Marietta's 89 miles of roadways have received a combined pavement condition index (PCI) rating of 66 out of a possible 100 points, according to a 2012 pavement management report presented to city council's streets and transportation committee Tuesday.
"A rating of 66 means the city's roadways are considered overall to be in fair condition, and for communities in this region of Ohio, that rating is about average," said James Golden, president and CEO of JG3 Consulting, LLC of Heath, Ohio.
JG3 provides pavement survey and analysis services for the city, and updates streets condition information in the city's MicroPaver database every two years.
Golden said the study for the 2012 PCI rating was completed in May and included brick, asphalt and concrete streets.
The PCI rating is determined by considering type, quantity and severity of pavement distress, or wear. Some types of distress include pavement cracking, rutting and weathering.
The 2012 PCI ratings ranged from "excellent" on Washington Street, with a score of 95, to a rating of "failed" for a section of Montgomery Street that received a PCI rating of 10.
Marietta's PCI average over the last eight years is 68, Golden said.
City engineer Joe Tucker uses the PCI rating of each city street to help determine which roadways should be included in the city's annual asphalt paving programs.
"My goal is to get our overall streets rating to at least the low 70s," he said. "At the end of the day, what we're after is to make sure the city streets are in the best shape possible. And what will get us there is more aggressive maintenance and sealing of road surfaces."
Golden added that water is the biggest detriment to asphalt pavement, and because 79 percent of city streets are asphalt, crack-sealing and other methods of keeping water out of the road surface can preserve and add years to the roadways.
Tucker recommended the city maintain a regular crack-sealing program in the spring and fall of each year to help extend the life of pavement on city streets.
In other business Tuesday, Tucker said the purchase of one permanent and three temporary right of way easements for the 2013 Pike, Acme and Jefferson streets intersection upgrade project would cost a total of $40,725.
He said while the city would have to produce the money up-front from allocated Community Development Block Grant funds, 90 percent of the cost would be reimbursed by the federal government, and the remaining 10 percent will be reimbursed from the state.
"In the end there will be no cost to the city," Tucker said.
Legislation approving the up-front payment for the rights of way will be introduced at the next regular council meeting.
Vendor's zoning request
Also on Tuesday, members of council's planning, zoning, annexation and housing committee discussed a request by city resident Elisha Tornes to allow the sale of flavored shaved ice from her specially-designed van in some city parks.
Tornes and family members worked through last winter on her musical "Penguin Paradice" van in which she originally planned to travel through city neighborhoods, selling the shaved ice cones.
She later learned that current city code does not allow food vendors to sell their products on city streets or other public property.
Earlier this month Councilman Tom Vukovic, D-4th Ward, said prohibiting ice cream trucks and other food vendors from selling on city streets addressed a safety issue because children were likely to run into the streets to meet the vehicles.
On Tuesday Vukovic also voiced concern that the icy treats could contribute to the national childhood obesity problem.
But committee chairman Roger Kalter, D-1st Ward, suggested allowing Tornes to park the van in certain city parks to sell her product from the stationary vehicle.
He said those areas could include Lookout Park, Buckeye Park, Indian Acres Park and Flanders Field.
Council president Walt Brothers agreed.
"Personally I think this would add some color and bring more people into our city parks," he said.
But Vukovic said allowing Tornes to sell shaved ice in the parks would open the door for other food vendors to sell on public property, which is currently banned by city code.
"If they want to park the van on private property and sell shaved ice, that's fine, but I think we're opening a can of worms if we allow it on public property," he said.
Kalter recommended a trial period that would allow Tornes to sell the flavored ice in city parks through the fall.
"If there's any issue, we can work it out later," he said.
Kalter said he would talk to city law director Paul Bertram III about the proposal.