By ADAM STEWART
Contractors will resurface 33 ½ miles of roads in Marion County, including a blacktop road into Tampa, in early September.
Blevins Asphalt of Mount Vernon, Mo. will chip-seal 28 miles of blacktop roads and double chip-seal 5.5 miles of gravel roads for $701,474.
Money will come from a blacktop line-item in the road and bridge budget.
The projects waited until now because late summer is the ideal time to chip-seal roads, Commission Chairman Dan Holub said. Less rain means the oil is less likely to wash away. Warm temperatures also help the new surface adhere to the existing road.
The county was fortunate that an asphalt plant in El Dorado re-opened after being closed much of the year. Without the El Dorado plant open, road oil would have been prohibitively expensive.
“We were definitely sweating it out,” Holub said.
The company won the contract Monday. High Plains Sand of Kanopolis bid $720,251.
Engineering firm Kirkham Michael of Ellsworth prepared the project for bidding and estimated cost at $882,163, more than 25 percent more than the winning bid.
Josh Beckman of Kirkham Michael said the company tried to estimate costs high.
Indigo Road from Hillsboro to the Butler County line, Upland Road from K-256 to Lakeshore Drive, 190th Road between Marion and Hillsboro, and Lakeshore Drive will be chip-sealed.
Chip sealing involves putting a layer of oil on an existing blacktop surface then putting a layer of small rock on that. The oil seeps into cracks in the road and binds the new rock to the surface.
Limestone Road from Tampa to 290th Road and Timber Road between 40th and 60th roads will be double chip-sealed. Tampa has no blacktop roads into town, and Timber Road is a bus route for Peabody-Burns schools.
Double chip sealing uses a layer of penetrating oil on a gravel road before putting on two layers of chip seal, creating a blacktop road. It isn’t as good as an asphalt overlay but isn’t nearly as expensive, Road and Bridge Superintendent John Summerville said.
According to Blevins Asphalt’s bid, chip-sealing costs $16,828 per mile, and double chip-sealing costs $41,872 per mile.
The entire project is to be completed by Sept. 15.
Beckman presented a proposal for Kirkham Michael to inspect the project for a maximum of $40,000 for 25 days. The cost would be prorated if the project took less time. Commission decided to wait to make a decision about inspection.