A. In Wentzville, much street movement starts
with temperature and moisture changes in clay soil below our concrete streets. Wentzville soils have high clay content and do
not drain well so they freeze and expand as winter temperatures set in. Expansion of the soil occasionally pushes up
on concrete driveways, sidewalks, and pavements creating a condition commonly described
as “frost heave”. As the ground thaws the stopping and turning
of vehicles can cause the concrete slabs to slide in small increments on the
saturated clay soil. Another condition contributing
to driveway and street movement is thermal expansion and contraction of the
Q. Does street movement happen everywhere?
A. Street movement occurs
in many locations depending on the terrain, temperature fluctuations and soil
types. Street movement is often more noticeable
at the end of cul-de-sacs, at “T” intersections, on hills and on the outside of
street curves. This is because stopping
and turning vehicles are frequently pushing on the pavement at these locations.
Wentzville done anything to manage street movement?
A. Yes. Many concrete subdivision streets were built directly
on clay soils. Our street replacement
and new construction standards now include a compacted rock subgrade, pavement
underdrains, and full depth pavement expansion joints at intersections, hills
and curves. The City also encourages homeowners,
builders, and developers to install full-depth expansion joints at several
locations in their private driveways and sidewalks.
Q. How does Wentzville handle resident
concerns about street movement?
A. When the City receives
a concern about street movement, we perform an inspection for misaligned street
joints; and gaps along the street edge, sidewalks, and driveway expansion
joints. If street movement exists, the
City may remove and replace several street slabs and install pavement
underdrains to improve subgrade drainage.
The City may also consider placement or replacement of expansion joints
in the street, or between the street and a private driveway.
How does the City replace an expansion joint at a private driveway?
If pavement movement
exists, and the City inspection indicates the need for replacement of an
expansion joint between the street and a private driveway, it is performed at
no charge to residents. This is a
service provided by the City even though private driveways are the maintenance
responsibility of the property owner. The
City typically removes two to four inches of concrete pavement or driveway slab
at the street curb, and then fills in this area with expansion material.
Q. Is expansion joint replacement a
Not always. History has shown that pavements may continue
to move slightly. There have been
occasions where the City has provided second replacements of expansion joints due
to continuing street movement.
Is the City responsible for the
resulting damage that may occur due to street movement?
A. Based on current case
law (A.K. and Virginia Zumwalt vs. Boone County, MO), municipalities and
governing bodies are not responsible for damage on private property that may be
associated with street movement in the public right of way. Consequently, the City’s insurance carrier
does not reimburse homeowners.
Q. What can residents do to lessen the chances
their property might be damaged?
A. Residents should make
sure there are full depth expansion joints in place in several locations within
their driveway. Some expansion joints do not extend the full depth of the slab
and pressure may build up against the lower portion of the driveway slab. Residents should annually inspect their
driveway expansion joints in late spring or early summer and look for signs of joint
If you feel that the street near your home or your
private driveway expansion joints are showing signs of movement or increased pressure
you may enter a concern with the City by clicking on the “report a concern”
link below. The City will send a
knowledgeable and experienced inspector to review your concerns and answer any
questions you may have.
If you feel street movement is occuring near your property you may enter a concern with the City by clicking on the report a concern link below. The City will send someone to inspect your property. Report a Concern.