China Grove resurfacing streets

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 19, 2012

By Shavonne Potts
CHINA GROVE – When Barbara Mayhew looked outside her South Myrtle Avenue house, all she saw was a cloud of dust.
“The dust was so thick. Dust was everywhere. I was just very upset,” she said.
The N.C. Department of Transportation had been resurfacing her road and generated dust from the machines.
Mayhew, whose home is located behind China Grove Elementary School, made attempts late Wednesday evening to reach town officials.
She said she wasn’t sure why her road needed to be repaved or why the gravel was left behind, and she sought answers from town officials. They said Mayhew’s section of street wasn’t supposed to be resurfaced. The street section that was supposed to be paved was South Myrtle Avenue from Louise Avenue to the cul-de-sac.
“This was overlooked when sent back from NCDOT,” Public Works Director David Ketner said in an email.
“I didn’t notice anything wrong with it. I notice something wrong with it now,” Mayhew said Wednesday evening.
All of the dust that flew through the air when the crew resurfaced fell on her windows and the front of her house, which sits about 20 feet from the road, she said.
Mayhew said she found it aggravating. Her house sits at the end of South Myrtle Avenue, one of three residences located on the corner of South Myrtle Avenue and Stevens Street.
Mayhew, who noted she is was in her 70s, said her younger neighbor didn’t seem to mind. Her neighbor declined to comment but said he planned to clear his yard and gutter of gravel. He was more concerned about new grass he’d just planted being disturbed.
On Wednesday afternoon, Mayhew cleaned the dust from the railing leading to her front door and from her front windows.
Ketner made contact with Mayhew, promising to clean the loose gravel along the gutters. The town spent Thursday morning clearing South Myrtle of loose gravel.
The town contracted with the N.C. Department of Transportation to put the tar and gravel mixture on multiple streets, including South Myrtle.
Ketner was out of the office much of Thursday and was not immediately available for comment. Interim Town Manager Ken Deal said the tar and gravel mixture was a less expensive option for the town.
It would cost the town $80,000- $100,000 to use asphalt to resurface needed sections. The town is using Powell Bill funds to pay $40,212 to resurace various streets.
Deal said the town, like many other municipalities, hasn’t receive as much in Powell Bill funds as in previous years.
Powell Bill funds are provided by the state to maintain, construct or repair local streets, sidewalks or bikeways.
“The board was saying we’ve got to do something. We are trying to spread our money the best we can to cover the most miles or footage as we can,” Deal said.
He admits the mixture isn’t the same as asphalt, but it’s what could be used to stretch the town’s dollars.
Gene Johnson, a division bituminous supervisor, with NCDOT, said the substance used on the roads are latex and emulsified asphalt – basically tar and gravel. The substance is often called tar and chip. This product is used on state-maintained secondary roads throughout North Carolina, he said.
The tar and gravel product lasts about seven or eight years. Asphalt can last 10 years, Johnson said.
The gravel takes a couple of days to settle.
“The loose gravel is a little messier. It’s a little more of a nuisance for like a week or so,” he said.
Johnson said crews typically return to the paved roads two or three days after a project to sweep up loose material.
“The hot mix is set up and it’s there and done. The BST (Bituminous Surface Treatment) tar and gravel is a little rougher and messier up front,” he said.
The tar and gravel are mixed by the crew. A layer of liquid asphalt is placed on the roadway. The gravel and tar mixture is added on top of the liquid asphalt. The crew uses a road roller to compress the mixture.
When contacted Thursday, Mayhew said she was pleased with the cleanup by the town.
“I feel much better. Not only does it look better, it saves my husband from cleaning,” she said.
The China Grove Public Works Department was cleaning the road before 9 a.m. she said.?The following are the roads slated to be resurfaced:
• Westside Circle, beginning and ending at Harry Street.
• Mitchell Street, beginning at Spring Branch Lane, ending at Laurel Street.
• Laurel Street, beginning at Mitchell Avenue, ending at Wilson Street.
• Wilson Street, beginning at the dead end, ending at Mitchell Avenue.
• South Myrtle Avenue, from Louise Avenue to the cul-del-sac.
Anyone with concerns about the resurfacing can contact the Winston-Salem office of the Transportation Department at 336-896-7019.