Streets & Sidewalks

Streets & Sidewalks

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Streets - and by extension, sidewalks - are critical infrastructure for every municipality and Wendell is certainly no exception. 

Yearly budgets for the Town of Wendell have grown significantly in most years to assist in meeting the needs of a Town experiencing rapid and managed growth. 

Let's answer a few questions that are commonly asked to allow for better understanding of what Wendell does for streets and sidewalks. 

Streets that belong to NCDOT are sometimes in need of repair. Why doesn't the Town fix them? 

The NCDOT streets are the responsibility of NCDOT and the Town is not allowed to alter the streets without approval. What Public Works can do is advocate for repairs on the Town's behalf, coordinate with NCDOT on repairs, and sometimes partner with NCDOT on projects that will benefit the Town. 

Why do some streets get a coating instead of being re-paved? 

Each existing street was evaluated in 2020 during a pavement condition survey by a contracted engineering service. This survey rated each street and detailed the recommended treatment. Streets that are being 'coated' are being treated with a micro-surfacing product that lengthens the life of the roadway at a reduced cost, sometimes 75-90% less than milling out and replacing the roadway. A road being coated is a road that still has life in it that can be extended.

Why are some sidewalks being replaced when so many areas have no sidewalk in place at all? 
Existing sidewalks are subject to American Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines and that requires maintenance to ensure that existing walkways can be traversed safely. In areas where existing sidewalks are in such degraded condition that the grinding of trip hazards or spot replacements will not work, the Town must replace these walkways as part of our risk management planning. 

Each year, the Town works to identify areas that allow for more immediate connection. Many areas that had short missing sections have been filled in and many more stretches will be addressed this year. We do this while also maintaining existing walkways to keep everyone safe. 

Next, let's review what the Public Works Crews do about our streets and sidewalks. 

Streets and sidewalks are critical elements of Wendell, both in the business districts and throughout our neighborhoods. Public Works has 2 crews dedicated solely to this maintenance. Our Streets Crew conducts asphalt repairs, grading of gravel roadways, street sign placement/maintenance, crosswalk/curb/parking line painting, and much more. Our Sidewalk Crew installs new sidewalks, works to make existing walks safe, implements ADA repairs to walkways and crossings and repairs/replaces curbs and gutters.

Our Public Works Administrative Staff works with contracted engineering services, NCDOT, contractors, and other Town departments to promote a safe and vibrant environment for vehicular and pedestrian travel. 

We understand the importance of connectivity and play our part in the Town's goal of improving this as Wendell continues to grow. We understand that each person may have different priorities, or projects that are dear to their heart. 

Public Works takes all input into account and then makes sound decisions for repair or replacement based on need, budget and condition surveys. 

It is my hope that this feature gives a better understanding of what Public Works does regarding our Street and Sidewalk departments and provides insight into what guides our decisions. 

Yours in Service, 
Brian Bray, Public Works Director