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What do you think? Brick vs. asphalt streets

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[September 15, 2011]  City of Lincoln officials are deciding on future street renovations. Three of 4 1/2 blocks of the streets currently planned for resurfacing are brick or overlaid brick.

Pulaski Street is a primary route leading from Route 121 south of town into the downtown historic district.

Alderman Dave Armbrust noted that the street is brick and in poor condition all the way to Ladue Street, which is three more blocks than is currently being bid on, and would need attention in the future.

The least expensive option, to overlay brick with asphalt, is reported to have questionable longevity.

As you will note from the bids below, reworking the brick streets to put brick back down is twice the cost of removing brick and laying asphalt.

However, also to be considered is that brick streets are known to last 100 years, an average 10 times the life span of asphalt.

Aldermen must also consider the future and the costs for a number of other streets that now need renovating or soon will.

Streets being bid and their current composition

  • Pulaski Street -- 2 blocks between Hamilton and Sheridan streets; one block exposed brick, one block (in front of IGA) brick overlaid with asphalt.

  • Sixth Street -- 1 block between College Avenue and Mill Street; now brick. 

  • Kankakee Street -- 1 1/2 blocks between Peoria and Keokuk streets; no brick. 

Bid definitions

  • Base bid -- Overlay asphalt on top of the existing brick.  

  • Alternate 1 -- Remove brick and subgrade, replace with proper aggregate or gravel, asphalt overlay. 

  • Alternate 2 -- Remove brick, upgrade the subgrade, and then return brick.


Pulaski Street

  • United Contractors Midwest
    Base: $112,068.36
    Alternate 1: $178,428.98
    Alternate 2: $347,468.64

  • P.H. Boughton of Springfield.
    Base: $165,355.41
    Alternate 1: $234,719.98
    Alternate 2 -- no bid

Sixth Street

  • United Contractors Midwest
    Base: $74,250.70
    Alternate 1: $178,977.85
    Alternate 2: $305,911.76

  • P.H. Boughton
    Base: $83,788.95
    Alternate 1: $216,556.36
    Alternate 2: no bid

Kankakee Street

None of this project involves working with brick surfaces. It would be asphalt to asphalt.

  • United Contractors Midwest

  • P.H. Boughton

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It is up to the aldermen to budget how city funds are spent. In their jobs, they must consider the full picture of current revenues and expenditures for the city and view the effect on city services, as well as other infrastructure maintenance and expansion needs. The costs of street projects must be measured against future projects and other city needs.

A bigger investment in brick would be a savings realized in the more distant future but would delay important near future street work. This would be a decision made more difficult by the toughest economic times.

Aldermen and the mayor welcome citizens' thoughts as the council manages and plans for the city of Lincoln's future.

Brick vs. asphalt

Should the city invest in restoring brick, at twice the cost, that would last an average 10 times longer?

Should the city opt to take the immediate lesser cost measure of asphalt, and then be more prepared to do other street improvements in the near future years?

Should the decision be deferred, and a comprehensive street project plan created that would focus on maintaining and restoring select streets as brick and other streets asphalt?

Do you have another option?

Read the council discussion that took place on Tuesday evening for further details, and then weigh in with your thoughts on the subject.

Please be considerate of our officials' time. They represent you and want to know your opinion, but they spend a lot of their personal time to serve our community the best they can.

Keep your response brief and to the point.

Contact information
(Click on underlined names for email contact.)



Ward 1:

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Ward 5


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