2010-10-09 / News

Engineers quizzed on repaving

By Charles Prince

BUCKEYE LAKE – M•E Companies inspector Jack Christy and the Asphalt Institute aren’t on the same page when it comes to tact coat.

Christy and M•E engineer Keith Delomo came to Monday night’s Public Service Committee meeting.

“I had questions at the council meeting,” Chair Kaye Hartman said. “I wanted some open conversation… we needed to clear the air.” She then asked Christy if paving contractor Chemcoth used a tack coat or not, and if not, why.

“Tack coat is being misrepresented as a bond coat,” Christy responded. “It is used for lateral movement of asphalt. In no way does it make it stick to the other.”

The Asphalt Institute, which is the trade association for asphalt manufacturers, has a completely different definition. In its 2008 Basic Asphalt Emulsion Manual, “Tack/Bond Coat” is described as: “This application has traditionally been called a tack coat, but the trend is to use the term bond coat. A bond coat is a very light spray application of diluted asphalt emulsion. It is used to promote a bond between the existing surface and the new asphalt application. A bond coat is typically recommended for all overlays.”

Christy said a tact coat was used in any unmilled areas and in all intersections. He said milling down the existing asphalt creates grooves in the asphalt that lock in the new asphalt. “You have a structural key,” Christy said.

Hartman asked Christy why tact coats are used on most projects. “It is just a judgment call,” he answered. “There is no mandate to use it.’

M•E’s specifications for the Buckeye Lake project state, “Place base layer of asphalt over prime coat (if asphalt is laid over granular surface), or tack coat (if asphalt is laid over bituminous surface).” A granular surface would be an aggregate base; the remaining asphalt base after milling is a bituminous surface.

“The amount you did not use will be deducted from the contract,” Christy said. The price of the tack coat was included in the asphalt price. Later in the meeting, resident Peggy Wells asked how the credit would be determined. Christy said usage will be calculated from the inspector’s log. When she asked if that log will be available to review, he told her it is personal. “Inspection notes aren’t given to the village.”

His position on the inspector’s log appears at odds with the village’s Project Agreement with the Ohio Public Works Commission. Under Audit Rights in Section 11, the village is required to give the Commission “access to and a right to examine or audit any and all books, documents and records, financial or otherwise, relating to the Project…”

Hartman also asked about adding a berm in areas where the adjacent grass is higher than the road. Christy said critical areas will be bermed with grindings reserved for that use. Whatever berming is done is up to the village and will be done at the village’s expense, Christy said. “There was no berming in the contract.”

Council member Donna Thompson asked what makes the new asphalt stick to dirt. “Nothing,” Christy responded. He also responded to her question about whether the new asphalt is actually two inches thick on the edges of the roads. “You are actually getting two inches,” he told her. It looks like less, but it is misleading unless you look at a cross-section.

Christy said it would take $2- 4 million to make village streets “durable.” “The key is maintenance,” he added. “If you maintain them they will last…Seal cracks before winter.”

“You don’t want to have water sitting on streets,” Christy cautioned. The village’s next Ohio Public Works Commission application is to address some storm water problems. “It’s too bad we didn’t do it first,” Thompson said. Christy said he doubted residents would have tolerated another year of ruts while the storm water project was being completed.

Hartman asked about sealing where the new asphalt meets existing asphalt such as the streets that run off Ohio 79. Christy said though the project is “substantially complete,” a punch list that includes sealing at those points is being put together. “They (Chemcote) should be back in at the end of this week,” he said.

Council member Clay Carroll asked if there is a warranty on the work. “There is a one year warranty,” Christy said, if asphalt ends up in a corn field. Carroll asked if the project was completed on time. It was “substantially complete” three days after the deadline, but it rained one of those days. The contract includes a $760 per day penalty for late completion. Christy isn’t enthusiastic about pursuing the $1,520 penalty, stating, “Council would have to push forward on that.”

“Roads are the best they have ever been,” Council President Charlene Haden commented. She thanked M•E for the work.

After several more questions, Delomo commented, “This resurfacing project is not new streets. We did the best we could.” It won’t “last forever,” he added. “There will be areas that will fail and crack in the coming years. Tack coat is not the structural cure-all for this project.”

“Proper maintenance is the key,” Delomo stressed. “M•E has provided you with a quality design.”

This writer asked about the failure to clean streets ahead of the paver. Christy said streets were broomed after milling. He fell silent when questioned about the days or even weeks between milling and repaving that allowed debris to build back up on the streets. “We will not be able to satisfy Mr. Prince,” Delomo responded for Christy.

With that Hartman cut off questions. “It is done,” she said. “No sense beating a dead horse. The proof is in the pudding. We’ll see what happens.”

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