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China Grove resident unhappy with paving

By Shavonne Potts
spotts@salisburypost.com
CHINA GROVE — Three years after the town split the cost of repaving Railroad Avenue with a gas line extention project, one resident says the road still has problems.
In June 2007, the town approved PSNC Energy (Public Service Company of North Carolina) to extend the gas line on the condition they paid for half of the cost to resurface the road. The state Department of Transportation was contacted to resurface their section as well, according to minutes recorded at the time.
Now because of rain, icy conditions, wear and tear, and what Pete Kluttz calls flawed work, part of the road is cracking and falling apart.
Kluttz has complained several times to the town board, most recently at a council meeting last week.
“The road is broken into little pieces,” he told the board.
Kluttz said it all comes down to having road projects and other contracted work inspected. He said it would’ve prevented the problems that exists.
There is no road base. Dirt was put down and flattened with a sheet roller, he said.
“It’s the type of packing they done. They put dirt down instead of rock or gravel,” Kluttz said.
Kluttz also said there are spots in the road where it’s so broken up red mud can be seen.
“Can all jobs come out like this?” Kluttz asked, holding a piece of asphalt up to the board.
At a previous meeting, he brought a bucket of “road chips.”
“Do we have a town board who will stand behind our contractors?” he asked.
Mayor Don Bringle said things were different, work is now inspected.
The road has been a problem about a year, Kluttz said.
“You can’t put that thin of asphalt on dirt that has not been properly packed and expect to have a job that’s serviceable for years to come,” Kluttz said.
“Taxpayers’ money should be quality work,” he said.
Public Works Director David Ketner recalled the 2007 repaving project. “Instead of patching it, we went into an agreement to resurface the whole road. We contracted with the paving crew,” he said.
Ketner said when a road cracks like Railroad Avenue, “it’s because the sub-base is not adequate.”
He said the road is as good as what’s put on top of it.
“You can’t patch a bad spot and expect it to go away,” Ketner said.
Sometimes patching is all the town can do since funding to completely repave a road is limited. The town can use Powell Bill money to fund road projects.
The public works department patches roads with Cold Patch, a quick-drying asphalt repair.
“It’s a 50-pound bag. It’s asphalt in a bag. It’s still a temporary fix,” Ketner said.
The Cold Patch activates with the air, is packed down and dries.
“It’s DOT approved,” Ketner said.
When there are potholes or cracks in the road and then there’s freezing or precipitation, the water gets into cracks and expands, Ketner explained. “It’s harder on pavement,” he said.
Ketner also said the water and freezing temperatures speed up the deterioration of the road.
Ketner said there are several streets throughout town that need repaving — and some are in worse shape. “We’ve got issues all over town. I feel sure it’s a statewide problem,” he said.
Ketner said repairing the roads will hinge on available funds.
Ketner spoke at a recent budget session about two roads: West Stokes Street and Springbranch Lane, both of which are in worse shape, he said. He told the board there are more than a dozen other roads identified about six years ago that are in need of repairs.
Ketner said any residents who have complaints about roads that need to be patched are encouraged to report a concern on the town’s website at www.chinagrovenc.gov.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.

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