Updated: July 27, 2013 3:00AM
CROWN POINT — Lake County Highway Superintendent Mark Malczewski submitted a budget to the County Council of $5,000,466.13 for work to be done over the summer on 137.28 miles of county roads.
Malczewski said he believes the department will get about 91 percent of that this year, or $4,550,424.18. That should leave him enough money to take care of just under 125 miles of roads in 2013.
If a vote is delayed in authorizing these funds, the appropriatedmoney can be held over for next year. Some of the work that is necessary has to be done when the weather is optimum for that work.
There are currently just over 30 miles of road that require crack sealing. That work needs cooler temperatures to help make the seal last longer. When it gets too hot the crack shrinks together, then when the weather changes the cracks widen again, popping out any crack seal that was put down during the wrong weather.
Crack sealing work will now probably have to wait for the fall to be done if the work is not approved soon.
Crack sealing is the first step in maintenance of roads. The next level is chip and seal. That is done when the road is still sound structurally, but requires a sealing top coat or chipping the top of the asphalt and laying a new, thin layer of asphalt and a seal coat.
There are almost 86 miles of roads in the county that are rated for a chip and seal treatment.
There are 16½ miles of roads in the county that need to be milled and overlaid. That is a more in-depth treatment of the road. It will extend the life of a road that is still structurally in fair condition but needs a more aggressive treatment to keep it serviceable.
The worst case is the 4.24 miles of road in the county that need a total reconstruction.
The cost per square yard varies on all of this work. The least expensive is the crack sealing, which comes in at about 55 cents per average square yard. The longer the work has been delayed the higher the fix will cost. A chip and seal’s average cost is $1.64 per square yard. To mill and overlay a road costs between $11 and $15 per square yard, and the biggest cost is reconstruction at about $20 per square yard.
Chip and seal work is slated for 85.97 miles of road at an estimated project cost of $1,670.3334.54. The roads that are rated for a mill and overlay come to only 16 ½ miles of roads but the cost estimate jumps to $2,115.139.03. Total reconstruction is 4.24 miles of road. That estimated project cost is $1,016.490.24.
Crack and seal will cover 30.57 miles of roads and comes to under $200,000.
Some of this work will not be done because the total requested budget will be short $429,300.13. That is without any surprises. Everyone at the highway department is hoping for good construction weather to get this road work done also. Water is an enemy.
Any paving is best served by hot weather. It is best done when the weather is at least 80 to 90 degrees outside, and dry. That causes the paving to cure faster.