The Sunset Hills Public Works Department provide minor maintenance activities to streets throughout the year and plow the snow from them during snow events.
They also respond to resident complaints for a host of issues. When City Hall receives a call, the complaint is logged into an Access database we developed in-house. The Street Superintendent has a computer in his office that is networked into this system and it reports to him all of the pertinent information so he can dispense the maintenance request directly to his personnel.
Something to keep in mind, all of the work that the department does, only reflects those streets in the city's network. The Interstate highways of I-44 and I-270 are not in our network, nor are Lindbergh Boulevard, Gravois or Watson. These are in the MoDOT network. Sappington is a county-level street. Also there are a number of private streets. We provide snow removal service wherever possible to private streets, but MoDOT and St. Louis County are responsible for their jurisdictional pavements respectfully.
Obviously, with 11 men and 54 center-line miles of streets, the Street Department keeps busy with maintenance related activities. They always have more things on their list to get to, than manpower. The Street Superintendent places a daily task list on a page at this website that is available to you here. If you have something that needs attention on your city maintained street, you can call Bob Riggs at 314-842-6080 or email him with your question or concern.
Street Maintenance Issues are cataloged into 16 different categories. They are tracked until the item is resolved to the satisfaction of the complainant. These categories are as follows:
This is where our street crews will come in behind a contractor's project with the city and perform many of the clean-up related activities for the job. We found that over the years, we can react to and coordinate clean up work most effectively to the desires of the residents by doing this part of road rehabilitation projects without in-house forces. This could involve anything from the patching back of asphalt driveways after a concrete slab package to placement of seed and straw in back fill areas after an asphalt overlay.
This is where the street crews will clean out the debris in the cracks or the seams in a concrete or asphalt pavement and fill this area in with hot, melted tar compound. This helps to reduce the amount of water that permeates below the pavement resulting in potholes due to the freeze-thaw process that occurs in the winter. Crack sealing work is most prevalent during the dry pavement days of the winter.
This can be either concrete curb or asphalt-curb maintenance. We typically try to group together as much of this activity as possible. i.e. - there may be a number of the areas of the city where we would do this work simultaneously so we can order a reasonable amount of asphalt or concrete and make arrangements to rent a curb machine if we are working on asphalt curbs. If you report a broken curb at a certain location, it may be several months before we get to it so it can be grouped with other areas, but rest assured that it will remain on the Superintendents list via the complaints database we maintain.
This is where we might have a call for a dead animal in the street. Obviously this is not 1 of our favorite tasks, but somebody has to do it.
This is where we might have some problems that we need to take care of on the City Hall Campus or for the Parks Department. The street crew does maintain the city campus grounds for landscaping and mowing the grass through out the summer months.
There are numerous metal guardrails located throughout the city street network that are damaged in accidents that need replacement.
We don't do as much of this as in the past. Mudjacking is a process of pumping a light concrete mix into voids that are found under concrete pavement.
Spot patching in the winter to more permanent patches in the Spring and Summer. Pothole patching is important work for the street crew and they take this responsibility very seriously.
This is where the street crew will make a repair to the side of the road due to an auto accident. As a department, we see to it that the time and materials spent in this activity are back-charged to the party responsible for the accident.
This is probably the toughest issue when we get a call on it. There is little that can be done to drain the puddle that is in the middle of a concrete pavement. Even asphalt is difficult to correct with our grinder that fits on our skid steer loader as the asphalt surface is left in a very rough condition after the correction action. Many times the correction here is worse that the original problem.
The Street Department maintains all of the traffic control signage on our street network. They also maintain the street name signage accordingly. We developed in-house a means of tracking our sign inventory on an Access database that we have linked to our GIS system. We keep records on when a sign is damaged and when it is restored to service accordingly for street signage.
Known throughout the Metropolitan St. Louis Area for the high quality and quick response to snow removal, the Street Department takes great pride in this part of their job. You can track what is going on during a snow event by checking out an online page we maintain for snow removal. By hitting the refresh button on your browser during normal business hours of an event (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Monday through Friday) you can get minute by minute updates in our progress. We monitor the Public Works 2-way radio channel at City Hall and post updates to the website constantly during this type of work until the roads are cleared.
Most of the sewers in Sunset Hills are under the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District. If there is an emergency and we have the expertise to correct an immediate problem, we will try to remove blockages, but the responsibility here is strictly with MSD. Something to keep in mind, while we have 11 men and react fairly quickly to concerns in the city, MSD is a drastically larger jurisdiction with all of St. Louis County to tend to. Their reaction times to sunken areas have been in the neighborhood of at least a month before they would have someone out to correct a problem. The Sunset Hills Public Works Department has absolutely no control over an issue once it is deemed not to be in our jurisdiction. Calls from that point forward are best made to the responsible jurisdiction and in this case, that is MSD.
About twice per year in the Spring and in the Fall, we contract for street-sweeping services. The reason for contracting this service is simple. Street Sweepers are high maintenance cost machines.
When trees are hanging low in city maintained right of way, we clear them as best we can. In the late summer to early fall, we drive our street network in preparation for the winter and clear any low hanging limbs that would provide a problem for truck mirrors, etc.
Once about every 6 weeks in the summer months, we cut vegetation in our rights of way that are not cut by the adjoining property owners. We have a 2-man crew take care of this when we can break them free from cutting city campus grounds in the summer months.