April 15, 2004

Street Department Considering Replacing Intersections On Square

Washboard stomachs are good but washboard streets are not. That is the problem facing the Memphis City Square where three of the four street corners on the town’s main drag are showing signs of wear and tear.

The busy intersections on the square have numerous bumps and other inconsistencies that have arisen over time as the top layer of hot mix has slid on the layer of oil between the lower level of asphalt causing the top layer to fold up to a degree.

“It’s caused by people going too fast and stopping too fast,” stated Street Superintendent Roy Monroe. “But it is not supposed to do that.”

Monroe proposed the replacement of these trouble spots. He recommended to the city council that the corners be replaced with concrete to eliminate the bump problems.

The City Council was presented an estimate of $12,640 to replace the 3,200 square feet of road with new concrete. The plan called for the trouble spots to be sawed out and replaced with cement to help prevent future problems. The project would involve two 16 x 75-foot sections and one 16x50 section of road. The corner in front of City Hall is not in need of repair.

Alderman Ron Gardner questioned if the hot mix could be milled and then replaced with a new layer of asphalt.

Monroe indicated it really would not create any cost savings because the mill process would have to go down six or seven inches to get to the trouble spot.

“Basically there is really very little cost difference when you pour at this depth and thickness,” Monroe said. “Add in the longer life expectancy for the cement and it’s really cheaper.”

The main negative of the cement work would be the down time. Monroe pointed out that the intersections would have to be closed 21 to 28 days to allow the cement to properly cure. That process could be expedited some, but still would necessitate at least two weeks without traffic on the new pavement. With hot mix, the streets could be reopened the following day.

Alderman Gardner suggested Monroe check into prices for hot mix versus concrete and continued the discussion of the project at the May council meeting.

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