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Martinsville, Virginia 24115
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Street paving to begin

Thursday, June 5, 2014

By MICKEY POWELL - Bulletin Staff Writer

Drivers should be alert in Martinsville next week as the city starts its annual street resurfacing project.

An old technique will be reintroduced this year to make money go further, according to City Manager Leon Towarnicki.

The city will spend $308,355 on the resurfacing, which will start Monday. Towarnicki said that is comparable to the sum spent on last year’s project.

However, more streets will be resurfaced this year because lesser traveled ones will receive a slurry seal rather than new pavement, he said.

Towarnicki described a slurry seal as being much like “a very thick driveway sealant.” It “goes down wet,” seals cracks in pavement and can increase the life of the pavement by 10 to 15 years, he said.

Pavement remains in good shape for different lengths of time, depending on how much traffic wears it down. On residential streets with little traffic, it can last for 20 to 30 years, but heavier traveled streets and highways might need resurfacing — at least on some parts — in 10 years or less, Towarnicki said.

The city has not used slurry to resurface streets in about 10 years. But as rising petroleum prices have hiked pavement costs, “we can’t just continue” paving every street that needs resurfacing, Towarnicki continued.

Although residential streets generally are in good shape, he said, “there are issues in some ... neighborhoods that need to be addressed,” such as rough areas that could see potholes form if they are not improved.

Basically, those places are where slurry will be used.

This year, the following routes will receive new paving:

• The right hand lane of eastbound Commonwealth Boulevard from the entrance of Liberty Fair Mall to Liberty Street.

• The right hand lane of northbound Memorial Boulevard from the city limits to 1011 Memorial.

• Liberty Street from Dillard Street through the intersection with Commonwealth Boulevard.

Milling will be done at those locations to remove worn-out pavement so the routes can accommodate new pavement, a city release showed.

Slurry seal will be applied to Royal Drive, Palace Court, Castle Lane, Melody Lane, Melody Court, Pinehall Road, Wray Street, Whittle Road, Fairy Street Extension, Valient Lane, Top Street, Marshall Street and Fifth Street.

It also will be applied to:

• Clift Street from Starling Avenue to Cole Street

• Askin Street from Memorial Boulevard to Union Street

• Second Street from 503 Second to the dead end

• B Street from Fifth Street to the dead end, and

• F Street from Second Street to Fourth Street.

Towarnicki said the city maintains a list of streets that need improvements based on complaints received from motorists and what public works crews notice when they inspect streets several times each year.

Streets are removed from the list as they are improved, and new ones are added as needed.

Each year, the city works its way down the list “as much as money will allow,” Towarnicki said.

Motorists can expect delays while streets are being resurfaced. Newly paved roads and slurry seal applications cannot be driven on for roughly 30 minutes as they cure, Towarnicki said. Construction crews will restrict access to these routes during this time, he said.

If possible, Towarnicki said, avoid these locations and pay attention to temporary construction signs that may be placed in work areas.

Anyone with questions about street resurfacing may call the city engineering Department at 403-5159.

Resurfacing should be finished by the end of June, Towarnicki said.

Thompson-Arthur Paving Co. and Slurry Pavers will do the work, having submitted the lowest bids, he said.


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