Asphalt marks final phase of National Ave. project

Saturday, July 16, 2016
Jason E. Silvers/Tribune photo A worker operates an oscillator over new asphalt on a portion of National Avenue Friday afternoon. Work recently began on the final phase of the National improvement project that began in 2015.

The final phase of the National Avenue improvement project is underway.

Work began this week to lay asphalt along a portion of National Avenue from Sixth to 13th streets. It is the last phase of an approximately $3.8 million project to make various improvements in that area.

Fort Scott Street and Traffic Supervisor Chad Brown said Friday the rest of the project work, including new curbs and gutters, new sidewalks, intersection improvements, a new water line, storm sewer pipes and inlets has been completed.

"This is the last major phase," Brown said.

Amino Brothers Co., Inc., of Kansas City, Kan., is the contractor for the project, which began work in June 2015. Brown said the asphalt work has been sub-contracted out to Emery Sapp and Sons of Joplin, Mo.

Workers are cleaning the road before laying new asphalt.

"They'll clean off first the dirt, gravel and debris, then spread a tack oil down that is designed to bond the two surfaces together," he said. "Any areas in the front that are potholed out, with potholes in the milled asphalt surface, they will fill and roll those prior to the final coat of asphalt."

Brown said the rolling process smooths out and also compacts the materials used.

Some side roads and intersections in the project area remain closed to traffic as work continues.

Brown said he is not sure of a final completion date for the project. The original goal was to have the project completed by August. After the asphalt portion, there is some minor work to do in the fall.

"There is some detailed work still to do, such as hydro-mulching some areas," he said. "In October, they will come back and lay the rest of the sod."

Residents' yards in the project area that were torn up due to construction will be repaired with new sod, Brown said.

"The main goal is still to get it done ahead of schedule," he said.

Since the project began, portions of National and some side streets have been closed to through traffic, and drivers had to navigate orange cones and dividers in some areas, as well as face detours along a divided National Avenue. Crews have addressed the project in sections since work began.

The project also included installation of four new traffic poles and signals at the intersection of Sixth and National. Crews have also worked to rebuild intersections in the area and install new sidewalks and drainage. As workers completed sections, those portions of roads opened to traffic as the project moved forward.

The project is funded by $2.5 million in city funds and $1.4 million from the Kansas Department of Transportation in state funds provided through the Federal Funds Exchange Program. KDOT bid the project out in late 2014. Amino Brothers was the low bidder with a bid of $3,447,080.

The city's commitment, which is paying for construction and engineering costs, comes from water revenues, storm water revenues, budgeted funds from the general fund and money from the capital improvement sales tax budget, city officials said.

The project has experienced some delays since construction began due to weather and other factors. Work on the project was originally scheduled to start in April 2015 but was delayed to June 2015 due to community events which took place in June.

City street crews have assisted with portions of the project.