More cash sprinkled on ice-ruined roads

June 24, 1994|By Larry Carson | Larry Carson,Sun Staff Writer

January's ice has faded to a sweat-soaked June memory, but its effects will be showing up on Baltimore County roads this summer -- big-time.

The County Council Monday night approved an extra $5 million for road resurfacing. C. Richard Moore, the county highways chief, said the county will be doing three to four times more resurfacing in 1994 than in past years.

Much of the money originally set aside for resurfacing went to pay for patching holes in ice- and salt-damaged streets after the winter freezes, Mr. Moore said. The extra highway money will boost spending to $10.5 million for this spring and summer affecting 388 of the county's 2,500 miles of locally maintained roadways.

"This winter just beat us to death," Mr. Moore said, recalling many hours spent in his county office awaiting word on salt deliveries and subzero temperatures.

The severe weather, combined with the usual deterioration of many roads built during the county's peak growth years in the late 1960s and early 1970s, left a lot to do.

"With our infrastructure deteriorating with age," Mr. Moore said, more repairs are needed anyway. He said County Executive Roger B. Hayden's administration already had laid plans in September 1993 to do double the usual amount of road repaving this year, but the winter's severity prompted a major expansion.

Eighty percent of the patching of potholes from storm-related damage has been completed, Mr. Moore said. He said the county is spending $3.7 million on pothole repair.

In July and August, the resurfacing projects should add a smooth surface over those patches.

The projects are divided into five categories:

* Chip seal, a thin layer of stone and asphalt on 210 miles of lightly traveled, mostly rural roads, costing $2.2 million. Earl's Beach in Chase and Bacon Road in White Hall are two examples.

* Slurry seal, a thinner mixture with smaller stones on 51 miles of suburban residential streets such as Alter Avenue in Lochearn and Pleasant Plains Road in the Loch Raven-Putty Hill area, costing $722,000. Mr. Moore said this mixture enables the county to do whole developments at once without creating new problems by raising the street level.

* Skid resistance, a thin, stony surface added to small areas prone to slippery conditions all around the county, $800,000.

* Heavy overlay, a thicker asphalt on 18.6 miles of heavily traveled connector roads in the southwestern central and eastern parts of the county -- those with the oldest roads -- at a cost of $910,000. In the southwest, Hammonds Ferry and Rolling roads are two receiving this treatment.

* Smooth seal, the traditional thickness of asphalt applied to residential streets such as Dover Road in the Worthington Valley and Aigburth Avenue in Towson. More expensive because it is thicker, smooth seal requires digging around manhole covers and storm drains to make sure they aren't covered and that the roadway still is left smooth when the new layer is put down. This will be done on 108 miles of roads, at a cost of $2.1 million.

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