MAINTENANCE BY CONTRACT - PAVEMENT ECONOMICS. . As stated above it is common to require a so-called guarantee which is virtually a con tract for maintenance for the specified period. Maintenance by contract is justifiable if the engineering department of the city does not possess, or can not reasonably be expected to obtain, the information necessary in repairing the pavement; but as a rule maintenance by contract is undesirable, for two reasons: 1. The contractor has no control over the streets, and the repairs required are dependent upon the restrictions against opening the pavements and also upon the regulations for keeping the streets clean. 2. It is difficult to specify beforehand the amount and the nature of the repairs that may be required by the ordinary use of the pavements, particularly as the opening of new streets or the paving of others may materially alter the amount or nature of the traffic on any particular pavement. 3. It is impossible to determine accurately
the condition of the pavement at the end of the contract period. 4. With a new and untried material it is impossible to determine what is a reasonable expense for maintenance.
A contract for maintenance is sometimes defended by the property holders on the ground that thereby some one is secured who is admittedly responsible for the condition of the pavement and who is more amenable for neglect than are city officials. How ever. if the city officials can not be trusted to repair the pavements directly, it is doubtful whether they may reasonably be expected to supervise the repairs to be made by the contractor. The choice between maintenance by contract and by municipal author ities directly will usually depend upon the local conditions.
The pavements of Paris. France, were formerly maintained by contract, but are now maintained by the city directly.