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City Street System
For snowplowing information click here.
The City of Ramsey's street system consists of approximately 140 miles of paved streets and 5 miles of dirt streets. Our summer street maintenance program consists of:
- Patching potholes in paved streets
- Sealcoating paved streets
- Overlaying paved streets
- Grading dirt streets
- Street sweeping
Patching Potholes in Paved Streets
Potholes are caused by the freeze-thaw cycle that generally runs from mid-February to sometime in April. During the warm part of the day, the road surface thaws and run-off collects in the cracks in the pavement. When the temperature falls below freezing again, the ground and water re-freezes and naturally expands, which breaks up the pavement. Then traffic pops out these broken sections of pavement, creating potholes.
During pothole season, City maintenance crews repair these nuisances daily. Priority is given to the more heavily traveled roads, but all holes are repaired as detected. Unfortunately, with the cold patch materials used for repair and with the thawing and re-freezing conditions, a pothole can be repaired one day and need to be repaired again in a day or two.
If you notice a dangerously large or deep pothole, please contact the Street Maintenance Department at 763.427.8254 so it can be taken care of as soon as possible.
Sealcoating Paved Streets
Sealcoating is the most common method of preventive street maintenance. It's a surface treatment that seals and protects existing pavement and adds new life but does not add significant structural strength.
The City of Ramsey annually drives each of the 140 miles of paved roads in Ramsey and utilizes a pavement ratings system that determines the condition of the roads. The roads are prioritized based on that criteria and scheduled for maintenance. The general timeline for sealcoating is 5 years after construction to provide the first "seal" and again about every 7 years thereafter.
Ramsey uses a single surface treatment, which means a single application of asphalt is sprayed on the existing bituminous surface followed immediately by a single layer of aggregate (small pieces of rock) of as uniform a size as practical. The treatment is about 3/8 of an inch thick-the maximum size aggregate particles used. This type of material provides for excellent wear and waterproofing and also improves skid resistance.
Here are a few things you can expect during the sealcoating process:
- Streets will be well marked with signals and cones. Use alternate routes if possible.
- Drive slowly over the rock; don't spin your tires.
- Excess rocks will become bumpy and will be swept as soon as the new surface is ready to be exposed, usually between one and two weeks.
- Roads will be swept as necessary throughout the summer and early fall. It may take three or four times before all the excess rock is picked up.
- Don't forget: drive slowly and be patient. Crews doing the road work appreciate your cooperation.
If you have questions about a particular street, contact the Engineering Department at 763.427.1410.
Overlaying Paved Streets
Bituminous pavement becomes increasingly brittle with age. Weathering and traffic cause numerous cracks and fissures in the pavement, which can no longer be effectively sealed by crackfilling and sealcoating.
The City of Ramsey anticipates this level of deterioration to occur around 19 years after the pavement initial construction with good preventative maintenance. At this point, the City would program the pavement for a bituminous overlay.
A bituminous overly provides a one and one half-inch thickness of new bituminous mat over the original surface after City crews have repaired section failures, potholes, and depressions. The type of maintenance provides a new appearance to the surface of the street and adds additional load carrying strength to the pavement.
Here are a few things you can expect during and after the bituminous overlay process.
Streets will be marked with signals and cones, use alternate routes if possible.
The overlay takes a few hours per street.
Individual driveways will be smoothly transitioned into the new road pavement.
Within two weeks of the overlay the pavement edge will be shouldered with topsoil and seed, or Class 5 to eliminate the drop-off from the edge of the new pavement.
Bituminous carbine will become shallower.
Within a twelve-month period it is typical for the larger working cracks of the original pavement to reflect through into the overlay.
Grading Dirt Streets
The City of Ramsey currently grades each of our approximately five miles of dirt streets about twice a month in the summer months. Generally these activities occur after rainfall events when the road begins to "washboard" and becomes difficult to traverse.
If you have any questions or concerns about the condition of a dirt street, call the Ramsey Public Works Department at 763.427.8254.
Street sweeping in the City of Ramsey is performed on a scheduled basis in early spring and late fall. The purpose of spring sweeping is to collect all the sand that was spread on the roads for traction the previous winter and other debris that has collected on the roads over the winter months. Spring sweeping is normally started in late March or early April. This early start hopefully allows crews to pick up the sand spread on the roads over the winter before it can be washed into the storm sewers or roadside ditches. Because of the urgency to beat the spring rains, the city hires a contractor to help sweep our roads in the spring. On average, it takes about two weeks of ten-hour days to complete spring sweeping. The sweeping crew consists of two sweepers, two dump trucks to haul sweepings, and a water truck to help with dust control.
Maintenance crews normally start on the north end of the city where the lack of curbed streets allows the snowmelt to run into the ditch exposing road edges. As soon as weather and temperatures permit, and the curb line is exposed, the crew moves sweeping operations down to the southern part of the city, which contains most of our underground storm water system. It is important to remove as much sand as possible before it can be washed into the storm water system by spring rains. Once the sand has been washed underground, clean up costs increase dramatically.
Fall sweeping is normally started sometime in late September or early October. The timeline is not quite as critical as spring sweeping and is normally done without the help of a contractor. In fall, leaves are of some concern and areas with heavy foliage are last to be swept in an attempt to sweep up as many leaves as possible. Neighborhoods that have been sealcoated earlier in the summer also are re-swept to pick up any rock that may have been loosened by traffic.