Top 3 Tips on Hiring the Right Asphalt Contractor for Municipal Paving Projects
As a municipal engineer, you know the fundamentals of soil compaction, ADA curb ramps, preparation of concrete construction, and proper installation of asphalt. And you need a paver who does too. Because public property gets much higher levels of traffic than residential or private property roadways and parking lots, public areas should be paved by a contractor who understands how the properties will be used and how to extend the life of the asphalt. To that end, we asked our municipality clients to give us the top three tips on hiring an asphalt paving contractor for municipal paving projects.
TIP ONE: UNDERSTAND WHEN OUTSOURCING MUNICIPAL PAVING PROJECTS CAN SAVE TIME AND MONEY
Commercial property budgets are notoriously tight as it is, and you could certainly use that money elsewhere. So here are some indicators whether you need repairs or if you need to resurface or replace your asphalt.
- Your municipality’s crew has a lot of other tasks. Paving contractors are singularly focused on paving. They are not general contractors who have paving on their list of services. They specialize in it, so their crews are skilled and their equipment is well maintained. However, municipality-staffed paving crews do many other tasks such as mowing, cleaning roadways and putting up signs. When municipalities have to divert their crew to such tasks, they may end up with a backlog.
- You have a lot of small projects that are spread out all over. When a municipality has to complete a lot of small projects that are all over the urban area, it’s difficult for them to beat the unit price of an outside paving contractor. In this case, hiring an outside paving contractor can provide savings.
- You need to get more done, faster. Municipalities have a lot of emergency projects that pop up throughout the year that require night and weekend work, so long hours and weekend work can really add up in overtime pay. Instead of taking longer for routine paving projects (to avoid paying public employees overtime), it’s better to outsource these types of projects. Paving contractors can also typically respond more quickly and efficiently on large scale projects and numerous projects that are similar.
TIP TWO: HIRING A PAVING CONTRACTOR WITH THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT STARTS AT THE BIDDING PROCESS
While municipalities often cannot justify the cost of purchasing and upkeeping large specialty equipment, professional asphalt paving contractors should be equipped to take on high tonnage jobs. They should own large-scale, efficient equipment that is kept in top shape. If the contractor has to rent equipment, there is a greater chance that the equipment will be unavailable at the time of your project or will break down from improper maintenance. Ask potential contractors about their equipment during the bidding process to be sure they have what it takes for large-scale projects.
TIP THREE: HIRE A PAVING CONTRACTOR WITH MUNICIPALITY PAVING EXPERIENCE
Municipal paving contractors who are used to performing large projects that are completed in phases require different competencies than residential or commercial paving contractors. To ensure minimum disruptions and quality work that is on time and on budget, you’ll want to choose a paving contractor with large scale experience. They should demonstrate an understanding of your municipality’s needs and regulations, including stormwater management and ADA compliance. You shouldn’t have to babysit the project, so make sure you hire a contractor who can make decisions during the project that will be consistent with municipal policy.
Not only will choosing the right paving contractor will prevent damage, accidents and injury, but it will enrich your local economy as you make your municipality a place people want to roam. You understand the importance of your job, and DC Construction welcomes you to join with a paving company who recognizes your role as well. Include us on your next bid.