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A concrete decision on Broadway
Platteville council sticks with concrete, though project more expensive than planned
The Platteville Common Council voted unanimously March 11 to use concrete for the paving surface of Broadway north of Stevens Avenue, despite the cost of the projects exceeding original estimates, and the projects including a bike path and work on Grant Street. - photo by Photo by Michael Prestegard

After a half-hour of discussion of the merits of concrete and asphalt roads, the Platteville Common Council March 11 decided to pave Broadway from Stevens Avenue to Madison Street with the same material the city used last year south of Stevens — concrete.

The council’s 5–2 vote means the city will have to fund $279,073 that was not funded in the nearly $2.42 million in three projects the council approved.

Part of the shortfall will be covered by not spending $75,000 in budgeted Municipal Building work. The rest will initially be funded by the city’s fund balance, with the ultimate funding source, including possibly borrowing, determined later this year when the city’s financial position becomes clearer, Director of Public Works Howard Crofoot said.

At-large Alds. Mike Denn and Patrice Steiner were opposed. The vote required two-thirds approval because it exceeded what was budgeted in the 2014 city budget.

The original project — paving Broadway with concrete — was almost $153,000 more than the $2.13 million the city budgeted. The council also voted to spend another almost $121,000 on reconstructing Grant Street, including sewer and water.

The council also voted to spend more than $15,000 to construct a bike path in Moundview Park, though that money will come from park impact fees.

P.A. McGuire Construction of Highland was the project’s low bidder.

The city reconstructed Broadway from Main Street to Stevens Avenue last year using concrete.

The council decided against reducing the project’s cost by $182,000 by using asphalt instead of concrete.

Denn motioned to use asphalt instead of concrete, but his two motions died for lack of a second, after a memo suggested taking $165,000 from projects listed on the city’s Capital Improvement Plan.

“Part of it is taking away from street repair, and that’s the last thing we want to do,” said Denn.

The meeting included a debate of sorts on the merits of asphalt and concrete between advocates of each material.

“We need flexible pavement,” said Don Iverson, who was formerly in the asphalt business. Iverson said patching concrete was more expensive, and asphalt was easy to recycle.

Heath Schopf, director of construction engineering for the Wisconsin Concrete Pavement Association, noted that Delta 3 Engineering, which did the engineering work for the project, recommended concrete.

Delta 3’s Dan Dreessens said asphalt roads require a deeper base because the surface is more flexible. Dreessens said concrete is more expensive to install, but asphalt requires more maintenance.

“Both can be great for the City of Platteville,” said Dreessens. “It just matters how much you take care of them.”

A memo from Dreessens said the project’s underground construction costs — specifically storm sewer piping and structures — were higher than in 2013. Dreessens’ memo said project cost may have increased as well because of concern about finishing the project by the specified date given the possibility of a delayed start because of frost levels in the ground.

District 3 Ald. Barb Daus’ motion to approve the three projects included $75,000 from Municipal Building funding and $20,000 in funding from CIP accounts, but specified not taking funds from sidewalk repairs or street maintenance projects.

Daus’ motion passed 7–0.