New bridges need repair
By Kevin Huelsmann, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
July 10, 2012
Construction crews likely will have to repave several hundred feet of road and pathway near the new bridges on South Park Loop Road, Teton County officials said Monday.
Initial test results, delivered to county staff Friday, show that a combination of materials used to pave the road and pathway near Melody Ranch might lead to problems later on. In addition, one stretch of road, on the southwest side of the bridge, has started to develop ruts.
“In the big picture, it’s pretty insignificant, but we would be irresponsible not to make sure we get the best product possible,” county engineer Sean O’Malley said. The good news is there likely will be no significant travel delays, possibly just single-lane closures for a day or two.
The original project bifurcated the South Park Loop, causing significant detours in the neighborhood.
O’Malley told county commissioners Monday they probably would have to extend a contract with Reiman Corp., which is overseeing the project. The initial contract said the company had to complete the pathway and road bridge by mid-July.
The additional work should not cost the county any more money, county staff have said.
O’Malley said asphalt mixes sometimes don’t meet standards because of variations in the materials being used.
“Every mix is different,” he said.
While county staffers are waiting for additional test results, there is a possibility they might have to redo parts of the road and path, he said. It might take several weeks to fix, O’Malley said.
The main problem is that the mixture of gravel, oil and other materials used to pave the two structures did not meet certain standards. An improper mix could lead to problems later, like water seeping into the road or pathway that could damage them.
Crews likely will have to repave about 100 feet of the road on the southwest lane, approaching the bridge, which is near Melody Ranch. The portions on the pathway also measure approximately 100 feet.
“It’s a glorified patch,” O’Malley said.
Further testing could reveal the need for more paving work to be redone, O’Malley said.
“We’re hoping this is all we have to do,” he said.
County staff began to see rutting shortly after the pavement was laid at the beginning of June. Initial test results raised red flags and county staff asked for additional tests.
The problems with the road and pathway should not pose any danger to motorists or pathway users, county staff have said.
Construction on the project began late last summer. It divided South Park Loop Road in two for several months as crews worked on installing the new structures, much to the dismay of many residents.
The project is expected to cost roughly $1.5 million. It is being paid for through a combination of exaction fees from Melody Ranch subdivision, state grant money, tax revenue from a 2006 specific purpose excise tax election and county money.