Is this a New Way of Resurfacing Roads?

City's public works department resurfaces First Ave and comes back later to drill out sewage manhole covers and work up the system

First Ave road surface

First Ave road surface

A while ago I went to a Tuesday night city hall meeting for an unrelated topic and learned that the road on First Ave was going to be repaved.

Well since I’m living on that road, my first thought, hmmm don’t see why, but I guess all roads are on some type of rotation for resurfacing. Preventive type of maintenance idea. I also remember one of the Commissioners, Ken Walker I believe it was, commenting on a $7,000 budget shortfall or mis-allocation for the project.

When one morning shortly after this meeting, heavy equipment in the street woke me up around 7 am I thought: “Well they must have found the $7K or so shortfall and here they are”. I love a city management that follows through. Seriously.

Well those guys were more serious than a heart attack. In no time flat did they finish the job of re-paving First Ave from Sadler to Simmons with about a 3 inch layer of black-top. Looking at it a day later I was quite impressed until something started nagging in the back of my head. Something was amiss. Of course like most people I have little time to spend much energy on just a quivering anomaly that my sub-conscious mind picks up and chews on for a while. It does that all by itself anyway.

Well several days ago I realized what was amiss. And no, it was not my mind brilliantly working out complicated formulas and equations. It was a small caravan of heavy duty Public Works trucks with hammer drill equipment that gave me the clue. Surrounded by orange pylons and medium sized trucks, several guys were drilling into the freshly packed asphalt until a little while later a manhole cover turned up.

“Eureka”, my mind yelled, ” they asphalted over the manhole covers that access the sewage system”. This thought was immediately followed by:”Did they make a mistake or was this the planned course of action or am I just missing something?”
For one thing I know that bringing out about 6 people, several trucks and equipment for a two week period to locate and lift the sewer access manholes, must be an expensive course of action, if it was intended.

The work crews are finished now, so my question begs for an answer:¬† “Was it a mistake or was it planned this way?”
I kind of do understand that this could be a sound logistical approach on a busy thorough fare like Fletcher, causing minimal uprooting of the traffic flow, but on First Ave where there is one car passing every 45 minutes in the daytime hours? I know, I work from home.

So my natural curiosity is looking for an answer. Anyone?

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  1. johnrigley

    I read your article and couldn't help but think back to the mid 1970″s and Stanley Drive on the north end of the Island. The city decided to completely repave Stanley. They did and it was absolutely beautiful. About six months later they came back and tore it up, installed sewer lines and then repaved again……..Talk about someone not doing their homework? Would it not have made better sense to just add the sewer lines during the first repaving? Oh well, I guess that is government at work, or could this be “shovel ready” jobs?

  2. Ameliaprivateeye

    I've also been wondering if they are going to re-paint the traffic lines? I'm not concerned as much about the center line, but the white lines that are now missing at the stop signs along First Avenue. Many of the stop signs lack reasonable visibility and I always found the solid white lines useful, especially at night.

    Of major concern to me is the three way stop about a block south of DQ and the fire station. Drivers have always ignored the stop signs at First and Long Boat at the entrance to the Ocean Landings Subdivision, and this has gotten worse since the repaving project. I believe re-painting the street, with the currently missing visual clues, would make all of the street intersections along First Avenue safer.

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