From the Selection Process to the Administration of the Contract Work
The City Engineer evaluates project selection from in July of the previous year with direction from the Finance Committee as to what the budget for the coming year will be for street repairs. The City Engineer takes what has been forecast up to 5 years prior and with the budget, determines what streets will be the best candidates for rehabilitation or full reconstruction of the base and pavement. From July until December, this along with other budget items are reviewed by the Public Works Committee and the Finance Committee until a budget for the following year is presented to the full Board of Aldermen for approval. The budget is read in their November meeting and adopted at the December meeting by the Board of Aldermen.
Once it is approved, the Public Works Administration staff prepares contract documents starting in late January and through February for solicitation to contractors in the St. Louis Area in April. Before the contract documents are placed out for bid, the City Engineer and the Assistant will go out to the field and mark the areas that require replacement of the existing pavement. This typically takes place during the month of March. Contract documents include a complete description of the Scope of Work. They also include the implementation of the GIS system to map the work. GIS mapping marks out specific slabs to be replaced in concrete projects. Bids are taken typically in April with awards in May. The Assistant City Engineer implements the contract administration and inspection in the field of the work.
Material Testing Inspection
The Assistant City Engineer also takes care of the material testing inspection services and provides daily updates that can be monitored by all residents on the city's website. Residents will notice a sign placed by the side of the road at the entrance to the work area in April announcing the website address for further information. This form of communication has proven to be quite successful in keeping the impacted residents involved with the work that is being undertaken. We've found that if residents know what is going on in front of their house (in weeks and days before the work actually occurs) they can plan their own schedules to avoid conflicts accordingly.
The website has pictures of similar projects so the residents become familiar with what to expect in their subdivision, what the equipment the contractors use look like, how the city inspects the work and again the daily updates of what is happening on the project in the form of a 1 or 2 sentence daily log for the project. The webpage for concrete work will actually show the specific concrete slabs to be replaced so impacted residents can tell if the slab in front of their driveway will be replaced. All in all, the city attempts to keep residents totally informed with what is going on with the street work in their neighborhood. There are phone numbers and email links there so if residents have further questions or concerns, they will have direct contact with the City Engineer or the Assistant City Engineer.