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PMLF | Roads

PMLF Road Assessment & Recommendations

BOD ROADS STUDY DOCUMENTS                                                                                       JUNE 2021


Lake Forest roadwork  - Memo June 2021

 The first conclusion I came to is that internet research will never tell us what the “right answer” is. First, we just don't have enough information about the road base to ever be sure of what the future will hold unless we excavate anew. And that is just not going to happen because of cost, so everything carries a risk. Second, the ongoing money problems caused by the people who made the decisions before 2018 will be with us for a while, and we don't even know what debt decisions are being made that will affect our ability to pay for road work. So, even if we knew the technical “right answer” it may not be financially the “right answer”.

 But, having read a number of technical reports and talked to several contractors I have developed a "Best Guess” opinion.

 Basic factors to be considered:

 1.           There are three options on road surface, a) stone road mix ( or crushed concrete), b) tar and chip, and c) asphalt.

2.            Roads have two enemies, weight and water. Weight crushes and ripples all surface ( even concrete), water causes the clay underneath the road bed to become slightly fluid and move around, causing surface cracks that allow water to penetrate the road surface and “explode” it during freeze/thaw cycles in spring and fall.

3.            Paving without fixing the drainage problems is problematic. Drainage for roads is a highly specialized field in civil engineering because it involves a number of environmental laws and regulations. We can fix some drainage ditches, but we need some assistance from a trained drainage engineer to fix the systematic problem. Nobody wants to hear that because nobody wants to pay for that. But we need it all the same.

4.            Tar and chip is a “dust cover. That is precisely what it was originally designed to be in 1834 ( tar and sand at that time, it became tar and stone in 1901). It has two major failings, first, it has little structural strength, so heavy vehicles quickly destroy it. I have been told by two paving companies that with the trash trucks using the roads, we will probably have to repave a tar and chip road every 2-3years. Given the inadequate base we have on clay soil that becomes slippery and unstable when wet, that estimate seems, in my current opinion, rational. Second, it is not repairable. As it has no structural strength, patches don't hold for any considerable length of time. So patching is a “new wine in old skins” problem. The patch procedure for tar and chip is filling and repaving.

5.            Asphalt is the same materials as tar and chip, but premixed in a factory. It is then laid in a 2-3” layer ( called a lift) which, because of its thickness, has some structural stability It will handle the weight of trash and propane trucks with more endurance. This can be seen on Fox and Lake Forest where sections of asphalt have been laid over sections of 10-30 feet of road and they are still in acceptable condition after several years.

6.            It should be noted that laying successive layers of tar and chip will eventually reach some level of structural strength. The issue there becomes one of long term cost and cash flow rather than materials. Morri Paving does the Marcel Lake Estates roads , putting down tar and chip every 4 years or so and they are withstanding the trash truck weight ( I don't know what their road base is like)

7.            Very rough planning number” for tar and chip ( not including prep work) is around $50k per mile. Add a minimum of 50% ( or more) for prep work for the first time through. Asphalt is twice or two and a half times that price. Tar and chip will need to be redone every 3 years on major roads, every four years on side roads, asphalt will probably last 10-15 years, but with some maintenance cost.

 I believe that the first paving that should be done is Lake Forest up to the bus stop. Given the condition of the road from the  bus stop to Wren, it financially makes sense to pave Lake Forest up to Wren. This road gets trash and propane trucks, and school buses. So the weight issue is a little more critical than on other Association roads. For this reason, my current, partially informed, opinion is it would be best to use asphalt.

 It has been repeatedly suggested that we should put down 2”of crushed stone ( or crushed concrete called CCA or RCA) to elevate the road before paving with tar and chip to alleviate the water problems. I think ( but could very well be wrong on this) that because of the thickness of asphalt lifts, we would instead put down two lifts of asphalt, one coarse layer and one finish layer. Instead of addind base, we would mill off the old surface and the asphalt thickness provides the extra elevation of the road surface. This would provide greater weight bearing capability and also allow patching of the surface to prolong lifespan. Yes, there is a risk that the inadequate base and the drainage problems would shorten the life of that pavement to the point that the extra expense doesn't make financial sense. That has to be discussed with a paving company, as an experienced guess carries more weight than someone with an “internet education” on the subject.

There is a long term financial tradeoff involved with that recommendation. We have been told that, roughly speaking, tar and chip costs around $50k per mile in today's dollars. (That price is subject to significant fluctuation based on oil prices and inflation). The first paving would involve laying an additional 2 “ of base material, so ( WAG) another $25k non-recurring per mile for the first paving. If we presume repaving every two years, it would cost $500k per mile, plus $25k once based on a 20 year period. If we get 3 years between repaving, the total 20 year cost (again, WAG) goes down to $350K per mile. ( I'll note that I'm not sure we'll even get 2 years out of the first paving job, but successive layers build up should get us to at least two and potentially 3 years paving life). That needs to be compared to the cost for paving with asphalt, which I do not have yet. If asphalt costs $300K or $350K per mile, then it makes sense to use asphalt, if it costs $500k per mile, it's a toss up, at $750 per mile asphalt probably doesn't make financial sense.

