Marion putting down more pavement

Marion putting down more pavement

City streets getting fresh coat of asphalt

Marion Street Department should still be laying asphalt for about another month and a half.

Manager Gordon Floyd said crews are finishing up overlays in Pleasant Woods and will soon be moving to Pleasant Plains.

“We’ll keep going until they stop making it (asphalt), which should be sometime in October,” Floyd said.

Floyd said the city has been out paving three days a week and has been averaging about 1,000 tons a week.

“We’ve done over half of the streets behind the elementary school — Turner, Oak, and all of those,” Floyd said. “We’re waiting on the gas company to finish some work and then we will finish those. We’ve done several streets in Pleasant Woods. We’ve done three streets in River Trace. We’ve put down a lot of asphalt.”

The city also saves about $8,500 for every 300 tons of asphalt they lay by doing the work in-house as opposed to contacting it out.

The city has been buying asphalt for about $55 a ton compared to about $112 per ton if they bid it out to contractors.

“We’re getting it for just about half of that,” Floyd said. “And with out labor and equipment, fuel, insurance, every time we lay 300 tons our money goes $8,500 further in a ten hour day.”

Floyd said the city has made good use of the paving equipment that the city bought in late 2016 and gets better at it with each project.

The city bought a used 2012 LeeBoy paver for $130,000. Prior to that the street department had been using a 1971 parking lot paver. The new machine allows the city to lay about 400 tons of asphalt per day. “The week before last we put down 1,000 tons — and we did it in three days,” Floyd said. “We’re not great yet. But I would give everything we’ve done a B-plus.”

Floyd said they also expect to get the results back soon of a street survey which will identify which city streets need the most attention.

“They will tell us which ones are the worst and we will go from there,” Floyd said.

And with temperatures expected to be in the 70s in the coming weeks Floyd expects to lay a lot more asphalt before the season ends.

“We’re fixing to run into a stretch of about two weeks without rain and great temperatures, which makes it great for laying asphalt,” Floyd said.

By Mark Randall