Unpopular street repair program back in Phoenix, including downtown
[Source: Michael Clancy, Arizona Republic] — Motorists’ least-favorite means of street resurfacing is back 20 years after Phoenix officials dumped the program amid widespread complaints. This time it will be better, officials promise. But a quality issue, quickly identified, has halted the program temporarily.
Chip sealing uses small rocks mixed with asphalt to coat street surfaces. In the 1980s, when it was used, motorists would go out of their way to avoid streets where it was being done, hoping to avoid flying rocks and sticky tar. The new process, known as “fractured aggregate surface treatment,” will use rubberized asphalt and smaller, lighter chips that are not supposed to have enough heft to fly into windshields and improved binding that will not track onto properties or into homes.
The City Council approved the program over the summer in reaction to such a severe budget shortfall that street resurfacing could take place only every 78 years, far longer than desired. Pavements are designed to last 20 to 30 years…
John Siefert, deputy director of the Phoenix Street Transportation Department, said the smaller chips being used on residential streets are clumping, so they are not spreading evenly. The program will be on hold until the situation is resolved. Larger chips worked fine in industrial areas, including two locations along Interstate 17 between Seventh Street and Seventh Avenue.
Residential streets where work is scheduled to be done:
- between Van Buren and Roosevelt streets between Seventh and 15th avenues
- south side of Interstate 10 between Seventh and 15th avenues
- between Bethany Home Road, Missouri Avenue, 35th and 39th avenues
- north of Shea Boulevard, east of 24th Street and south of Cholla Street
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