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Asphalt Prices Also Rise






The FDOT reports the Jan. 1, 2007 price of asphalt cement was $1.33 per gal., compared to $.98 per gal. last year at the same time (a 35.7 percent increase).


Communities across the country are seeing the price of street repair a more expensive proposition. The Times of Munster, Ind. reports that on the recommendation of Public Works Director Rick Konopasek, the Griffith, Ind. Town Council unanimously rejected asphalt and concrete bids for the year, citing skyrocketing bids.

Norwalk, Conn. has been struggling to fund asphalt repair of its community streets, but notes the price of asphalt rose three times last year for a total of 31 percent. Asphalt prices are expected to rise again as gas prices escalate. The rising cost of petroleum (regular just hit $3.00 in Calif. this second week of March) will force communities across the country to shoulder increased repair costs of roadways, or, alternatively, forego said repairs.

The FDOT reports that as of Jan. 1, 2007, the price of asphalt cement was $1.33 per gal. (Note: Technically, asphalt refers only to asphalt cement or binder, the basic cementitious material that gets mixed with aggregate to from pavement.)

A quick review of some asphalt indexes show the Jan. price in Calif. was $287 per standard ton. A standard ton of asphalt in Connecticut as of 3/12/07 was $375, and $306.67 in New Jersey. According to the Asphalt Pavement Association of West Virginia, the March 2007 base prices for asphalt in Catlettsburgh, Ky. Was $285; $315 in Baltimore, Md.; $325 for Floreffe, Pa.; and $350 for Marietta, Ohio.






Full-Depth Reclamation (FDR) with Cement Solves Gravel Road Quandary






Asphalt (chip seal) is placed over the cement-stabilized gravel road.


The Portland Cement Association (PCA) reports Fairfield County, S.C. had a problem--220 miles of gravel surfaced county roads, not only inferior road surfacing, but costing the county $200,000 a year to maintain.An engineering consulting firm came up with a solution: Noting that South Carolina DOT had been using full-depth reclamation (FDR)--a method that uses cement to rehabilitate failed asphalt pavements, why not apply the same method on the gravel roads?

That advice was taken. The gravel was blending with cement and subgrade materials to a depth of six inches. Over this cement-stabilized base was spread a thin asphalt surface (chip seal).

The consulting firm says the road rehab has saved the county over $70,000 dollars per mile, compared to standard asphalt pavement (a two-inch surface and six-inch aggregate base). The firm estimates a savings to local taxpayers of approximately $1.5 million.

The county plans on converting 16 more miles of gravel roads this year.






Old South Spruces Up






The old brick sidewalks at the Madison County Courthouse in downtown Huntsville, Alabama were buckling from tree root intrusion.


Everyone likes the look of the old brick sidewalks at the Madison County Courthouse in downtown Huntsville, Alabama, but some of the sidewalk has buckled from invasive tree roots and is now a walking hazard.

Huntsville is undertaking a $1 million downtown restoration project. The first phase of renovations of the streetscape from Southside Square to Constitution Hall Park have just been completed, including removing all concrete and brick sidewalks and replacing it with concrete that has brick double-header edging; installing fescue sod and Zelkova trees (more root friendly); and installing irrigation, including bubblers to water tree roots underground.






In the first phase of downtown restoration, Huntsville replaced the old brick with concrete sidewalks with a decorative double-header edging, bordered by a fescue sod and Zelkova trees replacing the troublesome trees.
Photos courtesy of Denise Taylor, director of public communications, Huntsville.


The second phase, beginning fall 2007, will include more concrete brick edging, installation of Granville traditional style lighting, benches, bike racks, trash receptacles, and twice the number of curbside parking spaces. All brick planters will be removed and the left turn lanes at each corner eliminated, with the curbs "bumped out" for pedestrian safety. The project is part of a plan to create a more lively, pedestrian-friendly atmosphere to help downtown restaurants and merchants thrive. The city has facilitated downtown growth by easing code requirements on older buildings, tweaking a few ordinances and running weekend trolleys to downtown venues.

Denise Taylor, director of public communications for Huntsville, told LASN these improvements to downtown come at a time when over 10,000 military personnel are set to relocate here as part a redistribution of military personnel at bases across the country. Huntsville proper has a population of 165,000.





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June 15, 2019, 10:35 pm PDT

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