Drivers in Martinsville could see travel delays as some city streets undergo resurfacing beginning Friday.
The streets were chosen because they generally are in the worst shape as compared to others, according to city Public Works Director Jeff Joyce.
They will be resurfaced with slurry rather than asphalt. Slurry is much like driveway sealant, but it is more durable, having been designed for use on streets and highways, Joyce said.
It also is less expensive. Although he did not have exact cost figures, Joyce said using slurry will enable the city to resurface roughly three times as many streets as it could with asphalt.
The drawback to slurry, he said, is that “it won’t last as long as asphalt” — 10 to 15 years, compared to 25 to 30 years for asphalt.
Asphalt prices have more than tripled in the past 15 years, and money that the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) gives the city to resurface its streets is limited, hence the need to use slurry, according to Joyce.
“You seldom see VDOT put asphalt down anymore, either,” he said, adding that asphalt generally is used now to resurface only extremely worn streets and highways that carry the most traffic.
The city plans to resurface the portion of Bridge Street from Market Street to the railroad overpass with asphalt. Joyce said that is because “it’s gotten in really bad shape in the last couple or three years.”
Each year, he said, city crews “ride along virtually all of the streets in the city” and rank them in terms of their need for resurfacing, based on their conditions and amounts of traffic.
Joyce said the city hopes to complete the street resurfacing by the end of June.
In the meantime, traffic on streets being resurfaced will be delayed and/or restricted for about 30 minutes during the “curing” process when pavement is hardening and settling, according to city officials.
Drivers are encouraged to avoid areas where they know streets are being resurfaced, officials said.
The following streets, or portions of streets, will be resurfaced:
• Cardinal Lane
• Crestwood Court
• The end of Roundabout Road
• Hickory Street
• The south section of First Street
• Cemetery Street
• Portions of Market and Moss streets
• Inman Street
• Northwood Court
• The portion of Mica Street in the city
• Bethel Lane to the point where its curbs and gutters end
• Brookdale Street from Church Street to Sprucedale Street
• Griggs Road
• Fairy Street from Church Street to Commonwealth Boulevard
• Hazelwood Lane
• Melrose Place
• Jefferson Circle
• Maplewood Court
• Orchard Street from Rives Road to Mulberry Road
• Cross Street
• Short Street
• English Street and
• Spring Street.