New pavement upsets some Apex residents

Posted August 11, 2008

— Residents of an Apex subdivision say their road is rough and bumpy and not at all what they expected, considering it was just repaved.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation used a paving method on the road called bituminous surface treatment (BST). It consists of loose gravel on top of asphalt so the tar doesn't seep through.

Terry Kelly, who lives in the Whistling Quail subdivision off Humie Olive Chapel Road says loose gravel from the job, completed a few weeks ago, damages vehicles and makes it dangerous to bike, skateboard, use inline skates and even walk along the road.

"It's just the idea of the traction on the road," Kelly said.

But the DOT says the gravel is temporary and that the BST treatment is a cost-effective option on low-volume roads found in many subdivisions, like Whistling Quail.

"(That's) not saying we're going to do it on every single road, but we've got to look at economics to make our dollars stretch as far as we can," DOT division engineer Wally Bowman said.

BST, which has an average lifespan of 7 to 10 years, is less than half as expensive as traditional hot-mix asphalt, which lasts 12 to 15 years, Bowman says, and "it's a very proven treatment" the DOT has used for years.

In many cases, the DOT comes in and sweeps excess gravel to the side of the road. Bowman says it typically takes a couple of weeks for the loose gravel to begin disappearing.

"It's not as smooth, no doubt, as hot-mix asphalt, but it's a good application for those roads," Bowman said. "And once you give it a little bit of time, it's not as rough as what people think it's going to be."

Kelly and his neighbors say the "bumpy process" could have been much smoother.

"Communication between DOT and the neighborhood was not very good," he said, adding that residents would have liked to have known about the project and be involved in the decisions.

The DOT says that it is considering trying to improve lines of communication by giving residents notice, telling them what is going on and also give them examples of what future paving jobs would look like.


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  • killerkestrel Aug 13, 2008

    TarheelsDontLikeEdwards, it is NOT a new paving method. It has been used for many decades.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Aug 12, 2008

    Sounds like the same person at the DOT which screwed up I-40 in Durham is at it again with this new paving method.

  • independent-opinion Aug 12, 2008

    Don't worry, the repave is just to help hide the dammage about to happen with hundreds of dump trucks and heavy equipment traveling down Humie-Olive to bring in materials for the Evans road extension (all the way to Apex BBQ). Also the construction traffic for the new $500K+ subdivision right behind Whistling Quail. After these homes are built they will probably repave Humie-Olive with standard blacktop again to handle the increase in traffic. The neiborhood - probably not. Sorry.

  • 2beornot2be Aug 12, 2008

    Slip Kid- let me explain my comment about "FREE". Apart from the taxes that are levied in the city, county, or state the subdivision residents do not receive a bill for upkeep of their road. If we need to maintain the road I live on it costs MONEY out of POCKET and UP FRONT. Ex. I have to put over 700.00 of gravel on the section from the road that runs to my home, however the other 7 tenths of a mile is NOT maintained because the residents don't want to invest in maintaining the road. WHEN PEOPLE DON'T PAY OUT OF POCKET ITS EASY TO COMPLAIN. Now if DOT gave each of these residents a bill each time they resurface the road then they could complain. Until then be happy with anything the DOT does b/c I read in these posts where a subdivision hasn't been resurfaced since the 80's. My tax dollars are paying for "subdivision roads" that I don't use. Hence its FREE for the residents.

  • leo-nc Aug 12, 2008

    Why is the North Carolina Department of Transportation repaving a local road in a subdivision? That should be the responsibility of local residents of the subdivision itself, the town, or the county. Not the state."

    The simple answer Steve is that they are built, and state maintained roads. Therefore, they are required "maintain" them.

  • leo-nc Aug 12, 2008

    Sounds like a bunch of whiners to me. That method of paving does very well and the gravel doesn't stick around long. IF you don't like it, people, PAVE IT YOURSELF and quit whining.

  • Smokin Aug 12, 2008

    Big deal-it's called a Tar and Gravel road and they've been using it forever in NC for low volume roads. Slow the heck down until the gravel gets squished down into the tar and it will be fine.

  • Slip Kid Aug 12, 2008

    "I'd be happy with ANYTHING THE STATE WOULD DO FOR FREE!" - why do people think anything the government does is for FREE????

  • killerkestrel Aug 12, 2008

    The DOT put a BST down because it is a state maintained road. If a subdivision meets certain reqirements, it can be added to the state system.

    BST's are good. If a road is badly cracked, it is better to use a BST instead of crack sealing before paving with asphalt. BST's are useful on low volume roads where there isn't a structural problem. Yes, it will last around 6 years compared to 15 years with asphalt, but it costs about a fifth! So asphalt lasts about 2.5 times as long, but costs 5 times as much. And with resurfacing costing $100,000 to $150,000 per mile on a two lane road, something has to be done to make a dollar go further.

    DOT is danged if it does, and danged if it doesn't.

  • RocknRollDoctor Aug 12, 2008

    Get use to it. DOT used that same method on a stretch of US 301 in Nash County. Sign of the times.