 Also, at least in Gate 2 where it is relatively flat. we should consider using crushed stone mix or crushed concrete on the side roads.  This would be far less expensive to put down ( have to mill off the old surface) and to maintain.   I don't think we should do that on significant hills

There is a lot of guesswork in this. There is still much to be learned, most notably the cost per mile of paving with asphalt. The prep costs are unknown as well. While I have presented an opinion, it is better described as a preliminary guess than as a recommendation.

 The issue  of trash trucks must be discussed. Reducing the weight that the roads are routinely exposed to changes the anticipated durability of tar and chip, and so changes the financial tradeoff analysis.


               ROADS STUDY DOCUMENTS                                                                    JUNE 2021

A Master Plan helps communities: – Manage growth and change – Provide for orderly and predictable development – Protect environmental resources – Set priorities for developing and maintaining infrastructure and public facilities – Strengthen local identity – Create a framework for future policy decisions – Promote open, democratic planning – Provide guidance to land owners, developers, and permitting authorities

Report on roadway upgrades of 10-20 based on meeting with road companies:

Master Plan     5 year plan

Roads (report 10/20):

Result of meetings with road construction companies… a company that does stone road construction and maintenance and asphalt paving (no tar and chip).It was recommended that we go with tar and chip because asphalt was too expensive and because proper maintenance on stone roads (main traffic roads: Fox, Lake Forest, Seneca, Myers/Willow Dell, Bus Route roadway, Country Club Rd. and parking lot areas up to Beach Rd) would be very expensive. Maintenance of stone roads on less traveled roads would be significantly less expensive.

It is not possible to pave roads and keep them from rapidly deteriorating unless we either excavate existing road to a much deeper depth or add several inches to road bed material to the existing roads to raise the road bed above the surrounding land. The problem is drainage.

Besides the drainage issues, vehicular weight is the primary factor in road surface degradation

We had a meeting with a company that does tar and chip as well as asphalt and stone.

This company also recommended tar and chip. They have done work here in the past and do extensive tar and chip paving for several other associations in Pike County

They recommend a minimum of two coats applied at the same time.

They also recommended raising the existing road bed at least two inches above the surrounding land to get better drainage.

They specifically cited garbage trucks and propane tucks as responsible for much of the damage to the paved surfaces. Weight is what destroys roads.

Rough order of magnitude pricing for the paving ( not including raising the road bed) is about $25k for a half mile, and about $48k for a mile. The mile length is around a 4-5 percent discount compared to two half miles. These are NOT quotes, just budgetary figures for discussion purposes. We should probably add 40 to 50 percent to that figure for raising the road beds on a one time basis

Development of Master Plan

l.   Use community map highlighting 


Clubhouse parking lot

Lake Forest to end

Fox to end

Meyers to Willow Dell to end

Country Club road up to Beach

Senaca Rd.


              .  SECONDARY ROADWAYS

Develop based on number of residents acccess


2.  Develop Priority List:

Major corridor roadways consisting of:

Gate l:               Clubhouse parking lot up country club road to beach road (drainage work needed near section going up to beach – A rough priority profile for Club House Rd. (Hill) services 31 Homes,  5 Association Lots, 9 Private Lots and  6 Tax Claim Lots

REPORT FROM GATE 1 MAINTENANCE: updated June 3, 2020 by: John Neate and Maz Cruz

This assessment is divided into four main project areas with priority on the Gate #1 entrance & clubhouse area. This area is utilized by all residents of Gate #1, and has historically been utilized by all PMLF members for community events and meetings, and will continue to serve in this manner. Work here benefits not only those who live off the Meyers Drive fork as well as the Country Club Rd./ Beach Lane fork, but the entire community as well. School buses will soon be loading and unloading children here, with many members parking and meeting the buses. Mail is distributed & gathered in this area. All community amenities are located here, and it is certainly being viewed by perspective area home buyers in what is shaping up to be a strong real estate market. This area currently has a very unkempt look, discouraging potential dues paying home-buyers from PMLF.

Project Area #1: Gate #1 entrance & clubhouse/mailbox parking & access – this area suffers from numerous potholes & debris on the roadway. The gravel debris has resulted from degradation of the road, use of gravel and similar material to fill potholes and the grit that is utilized for winter snow operations


The section of Country Club Road (CCR) between Silver Lake Road (SLR) and the parking area for the clubhouse is the absolute first thing anyone entering Gate #1 sees, and includes the bridge over the scenic Dingmans Creek. It deserves special attention. Like other areas, this area needs to have the excess gravel swept out or otherwise removed (power sweeper, leaf blowers, shovels, etc.)

