April 25 2018

Inadequate Asphalt Prompts Redo of 2016 Road Work

By: Rich Hosford

Residents and commuters in a multiple parts of town will soon see something familiar; road paving work in areas that were done just two years ago.

A number of roads that were paved in 2016 will be repaved starting in May of this year. The reason for the repaving so soon after the work was initially completed is that tests done on the asphalt showed the material to be sub-par.

“We noticed issues with the asphalt content, which is something we inspect,” explained Department of Public Works Director John Sanchez. “There is a particular mix you have to use and it doesn’t have that. It was segregated and that is bad for longevity.”

Sanchez said the town regularly tests road work being done by contractors in town. Along with the makeup of the asphalt and cement they also scrutinize the temperature of the material when it is put down as well as the thickness and compaction.

“We have a lot of quality control and we have someone come in, a testing company we hire, to make sure it is compacted correctly,” he said. “We make sure we have a good product at the end.”

Sanchez said the problem with the asphalt mix seems to have originated at the plant the contractor used. He said they were upgrading the plant at the time and that work could have been the reason for the bad batch. When asked he said he did not believe anyone was trying to cut corners and that it was an old company that many contractors use.

“At the end of the day we don’t really care,” he said. “I believe they probably had a problem with the plant, mostly because we’ve used different pavers with the plant in the past and have not had issues before.”


Perhaps most importantly, due to the contract the town has with the contractors this new round of paving will be free.


“If people ask why we are spending money on roads we just did, we aren’t,” Town Administrator John Petrin said at the Board of Selectmen meeting on Monday. “They are re-doing them and doing it for free due to our high standards.”


The roads in question are:


- Middlesex Turnpike: from Middlesex Turnpike Extension to Network Drive both sides


- Burlington Mall Road: The eastbound Side from Cambridge Street westward.


- Wheeler Road: Between Rounder Lane and Blanchard Road.


- Bedford Street: from Cambridge Street to Terrace Hall Avenue.


- Phillip Avenue: in the vicinity of Myrna Street.


- Wilmington Road: from the Wilmington town line to the vicinity of Lisa Street.


Finally, Sanchez said this round of repaving won’t take as long as it did two years ago.


“This will be a quick project, probably a couple of weeks,” he said. “Since it was repaved recently we don’t have to do anything else like sidewalk ramps or catch basins. So this shouldn’t be like the first time.”


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