Apparent paving waste had a reason

The in basket: Two readers – Louis Oliver and Paul Goodwin – thought Kitsap County wasted a lot of money in the way it went about repaving Central Valley Road between Bucklin Hill and Holland roads in August.

Louis said, “If you (go to) that part of Central Valley Road just north of Fairgrounds Road, you will find the road is torn up.

“However, just last week the county ripped up 40 percent of this same part of the road and repaved it.

“This week they are ripping up the same road and redoing it. It appears to be around 65 percent of the road this time and, yes, they ripped out the newly patched parts again, after just a few days.

“Why? Did the county come into money it does not need?”

Paul said he drives down Central Valley Road daily, and observed the patch paving between Holland and Bucklin Hill.

Then, starting Monday, he said, road crews were out grinding out the whole road, including the asphalt they had just laid down.

He thinks it’s a giant waste of money for the flagger, equipment and materials for the patch paving, and “now they are doing it all over again.”

The out basket: As is usually the case, there is a method to what appears to be madness. Don Schultz, Kitsap County Road Superintendent, explains the process.

“Full depth patching on this section of road was completed to a depth of 4 inches,” he said.  “The patches were in response to distressed areas subject to heavy truck and bus traffic.

“A condition review of the existing paved shoulders showed they were still in very good condition, and did not need an overlay,” he said. “This allowed us to consider a partial overlay that can result in significant cost savings.

“If you do not overlay the full width of a road surface you must establish a vertical butt joint at the edge of the paving limits. The process of creating that butt joint could lead a passing motorist to conclude we were grinding out the patches we just placed.

“A butt joint is established by grinding a depth of 1½ inches at the outer edge of the travel way to level near the center line of the road. This butt joint did overlap some areas previously patched. We could have left the patches below grade in the interim period between patching and the overlay, but that would have created some safety concerns.

“Using this approach to limit the overlay to the actual travel lanes and creating a butt joint to support that resulted in saving about 600 tons of asphalt, reducing the overlay cost by $40,000 in material alone. The associated labor costs are also lowered by limiting the overlay to the traffic lanes.

“Some of the fresh patch material was removed, but considering the safety concerns a 1½-inch drop-off would cause in the interim, and the savings created by this approach, I felt the tradeoff was acceptable.

“It’s also important for readers to know that the asphalt we did remove from the patch is ground up and reused as fill material for shoulder work,” Don said.

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