Choosing an Asphalt Contractor for Municipal Projects

If you’re a municipal engineer or infrastructure project manager, you’re well aware of elements like code compliance and budget restrictions — which means you need a paving partner that knows about these elements, too. Public roadways and paved surfaces get far more traffic than residential surfaces, and the asphalt contractor you work with needs to have the experience, tools, and quality materials to create paved surfaces that stand up to high volumes of wear and tear. 

Our team of paving professionals has put together this great guide to help ensure your municipality is choosing the perfect paving partner.

Decide When to Outsource

The first step to choosing the right asphalt contractor is by understanding when it’s time to outsource the work beyond municipal paving crews. Contractors (like Leritz) are focused solely on installing, repairing, and replacing asphalt — it’s all we do. Municipal crews have much more on their to-do list, like roadside landscaping, cleaning up public roadways, and putting up traffic navigation signs. By outsourcing to a contractor, you can help eliminate a backlog that’s created by throwing asphalt work into the mix

Another consideration when deciding when to outsource is the scope of work. Think about the time and labor spent on several paving projects spread out across the geography of your municipality, and compare that to the cost of outsourcing. Often it’s much more efficient both cost and labor-wise to hand off these smaller yet impactful asphalt projects to a contractor. 

Additionally, there are always emergencies that pop up or work that needs to be done at night, on weekends, and even on holidays. This can add up to serious overtime pay, and municipal budgets are generally stretched thin as it is. Contractors have the tools and time to deal with emergencies quickly, as well as the specialization to complete work during the off-hours without causing a headache for the municipal payroll manager.

Think About the Benefits

As mentioned above, experience and specialization is perhaps the biggest advantage offered by working with asphalt contractors. Because of this, along with access to specialty equipment, contractors can also offer a variety of paving options that municipal teams wouldn’t have. Stone-matrix, perpetual pavement, porous asphalt, and open-graded friction course pavement are just a few commonly used methods for municipal paving projects.

Fiber-reinforced asphalt (FORTA-FI®) application is another of these options. It’s a durable asphalt application that’s ideal for municipal roadways and parking lots for a variety of reasons:

  • Tensile strength: FORTA-FI® is stronger than traditional asphalt, withstanding pressure and weight with less cracking and damage.
  • Durability: It keeps pavement more durable and flexible for longer, decreasing the incidents of cracks over time.
  • Layer thickness: The installation requires fewer layers to be as tough as traditional asphalt.
  • Cost savings: Fewer layers means lower cost per installation and lower maintenance costs.
  • Longevity: Extends the life of the pavement by up to 50% by reducing the damage that requires resurfacing or even replacement.

Optimize the Bidding Process

You already know that it’s important to get a few estimates from a variety of asphalt contractors for your municipal projects, but do you know which questions to ask during the bidding process? Below are just a few that will help you determine the best fit for your project so you don’t end up with less-than-quality work or cost overruns. 

  1. How is your asphalt manufactured?
  2. Do you have specialty equipment on hand or will you need to rent it?
  3. What is the projected timeline to complete this project?
  4. Will you be able to work with our budget?
  5. What will happen if there’s a scheduling delay or cost overrun?
  6. Do you offer maintenance programs? If so, what do they include?
  7. Are your licenses and certifications complete and current? Can you prove it? 

Make your bid depending on the answers to these questions. It’s also critical to ask asphalt contractors about their past work with municipality projects. They should have a thorough understanding of municipality regulations like stormwater management and ADA compliance. The last thing you need is paved surfaces that don’t meet important compliance that keeps your municipality’s residents and visitors safe.

Municipal asphalt paving projects are far different from residential projects, and there are plenty of moving parts you need to consider and address in order for the work to be completed properly. When it’s time to outsource your municipal paving, give the Leritz team a call to learn how we can help. From prep to maintenance, and everything in between, we’ll work with you to get the result you’re looking for.