways, and establish the community needs, the budget needs, and start the projects.”

Engineering consultant firm GPD Group, which works with the city to take the feedback of PMG’s program and put together a maintenance plan, was also on hand to propose the 2022 program for street and pathway maintenance. Lance Oldham, a project manager with GPD, said GPD has a “kickoff meeting” in February with City Engineer Chris Huber and identified 32 streets to be considered for inclusion in the 2022 program.

Sticking to the city’s budget of approximately $1.5 million, 12 streets and two paths were identified by GPD and included in the base bids proposal. The roads included in the base bid proposal are Delaney’s Circle, Manderly Court, Vinwood Lane, two segments of North Liberty Street, Ashmore Circle, Ashmore Drive, Pilcher Court, Meadow Ridge Court, Forest Ridge Court, Olentangy Ridge Place, Hopewell Drive and Beech Ridge Drive.

Paths suggested in the base bid proposal include all paths at Adventure Park and the pathway along Vinwood Lane.

Streets identified as potential alternate bids include Cressingham Lane, Timberknoll Loop, Nathan Drive, and Vinwood Court. Alternate path projects include the railroad stretch from Powell Place to Rutherford Road and the Rutherford Estates pathway.

GPD’s estimation of the total construction costs of the projects is $1,341,649 for all base bids and an additional $830,232 for the alternate bids.

Oldham said the plan is to advertise the bids in May before awarding the contracts by early June. On that timeline, the construction of the projects would begin in June and be finished in October.

Following the presentation, Powell Mayor Daniel Swartwout said it is “very exciting to bring forward the most robust road, street, and path improvement program that the city of Powell has had in memory, maybe ever, as (City Manager) Andy (White) said.”

Councilman Frank Bertone said of the work done by PMG and GPD, “This is a game-changer conversation for us. We went from $350,000 to $500,000 annually. That’s what we typically spend around here. So, the potential of spending $1.5 million to potentially $2 million, depending on where this conversation moves … I’m sure we can accommodate some of those poor and failed sections at a far more aggressive posture than we have in the past, so this has been most beneficial.”

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By Dillon Davis

[email protected]

Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.

Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.