The $120 million I-795 opened in December 2005, but within the first 16 months of being opened to the public, the pavement began failing, leaving large cracks and numerous potholes on part of the interstate.
A DOT investigation into the pavement problems determined that state standards were inadequate in making sure the roadway would be able to handle traffic. The marginal thickness of the pavement made it more susceptible to the damaging effects of traffic along the route, and the low amount of binding cement material may have contributed to the poor performance of the pavement, inspectors said.
The two new contracts require that the damaged asphalt be removed and replaced in the outside lane by Dec. 31. An additional layer of asphalt will be placed on all lanes over the 18-mile stretch by Oct. 15, 2010, officials said.
Contracts were awarded to Barnhill Contracting Co. for slightly more than $6 million and S.T. Wooten Corp. for $5.9 million. The total of the contracts is $1.4 million less than DOT’s original estimate of $13.4 million to repair the damage.
“We anticipate work will move quickly as we correct this problem,” Jim Trogdon, DOT’s chief operating officer, said in a statement. “Our research into the cause of this problem has helped us identify new and better tools that we are putting into place to prevent this from occurring in the future.”
Significant repairs along the most severely affected portions of I-795 were completed last fall. To fully correct the damage, the DOT investigation recommended replacing 3 inches of pavement on the outside lane and then overlaying the entire roadway with 3½ inches of asphalt to increase the depth of asphalt from slightly more than 5 inches to more than 8½ inches.
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