Road work begins in city

Linda Trest

The old pavement on First Street is now a thing of the past. Crews with N. B. West of Sullivan tore out the old surface last week. A four inch layer of one inch rock was placed over the uncovered dirt surface. Another layer of two-inch rock will be laid upon that in the near future. Both layers of rock will then be compacted into a smooth, stable surface. A three-inch layer of asphalt will be poured over the rock in early August. 

A total of 11 inches was taken off the street’s surface.

Although not many homes are located on First Street, it was chosen for resurfacing because of the poor condition it was in. The pavement had buckled in several places 

Public Works Director Nick Grube says this is the first of the four streets scheduled for prep work prior to receiving asphalt in August.

First Street had virtually no base under the original pavement. Therefore, it required the two layers of rock to be laid prior to getting paved. Concrete work such as culvert replacement and some curbing will done between now and August.

Crestwood and Ridge avenues will also be paved, but have a good base on which the pavement can be poured. Grube said his crew only needs to mill along the curbs to allow the two inch asphalt overlay to make a smooth line at the edge of the pavement. 

Canaan Road was originally set to receive a coat of chip and seal. Grube said the prep work required for that process cost almost as much as just laying asphalt. So the city put in a change order for the job and ordered a coating of asphalt instead. 

The broken pavement, rock and dirt that will be milled from the streets will be stored at the old east lagoon area for future use. 

The entire project will cost $200,056.74. Grube has applied for a $50,000 grant from the Franklin County Transportation Committee which is expected to be approved next week. Those funds will go toward the current project.

Since the citizens of Gerald passed a sales tax dedicated to street repairs several years ago, significant progress has been made to the roadways. 

Last year, improvements were made to the Cedar and Third street area. In 2016, the city chips and sealed several streets in the downtown area. Improvements to the south end of Main Street and near the Main Street and U.S. Highway 50 intersection were also made.

Grube said that between the roadwork and keeping the grass cut, his staff of two is staying busy. Last year, the city took over cutting the grass at both City Park and Legion Park. 

Grube estimates that takes around 32 man hours each week. In addition, they also mow the right of ways and all city-owned property.