The city's road construction season unofficially kicks off on Monday, May 23, when work begins on Bellevue's annual repaving program, now in its 25th year.
Workers will also fix or replace curbs, gutters and sidewalks in need of repair, and install 90 new curb ramps to make it easier for people with disabilities to get around.
This year, the city's contractor will repave about 23.5 lane miles of roadway in 32 different locations, at a cost of approximately $3.7 million. This year's budget for the overlay program is 22 percent less than last year's $4.7 million, reflecting lower revenue and a tighter city budget overall.
Since the overlay program began in 1986, more than 600 lane miles of roadway have been repaved. Citywide, there are approximately 930 total lane miles of asphalt roads.
Because of budget constraints, the main focus of the repaving efforts will be on arterial roadways. Also, the repaving work will be concentrated in the northwest part of the city because clustering projects in a different geographic area each year helps reduce costs.
In the overlay operation, old asphalt is planed down so the new overlay will match the concrete curb and gutter. A week or so later, a paving machine lays down two inches of new asphalt, followed by a heavy roller that presses the asphalt into place. Informational signs and "No Parking" signs are used to inform residents about the repaving work.
If a street is neglected for too long, all of the old asphalt must be removed, then replaced by about eight inches of new asphalt. This complete rebuild can cost up to three times as much as an overlay.
map of overlay projects
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