As many cities experience less and less revenue for infrastructure projects, the City of Ridgecrest is not excluded. The City of Ridgecrest (population of 29,000) is a small town located in the high desert near Death Valley. We experience extreme heat in the summer and cold temperatures in the winter months. This extreme variance in temperatures is very harsh on our road infrastructure. The last Pavement Management Study that was conducted revealed the city had an overwhelming road condition issue. The problem was estimated to be tens of millions of dollars, which we of course do not have. Citizens were becoming impatient with the lack of streets receiving maintenance or repairs. In 2018, our City Council tasked the Public Works Department with evaluating and implementing a road slurry program. Public works identified the equipment and staff needed to have a successful program. In the spring of 2019, staff selected roads that were raveling and in extremely poor condition to begin our slurry program. That spring, our staff completed 3.8 miles of roadway with the slurry program. In the fall of 2019, 3.02 miles of roadway was completed, and in the spring of 2020, staff completed 3.49 miles. Our Public Works Director estimates the cost of doing our own slurry program is half of what it would cost us if we had hired a contractor. They are currently getting a new pavement study and cost analysis completed, which would provide accurate numbers on the saving we have experience and percentage of roads we have been able to improve. This was a huge undertaking for a small city, but the out of the box thinking has led to many of our roads being improved and made many citizens happy. It is amazing to me that such a small crew, with zero slurry seal experience, has been able to improve so many miles of road in a relatively short period of time. I believe less than a handful of small cities in California have their own slurry programs. Being able to maintain these roads this way preserves the core structure and prevents oxidation, which will save millions upon millions of dollars for years to come. I sure I am not doing this project justice with my explanation of the program, but I don’t have any experience in roads other than driving on them. With that in mind, please consider recognizing these dedicated people for improving our way of life by forward thinking and not being afraid of hard work. Please reach out to me if you have any questions. Thank you!
City or County Responsible for Project:
Roads: Efficient and Sustainable Road Maintenance, Construction and Reconstruction Projects.
Narrative Description Of Your Entry:
City of Ridgecrest
100 W. California Ave., Ridgecrest, CA 93555