Potholes here should be filled with the best material we can afford at this time, possibly cold patch w/ tamper, for an up kept look and longer term solution compared to other methods currently being used. This includes a large pothole at right corner of the eastbound exit, where CCR meets SLR, vicinity of the stop sign. It also includes potholes and defects on the paved bridge over the creek, which will help protect the bridge from damage, leaks & erosion.

On the outbound side of CCR, grade or otherwise create drainage for a low spot on the edge of the parking area, between the benches and the bridge. Unsightly standing water collects in this spot and should be drained off if at all possible. Disturbed soil should be protected from erosion with straw & seed as needed.

A large but important project is to remove the excessive gravel from the clubhouse parking lot and mailbox access area. When this is accomplished, it will be possible to locate potholes and fill with the fast-set concrete already purchased and make this area less hazardous for motorcycles, vehicles and pedestrians, inc. students.

Standing water also collects in an area





DATE:  October 13, 2020




Senaca Gate 3


Fox Gate 2

Bus Route Road Gate 2


Parking Lot areas Gate 1

Meyers thru Willow Dell Gate 1

Country Club up to Beach Gate 1



Will be determined based on number of homes accessing said roadway; will be developed in immediate future by Road Committee



Be Advised:

Meetings were held on site with Don Hiorth, Linda White and with Warner Paving.  Conversations held with Tom (owner) of Morris Asphalt by Don HIorth. 


The following is representative of these meetings and conversations:


Warner met on site and canvassed the roads recommending against asphalt for several reasons:  cost prohibitive and drainage improvements needed.  Mr. Warner recommended tar and chip and coordinated a discussion with Morris Asphalt.  Tom from Morris Asphalt indicated the following should be done:


1. He claims that if we hired Jagger to do Tar and chip on the roads, he would be a subcontractor to Morris.  Morris Asphalt does the roads in Marcel. 


2. He recommends putting 1-2 inches of modified ( 3/4 inch tone with stone dust) on top of what we have ( no need to remove current surfaces) compacting it with heavy machinery, then at least two coats of tar and  chip on top. 


4. Not counting the cost of modified and compacting, a rough order of magnitude budgetary cost or tar and  chip is about $25k for a half mile, and about $48K for a mile, thus an estimated 3-5 percent discount for a longer run.  We would have to add the cost of putting down modified and compacting..  We should be considering doing longer runs to get the biggest band for our buck


5 Trash truck and propane trucks are probably the biggest controllable factor because of weight.  Further discussion need on either going back to dumpsters (one per gate) to try and limit additional trucking traffic although other trucks beyond garbage trucks do access community roadways and cannot be prohibited.


6. We could get 2-3 years out of one paving with the truck traffic, or 4-5 years without the truck traffic.


7. I assume they would put down the modified and compact it but prices for this have to be obtained to get budgetary numbers.           

                                                                     END OF MEMO




  Below is the initial road assessment offered by the Maintenance Committee compiled which addresses some of the main access roads.  Please review and advise what type of budget can be allocated (which we know will be quite minimal) from the community funds to these areas so we can determine if additional fund raising is required.  

 Gate 2

Calculated about 4 yards to fill the pot holes on Lake Forest drive and Fox road. Because the holes vary in size, it’s difficult to come up with the exact amount. Material cost for 8 tons in about $600 plus $150 delivery charge. We’ll are still determining if additional cost will be required for spreading and rolling the material. I’ve coordinate with enough volunteers in gate 2 to help in this effort. Daylighting trees and drainage maintenance will most likely require outside contracting. For daylighting trees, I’ve received a cost estimate of $200 an hour from TLC Tree Service; another company charges $30k per mile.


Gate 1

          The hill on Teak road right on the corner of Jack Pine is in need of serious attention as its part of our main access roads and snow route. Could we get Jagger give us an assessment of cost to repair this small section as this is beyond our scope?


        We have some volunteers that have stepped up to help but we are lacking in equipment. I’ve been weed whacking and filling pot holes specially on the corner of Teak and Jack Pine where there has been drainage problems which now seems to be draining properly. Also identified drainage pipe on Plum that needs to be maintenance, I’ll try to work on this during the week. Kathy is coordinating with people specifically one that has a bucket truck and chipper to help daylight trees on Jack Pine and Steve Williams(Plummer Steve) for using his backhoe for drainage maintenance on the corner/hill on Myer’s, an area where ice forms every year and cars have been getting stuck.


        Willow Dell Drive (coming down hill on left hand side of Jeff M. and Scott B.) needs serious drainage maintenance. I’ll work directly with these guys to see how we can divert the water. Temporary patch work will be required in some areas; other areas on this road will need to be asset by a contractor.


Gate 3 – Still need to coordinate with committee members from that gate to determine course of action but from what I understand, volunteers within that gate has already been doing a good job addressing their road issues.

The committee would also like to add the rental of backhoe or equivalent for use in gate 3.

 The committee has also been in discussion of obtaining three (3) quotes/bids for complete professional roadwork in all three gates.