By Stuart Hirsch
The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON, Ind. — Summer now in full swing as of last week, which means Anderson and Madison County's annual paving and road maintenance programs are set to begin.
With a low bid of $665,143, Anderson-based E&B Paving, Inc. was selected this week by the Anderson Board of Public Works to pave 16.6 miles of city roads, according to Mike Spyers, city engineer. The high bid was just over $800,000. The city's overall paving budget this year is $1.15 million.
"I think we got a real good price," Spyers said.
The selection of E&B Paving marks a return to traditional paving methods for the city.
Last year, the city hired a suburban Chicago contractor that used a more environmentally friendly process to pave 10 miles of Anderson streets at a cost of $338,155.
Gallagher Asphalt Corp. developed a "hot-in-place" method of recycling that involved the use of infrared technology to heat and melt asphalt, break it up, add fresh oil, return it to the road and compact and smooth the mixture with a roller.
Anderson was the first local government in Indiana to use the new method, but Gallagher did not submit a bid this year, Spyers said, and the city is working with the company to correct some quality control matters with the work that was done.
Contractors like E&B and Gallagher are traditionally used to repave streets that carry a high volume of traffic, while city road crews work primarily on neighborhood streets and alley's said Deputy Mayor Pete Heuer. "Larger streets require milling and then paving and we don't have the capability to do that work."
Heuer said the city develops its annual paving program based upon several criteria such as the number of citizen complaints, potholes that need patching, the expertise of city street department engineers and employees and reviews by the Madison County Council of Governments.
"In a perfect world, the infrastructure needs of the city would be met with the appropriate revenue," but reality is something different, he said. "I would love to have a lot more revenue to devote to streets, but we have to adopt a balanced approach."
Madison County faces the same annual dilemma, said Board of County Commission President John Richwine, R-North District.
He said the county will chip and seal about 20 miles of road this year. In addition, E.ON Climate & Renewables, the company that developed the 200-megawatt, 8,500 acre Wildcat wind farm project in Madison and Tipton counties will chip and seal about 40 miles of road.
The company is doing that work as part of the agreement worked out with county officials when the project was approved. The roads will also be upgraded to accommodate the weight of trucks that are used help keep the wind turbines properly maintained, Richwine said.
Like Stu Hirsch on Facebook and follow him @stuhirsch on Twitter, or call 640-4861.