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Council orders design of Morgan Road surface fix
• Alligator cracking of street a sign it needs resurfacing
Widening need of Morgan
As the city plans to widen Morgan Road in front of four ranchettes, it also noticed that significant pavement cracking is occurring which is triggering a resurfacing project along the entire stretch – from Whitmore Avenue to Service Road. - photo by JEFF BENZIGER/Courier file photo

Councilmembers decided last week to allocate $26,644 to begin design work for an overlay of Morgan Road that will compliment a widening and sidewalk project that will happen next year.

The city applied for and received an Active Transportation Plan – Safe Route to Schools grant in June 2017 and must get the project finished by the end of 2022. The grant covers the costs of engineering design and construction. The project was budgeted in Fiscal Year 2018-19. On August 10, 2020 the City Council awarded the design contract to Ruggeri-Jensen-Azar Engineering. During the plan review, the consultant recommended resurfacing Morgan Road because of its condition. Last week the council agreed in a 5-1 vote.

The resurfacing, which is expected to start in the summer, would cover Morgan Road between Whitmore Avenue and Service Road.

The city is planning to widen a section of Morgan Road in front of four ranchettes south of Hackett Road and to add sidewalks where they are missing.

Councilwoman Linda Ryno was concerned that the design work was being ordered too early when the Morgan Road widening and sidewalk project hasn’t begun.

“We don’t even know …  if that sidewalk project is going to actually go forward,” said Ryno.

Associate City Engineer Sam Royal said he understood Ryno’s concern but told her: “The road really needs it. We’re doing a lot of striping on Morgan Road and that involves a lot of bike path with a lot of lane shifting and a lot of improvement and so I hate to come back after doing all the new striping and come back and … restripe the road again and that’s going to be a huge cost for that long of a stretch of a road.”

Royal clarified that the road still needs rehabilitation because of all the fatigue cracking, also known as “alligator” cracking. The cracking patterns resemble the scales on a reptile’s back.

“They’ll be a lot of dig-outs and an overlay from Whitmore all the way to Service Road,” said Royal.

Some of the project is being funded by Measure L tax funds as a match to the federal grant.