Overlay work scheduled to appease persistent residents in 2 neighborhoods

By Dan Aznoff | Aug 03, 2017

Like the final act of an intense Alfred Hitchcock murder-mystery, members of the Mill Creek City Council waited until the last possible moment before voting to schedule overlay work in the Wildflower and Mill Creek Village neighborhoods.

The council voted unanimously to grind and overlay the pavement in the two neighborhoods starting the last week in August to correct poor workmanship with the chip seal application that was applied to the residential streets in the summer of 2016. The council vote came during the regular meeting on July 25, the final scheduled meeting before the council’s annual month-long hiatus.

Work is scheduled to begin on Aug. 28 and be completed before the first of September.

The decision was made to overlay the streets before the start of the rainy season. The roadwork will be followed by required storm water repairs next year, then patching the torn-up pavement out of consideration for residents who have had to live with uneven roadways and exposed tar that many complained was tracked into their homes and garages.

Residents of the Wildflower and Mill Park Village neighborhoods have repeatedly expressed frustration over the lengthy process to make a decision about the grind and overlay work, as well as the delays that resulted when the storm water pipe issues were discovered.

Bunny Olson and her husband Alan both pleaded with the council to not delay the work for another season. Olson has addressed the council several times over the past several months regarding the failed repairs.

The suggestion of another delay angered the crowd, including retired civil engineer Didrik Voss who said properly paved road should be “95 to 99 percent” compacted when the work is complete.

Residents of the two neighborhoods left the chambers with smiles immediately after the vote.

“This was an opportunity to offset an unintended error and do the right thing,” Councilmember Mark Bond told his colleagues.

Councilmember Mike Todd agreed, adding that the chip seal work was just one of many concerns the council has faced over the past year while it took steps to correct the situation.

Mayor Pam Pruitt voted along with the rest of the council to go ahead with the overlay, but cautioned that patches to repair underground pipelines would leave the neighborhood streets looking like Frankenstein’s monster.

The timing of the work to be performed by crews from Snohomish County was questioned after the council received reports from an independent engineering firm that recommended repairs be made immediately to 13 segments of corrugated metal piping in the two communities.

Civil engineer Darryl Smith with the infrastructure consulting firm Perteet Inc. told the council his staff had watched 7.5 hours of videos and reviewed 500 photographs to come up with the recommendations.

The council decision to go ahead with the paving and not the storm water repairs in August came after Smith explained there was not enough time to complete the repairs and pave before the end of the summer construction season.
“One thing I will recommend is that this work be done before it starts to rain,” Smith told the council, explaining work done in inclement weather will diminish the quality of the repairs and shorten the life span of the pavement.

Smith initially suggested that the city comlete the storm water repairs first and wait until next year to pave the roads in order to give the streets time to settle.

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