For the most part, the 2016 road construction season has ended in Sedalia and Public Works Director Brenda Ardrey said she thinks the city’s roads are in “pretty good shape going into the winter.”
According to a city news release, the city improved more than 29 miles, or 17 percent, of the city’s streets during the 2016 construction season, costing slightly more than $1 million. Street maintenance this year included mill and overlay (53 blocks), chip and seal (395 blocks), varking or asphalting (five blocks) and reclamation (12 blocks).
Ardrey said this year she had a goal of completing the city’s major road construction projects by Nov. 1, something she said was accomplished.
“I’d like to try to get things buttoned up so during the winter so if we need to plow we don’t have road hazards for the plow crews to be aware of,” Ardrey said Tuesday. “… I said really we need to start planning better so we can repair roads, have them completed before winter sets in. So that was our goal this year and I think the Street Department did a good job of getting streets in shape for the coming winter.”
Ardrey said this year’s road construction was mainly maintenance work, plus some road repairs caused by the completion of the city’s sewer project. The city completed many mill and overlay projects this year, and Ardrey said she’s received many questions about the various processes, such as chip and seal, the city uses.
“Weather this summer was interesting and we did have one street-sweeper break down,” she said. “… Chip-seal really is the old-fashioned approach of you spray black road oil and then you put on top of it a layer of chips, or small gravel, and the reason you put the chips down, one, is to have the oil be held better and it actually seals the asphalt to the underlying base rock so it really helps make that road hold up better and last longer, which is important.”
She added that the city receives plenty of phone calls saying it’s not safe for motorcycles to travel on chip-seal and that the city does its best to post signs the week before and send out PSAs to various media outlets to alert the public to upcoming road construction.
“I’ve told people, I understand your concern, but it’s one of the tried and true methods of road maintenance,” Ardrey said. “I’ve talked to the road superintendent and they are using the standard number of chips and then they remove them after a week to 10 days.
“Now last summer, we hit a couple of stretches (with high humidity and high temperatures) and when they went out to check they made decisions to leave the chips down a little bit longer. That’s so people don’t end up with black road oil all over their cars.”
This year, the city began testing the reclamation process used by the Pettis County Road and Bridge Department, which has proven successful for the county.
The process removes a layer of existing roadway, and the removed material is crushed and then mixed or injected with a binding material, then placed back on the roadway. Once replaced, the “reclaimed” material may receive a new layer of asphalt.
A section of East Saline Street and a section of 27th Street were reclaimed without a new layer of asphalt being applied and a section of South Lamine Avenue from 16th to 20th streets was reclaimed and asphalted, according to the release.
“We’re excited about that because it gives us an opportunity to do some additional streets at a fairly low cost and you’ll notice that most of the reclamation that we did are on low-volume streets,” she said. “I want to start in low-volume areas and make sure that it’s going to be stable and if we know it will hold up on low-volume, then we may go up and try a higher volume, but the first one would only be a block or two because if we had to go back and repave it then it wouldn’t be a problem.”
She said she hopes the process proves successful in Sedalia as well “so we can make the dollars stretch farther.”
Ardrey encouraged the public to contact the Public Works Department at 660-827-3000 to report a pothole or other roadway problem, or for any questions about city streets.
Nicole Cooke can be reached at 660-530-0138 or on Twitter @NicoleRCooke.