Rain doesn't dampen Grand Ave. paving

Matt DeYoung • Aug 20, 2016 at 9:00 AM

A few late-morning sprinkles weren’t enough to slow the application of the top course of asphalt along the Grand Avenue reconstruction area. 

Road crews began work at 7 a.m. Friday at the east end of the project — and, by a little after 1 p.m., they had reached the west end of the reconstruction where Grand transitions into Harbor Drive. 

The $1.4 million project began in early April. Work includes upgrades to storm drainage; repairs to sanitary sewer lines; and new water main, road surface, curb and gutter, and sidewalk.

On Friday, workers applied a tack/bonding agent to the road, then laid asphalt on top of that. The tac grips the asphalt, which is heated to 300 degrees. A pair of rollers then smoothed out the asphalt. 

A member of the work crew explained that a few sprinkles weren’t enough to halt the project, but if heavier rains had come down, the application of the asphalt would have been stalled. He explained that any water trapped under the asphalt can then freeze during the winter months, causing damage to the road. 

As soon as the asphalt has cooled, it’s safe to drive on — but that doesn’t mean the road is ready to be opened to all traffic quite yet, according to City Project Manager Julie Beaton. 

“We need to have all regulatory signs in place and complete the pavement marking/striping and compete tasks that require construction activities/equipment within the roadway,” she said. “This section of Grand will be open to all when it is deemed safe by the city and engineer for the people working on the project, the residents and all vehicular traffic.”

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