Frequently Asked Questions
Below you will find frequently asked questions pertaining to "street creep". Please also reference a form to complete at the bottom of the page to schedule an inspection of your property.
Q. What is street creep?
A. Concrete expands and contracts with changing temperatures. The prevailing opinion as to the cause of street creep is that as the joints in a street expand and contract due to temperature changes, the pavement "creeps" or shifts and can move as much as several inches over a period of time.
Q. Does street creep happen everywhere?
A. Because all concrete will expand and contract in response to changing temperatures, a certain amount of street creep will happen with any paved street, but it is most prevalent at the end of cul-de-sacs, "T" intersections and on the outside of a street curve. Street creep is also not limited to certain communities due to soil types - all communities are susceptible. Many communities are affected by this type of pavement movement and it is handled differently by each community.
Q. Has Wentzville done anything to prevent street creep?
A. Yes, over the years the City has changed street construction specifications to accommodate for street creep. The measures include larger expansion joints in areas susceptible to creep and street center-line reinforcing tie bars. In addition, the City has encouraged builders and developers to make sure that two inches of full-depth expansion material is placed between the street curb and the private driveway. Good concrete construction practices would also place full-depth expansion material at additional locations throughout the driveway and at the edge along any foundation or other concrete slab, such as a garage floor or sidewalk.
Q. How does Wentzville handle resident concerns about street creep?
A. When the City receives a concern about street creep from a resident, it performs an inspection to look for evidence that street creep has occurred. Signs of street creep would include misaligned street joints; and gaps along the street edge, sidewalks, and driveway-expansion joints. If the City finds evidence of street movement, it will inspect the homeowner's driveway to see if proper expansion material was placed when the driveway was constructed, and that the expansion material extends the full depth of the driveway pavement. If the driveway was improperly constructed without full-depth expansion material, the City will take no action and inform the resident in writing of the inspection results. If street movement exists and the driveway was properly constructed, the City will offer a free service to install an expansion joint at the street curb line. The City provides this service to residents, even though driveways are private and therefore maintenance is the responsibility of the property owner.
Q. What is the repair the City makes?
A. The City typically removes two to four inches of driveway slab by the street curb, and then fills in this area with expansion material. This procedure reduces the pressure between the driveway and street pavement.
Q. Is this a permanent solution?
A. Not always. History has shown that the pavement will continue to move until it has reached its natural limit of expansion. There have been several occasions where the City has gone back and provided additional expansion joints after the initial service.
Q. Is the City responsible for the resulting damage that may occur due to street creep?
A. Based on current case law (A.K. and Virginia Zumalt vs. Boone County, MO), municipalities and governing bodies are not responsible for street creep within the public right of way, or damage that occurs on private property. Consequently, the City's insurance carrier does not find the City liable for such damages.
Q. What can residents do to lessen the changes that their property might be damaged by street creep?
A. Make sure there are proper expansion joints cut into their driveway, that the joints are cut completely through the concrete slab, and that the contraction joints are filled properly. It is important that the cut goes completely through the concrete. If the concrete slab is fairly deep, contractors might occasionally cut through the top of the slab, but not all way through it. When that happens street creep will still push against the lower portion of the slab and can still result in damage to the driveway or the home's foundation. Residents should also continue monitoring their driveway's expansion joints for signs of compression to ensure problems don't develop later.
If you have a concern that your property may have street creep and may file a concern with the City. The City will send someone to inspect your propoerty.