The work on the roads in North Oaks this season will be primarily in three directions: culvert replacement, pavement crack sealing, and replacement of pavement surface. Road construction season in Minnesota tends to be rather short, but it seems that our seasons are becoming more temperate (except summer, which is becoming more tropical) and we are seeing work continue later into the fall. That being said, we anticipate that our road construction season will be wrapped up by the first week of September.

At the time of this writing, eight culverts have been replaced in the community. These culverts have been upgraded in anticipation of the street improvements that will accompany them. Our deteriorating metal culverts are being replaced with high density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe, ensuring that the culverts will match the useful life of the road that will cover them. There are 247 existing culverts in North Oaks, and many were installed in the 1950s, so they have served a good life connecting the wetlands and ponds in the North Oaks community. 

NOHOA also completed a crack sealing project earlier this year utilizing a contractor that specializes in that type of work. This is the basic maintenance that is performed regularly on our pavement—pavement: huge financial capital in the NOHOA world. The most recent crack sealing project was performed in the Cherrywood Circle, South Deep Lake Road, South Long Lake Trail, Maycomb Lane, and Raven Road vicinities. In combination with this road maintenance, Mel’s has made equipment purchases that now allow them to patch larger potholes according to NOHOA engineering standards. Mel’s is taking on as much of our road maintenance as is cost effective, so look for the crew doing more to keep our roads safe and plowable.

The biggest road expense that the North Oaks community funds is road replacement. Several streets are slated for improvement by reclamation this season in the first year of our Eight-Year Road Improvement Program. After vetting several vendors, NOHOA awarded the bid to T.A. Schifsky, whose bid was on-point with the NOHOA Engineer’s estimate, and they will be able to perform the work on a scale that will allow road work to remain on schedule according to the anticipated NOHOA Eight-Year Plan. Work began in the first week of August, so watch out for Schifsky trucks and equipment all over North Oaks this road construction season. 

Before determinations as to which roads were most in need of repair and before any work was begun, all roads in the community underwent an initial, independent visual rating. After the visual rating was completed, the lowest rated roads were prioritized, and soil borings were taken on several to determine the existing pavement section and underlying soil information. This proactive engineering work allows NOHOA to concentrate our budget in an effective and efficient manner. At each stage in the process, the roads proposed for improvement are evaluated to determine what level of effort is appropriate to allow for a road surface that meets a 7-ton design and adequate life span. At the start of work on a road, test holes are completed to verify the integrity of the subsurface base and its underlying soils, which allows engineers to once again verify the necessary level of improvement.

The roads that will undergo reclamation this season are Robb Farm Road from Wren Lane to Blue Goose Road, Blue Goose Road from Robb Farm Road to Duck Pass, Duck Pass Road from Blue Goose Road to the north, Teal Island Road from Duck Pass Road to the west, Evergreen Road from East Pleasant Lake Road to the north, Willow Road from Pleasant Lake Road to Evergreen Court, Capaul Woods Court, and Brainard Way. The road study does not indicate that full reconstruction of any of these roads will be necessary. Full reconstruction requires the removal of the bituminous and base layer and the import of all new material—this is more expensive than reclamation. However, as noted above, each road is evaluated at multiple points to determine if a higher level of improvement is necessary. In addition, NOHOA has inspectors on-site during construction to ensure that work is done according to NOHOA standards and in fulfilment of contractual obligations.

 

— NOHOA Board of Directors

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