Pilot project will test pavement recycling

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A new way to fix cracks on city streets could save the city thousands of dollars -- and be environmentally friendly.

City Engineer Greg Wolford explained at the open hearing Monday night for the one and six year street plan, a pilot program that will be used on Elizabeth Lane to fix fractures on the street.

The method, already used on state highways and county roads, uses a reclamation machine that grinds up the existing pavement, adds emulsified asphalt and other binding agents depending on the surface, then rolls the solidified product back down on the road.

The city has spent "tens of thousands of dollars" on repairing cracks on streets but nothing has been a permanent fix so far, Wolford said. And tearing up a street and repaving it is too expensive to do on a constant basis.

This method is less costly and intrusive,he said, as no new asphalt has to be brought in and old surfacing does not have to be hauled out.

This reclamation method will cost $85,000 compared to $240,000 it would cost to resurface Elizabeth Lane, Wolford said. City staff will evaluate for the next two years how the method holds up in extreme cold or heat, before using it on other city streets.

And the city has plenty of areas it could be used on, Wolford said, such as the Hospital Heights Addition,where Apollo and Gemini Streets are located, the area east of Memorial Park Cemetery and the "reservation" portion of northern McCook.

Wolford also reviewed street repair projects slated for this year. This includes storm sewer repair on M Street in Bolles Canyon and repairing downtown city parking lots, both projects under contract to be done by April 30. Other improvements will be re-surfacing J Street from Norris Avenue to West 10th, including installing left hand turning lanes on West Fifth and J; resurfacing I, K and L Street and constructing a sidewalk along U.S. Highway 6-34 to Walmart.

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  • I was stationed in the Navy at Point Mugu, Ca. in 1961-1963. A lot of our ramp (now called tarmac) was done this way. They had a machine the picked up the black top, ground it up, I guess heated it and then put it back down all in one process with one machine. Sounds great to me. As inefficient as the government is they had it right as far as this is concerned over 45 years ago. You can also ask just a reader or Roy about this, he is a pretty smart guy.


    -- Posted by georgeangermeir on Tue, Feb 3, 2009, at 5:11 PM
  • Sorry for the spelling errors in the previous comment but didn't know how to correct it.

    -- Posted by georgeangermeir on Tue, Feb 3, 2009, at 5:12 PM
  • This is a good plan for rebuilding the streets and saving money at the same time. This process isn't new by far. Kansas has been using this for their roads for at least six years. Contact the Kansas Department of Transportation for information on the repaving of roads. It is a good way to recycle the road and get more years of usage out of it. The city has to remember that the base to the road has to be good for this to last. All you contractors know this too.

    It doesn't need to be a pilot program. That is just money wasted by people wanting to judge the outcome of this. The city should put a stop to wasting the time and money for some individual to look at it and say it is OK. It has already been proven to be good. No need to fool around with it. Let's get this done and go on with the next project and save some money in the process.

    -- Posted by edbru on Wed, Feb 4, 2009, at 12:36 PM
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