Street Maintenance Division
The Department of Public Works Street Maintenance Division provides for the necessary upkeep and maintenance of the streets and right-of-ways in the City. The result of this maintenance which the Public Works Department provides is safer and more attractive streets and neighborhoods for our residents to use and enjoy.
All City streets and alleys are swept on a continual basis. The sweeping schedule is carried out between 1:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m., Monday through Friday, except in the Winter months. The sweeping schedule is planned to provide street sweeping in areas the day after solid waste is collected.
Street maintenance is an integral part of the division's activities. Replacing bad pavement and curb and gutter, asphalt patching, and crack filling are types of maintenance activities performed.
The maintenance of fixed bridges in the City is also done by the Division. Bridge decks must be sealed before winter to prevent salt damage and costly repairs.
With the change of season from Summer to Fall, leaf collection becomes a major function of the Division. The leaves are collected from City streets by man and machine and are ultimately composted.
Pothole Reporting System
Submit a Pothole Report (web form)
The Department of Public Works provides street sweeping of all City streets and alleys within the City limits. The street sweeping shift begins at 1:00 am and finishes at 9:00 am, Monday - Friday. The schedule is established to take advantage of the City's alternate side parking policy on residential streets. Streets are swept following the day that residents receive solid waste collection service. The goal of street cleaning includes improved safety, economy, water quality and community appearance. Debris on our City streets may damage cars, clog storm sewers, obscure pavement markings and foul our waterways. Clean streets help promote civic consciousness, encouraging citizens to take an active part in keeping the community attractive.
The Street Maintenance Division replaces sections of damaged concrete pavement on City streets. The concrete crew focuses on distressed areas of pavement that have settled or shifted due to many different causes. This work is especially important on major thoroughfares in the City that experience high traffic volumes on a regular basis. Increased loading from trucks and buses cause some slabs to differentially settle relative to each other. This causes the slabs to break down or crack leaving nonuniform street surfaces. Concrete replacement is geared to streets which are rated in the upper 50 percentile of all City streets. This is considered a permanent repair intended to substantially lengthen the life of the street, resulting in cost savings to everyone.
The Street Maintenance Division repairs distressed areas of asphalt paving in the City. Asphalt repairs are either performed on concrete streets that have been overlain with asphalt or full depth asphalt streets in the City. Distress in the asphalt pavements is caused by water, ice, extreme temperature variations, and normal wear and tear, to name a few causes. The Street Maintenance Division works closely with the Engineering Department to determine the best method of repair to insure that work being done will extend the life of the pavement.
Beginning in 1994, the Department of Public Works emphasized the crack filling of City streets as a preventative maintenance activity which will lengthen the life of our City streets. The Department of Public Works, Street Maintenance Division maintains a crack filling crew to fill joints in City pavements. The purpose of crack filling is to reduce foreign materials from entering joints and cracks in pavements. Pavements in Wisconsin expand and contract with the wide temperature variations that we experience. Reducing water infiltration and foreign particles such as stones, gravel and sands provides for extended pavement life.
Curb & Gutter
The Street Maintenance Division also maintains and replaces sections of damaged curb and gutter on City streets. The concrete crew focuses on distressed areas of curb and gutter that have settled or shifted due to many different causes. Misaligned curb and gutter causes poor water flow resulting in ponding water in summer months and icing problems in winter. Improper drainage is a leading cause of premature failure of our pavements.
The Department is also tasked with maintaining the fixed bridges within the City. The maintenance of these bridges consists of sealing the bridges with a liquid solution in the Fall of each year to reduce the potential for salt solutions to penetrate the bridge and cause harmful damage to the reinforcing steel embedded in the concrete. This preventive maintenance is a cost-effective process that will extend the life of the City's bridges and, thus, defer costly replacements of these structures before their design life can be realized.
The Department of Public Works has the responsibility for enforcing Ordinance Section 42-56 through 42-63 governing weeds on private property. The Commissioner of Public Works is the Weed Commissioner for the City. An Assistant Weed Commissioner is appointed from the field supervisory staff to carry out the enforcement of the weed ordinance. The Department of Public Works, upon receipt of a complaint, inspects the subject property to verify if a violation has occurred. Photos are taken if a violation exists, and the surrounding area is inspected to see if other violations exist. The Weed Order and citation is sent to the owner of record, using the City Assessor's records. The due date of the Weed Order is seven days after date of issuance. One day after the due date of the Weed Order, the Assistant Weed Commissioner again inspects the property to verify compliance. If the property is still in violation, the Department of Public Works then cuts the property.
Property owners are assessed the cost of weed cutting through the Department of Public Works. Rates for weed cutting services are reviewed each year and updated to ensure that the cost of labor and equipment is recovered by the City. This was done in an attempt to remind citizens that it is their responsibility to maintain their properties in an acceptable condition.
Primary snow and Ice Control
The Public Works Department salts and plows City streets. As plows clear the streets, they push the snow toward the curb. Inevitably, the snow will be pushed in front of driveway entrances. Unfortunately, there is no way to avoid this. Each resident must assume responsibility for clearing enough of this snow to allow them to get in and out of their driveway.
Residents who are incapable of removing this snow themselves or who do not care to do so may choose to hire a teen or plow service to assist them.
The highest priority of the Public Works plow drivers must be to make the streets as safe as possible for vehicle traffic and particularly for the passage of emergency vehicles in the event they need to get to your house.
There are over 260 miles of streets in the City of Racine that the plows must keep clear and salted. While we regret any inconvenience, we trust that you understand.