[Durham INC] NCDOT Message Regarding Downtown Resurfacing Project
Amy.Blalock at durhamnc.gov
Fri Aug 20 09:44:15 EDT 2010
Message from the North Carolina Department of Transportation Regarding
the Downtown Durham Street Resurfacing Project Currently Underway
We have asked the City of Durham to pass along to the community list
servs an update on the status of the downtown street resurfacing
project, as well as a full explanation of why this project has taken
longer than we had hoped to complete.
Resurfacing in urban areas certainly has its challenges and delays are
inherent to this type of work, especially when utilities are located in
our streets. To make things worse, milling and deep patching uncovers
much more than a simple resurfacing project.
It is much like renovating an old house - once you remove wall board on
the interior walls and siding of exterior walls, you normally have
repairs with plumbing, electrical wires, and rotten wood that you never
knew about. Milling, patching, and resurfacing of city streets is no
different. As issues arise we are obligated to investigate, come up with
a repair, and often times, negotiate prices with the contractor for work
that was not included in the original contract.
We are aware of the impacts to the travelling public and communicate
with our contractor on a regular basis to attempt to quickly move the
project along. We certainly understand the frustration and concern of
Durham motorists and business owners and want to assure you that we are
working diligently to get this project completed by the original
September 16th deadline.
However, we implore Durham motorists and business owners to not lose
sight that the scope of the work has changed on some of the roads that
are no fault of the contractor or the NCDOT. These challenges have added
significant, additional work to the project and may push our contractor
past our original deadline date of September 16th. We ask for your
continued patience and understanding as we work to dramatically improve
these major thoroughfares, which will ultimately be a huge benefit for
motorists and the business owners along these streets.
In addition, we at the NCDOT, feel very fortunate that we had the
necessary funding in these tough economic times to resurface these vital
Durham roads that were very high on the City of Durham's list, rather
than go through another winter of patching potholes. The downtown
resurfacing project is not the only NCDOT resurfacing project currently
underway in Durham that we are pushing toward completion before the 2010
Paving Season ends. While we understand these multiple resurfacing
projects add temporary inconveniences for motorists and business owners,
we know the final product will be one that Durham residents can be proud
As a quick recap on the downtown resurfacing project, late last fall the
NCDOT, at the City of Durham's request, initiated a federal stimulus
(ARRA funding) project to resurface US 15/501 Business South (Mangum
Street) from NC 98 (Holloway Street to US 15/501 Business (Lakewood
Avenue); US 15/501 Business North (Roxboro Street) from US 15/501 Bus.
(Lakewood Avenue) to N.C. Highway 98 (Holloway St); US 15/501 Business
(Lakewood Avenue & University Drive) from U.S. 15/501 North (Roxboro
Street) to SR 1361 (Vickers Avenue); SR 1127 (Chapel Hill Street) from
Great Jones to Kent Street; and SR 1127 (Kent Street) from West Chapel
Hill Street to Morehead Avenue
The contract includes milling and resurfacing on all of the above
routes. There are manhole and meter/valve box adjustments, signal loop
replacements, and patching included in the contract as well.
The NCDOT's contractor (Rea Contracting) started work on this project on
May 20 and they have 120 days (September 16) to complete the project.
Also, the contractor is restricted from working on all streets Monday -
Friday between the hours of 6 a.m. - 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. - 7 p.m. This is
to ensure that morning and evening "commute times" are not further
delayed by our efforts to resurface these streets.
>From the beginning, our contractor has planned to have the streets
milled and patched, starting with Roxboro and Mangum Streets, before
initiating any resurfacing. Since the contract has only 2.9 miles of
work over five streets, it was important to mill and patch far enough
ahead of the paving crew, so that the paving crew could pave in a
However, along the way, we have encountered three large sinkholes;
too-shallow asphalt directly on top of stone; abandoned air release
valves with trapped water that flooded our sub-grade; and a failed sewer
line that impacted our efforts. Again, as we encountered these
problems, we worked quickly to investigate, figure out the necessary
repair solution, and continue along with the project.
In addition to the above issues, there have been numerous meetings with
County staff to discuss the project schedule and the pavement cuts
needed for utilities and stormwater as part of the Justice Building
construction as well as conversations with City staff to review
recommended pavement marking changes along some of these routes. As
part of the resurfacing project, the City requested that portions of
Chapel Hill Street and University Drive/Lakewood Avenue be restriped to
provide better accommodation of bicycles, as recommended by the Durham
Comprehensive Bicycle Transportation Plan. Bike lanes and shared lane
markings are being placed on these streets. City staff has prepared
traffic analyses showing that these streets will operate at an
acceptable level of service with the revisions.
The good news is that, despite these unanticipated project setbacks, we
are making progress and hope to finish this project by September 16th as
originally planned. Paving work is now completed on Lakewood Avenue and
University Drive and the majority of the paving work is also now
completed on Chapel Hill and Kent Streets. We anticipate that the
repairs needed on Roxboro and Mangum Streets will begin within one week
and the paving will shortly follow. Again, the project completion date
may move due to the above-mentioned setbacks, but if that's the case, we
will let you know since we plan to continue to provide regular updates
to you via this list serv about the status of this project as we work
toward completion. We want to make sure you are aware of our progress
and any changes in our plans that may arise moving forward.
Thank you for the opportunity to explain this project in more detail and
for your continued patience as we work to make better roads for Durham.
North Carolina Department of Transportation
cdhinnant at ncdot.gov (e-mail)
(919) 220-4680 (phone)
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