LUMBERTON — Motorists are being advised to steer clear of Seventh Street until mid-June because of ongoing construction work to replace the concrete street with asphalt, according to City Manager Wayne Horne.
Horne said that construction began last week at Pine Street with the removal of concrete from the ground. He said construction work will span about five blocks — from Pine Street to Summit Avenue.
“The street is in pretty rough condition,” Horne said, “and you can’t pave over concrete. Concrete expands and contracts, and asphalt won’t stay on it, so to get it up to standard we have to remove the concrete.”
According to Horne, $132,000 was allocated by the state Department of Transportation for the project. Horne said that the city bore the cost of $23,000 for the removal of concrete.
“The city removing the concrete kept it within the money that was appropriated by the state … ,” Horne said. “Once everything is built, the city will take the maintenance of the street — we’ll add it to our street system.”
The City Council in March awarded the contract for the paving of the streets to McArthur Construction for $129,641. As of Tuesday, Horne said that about 50 percent of concrete had been removed. All the concrete that has been removed will be crushed and milled to be reused, he said.
“Once we get the concrete out, we’re over halfway,” Horne said. “What we’re doing is getting the concrete out and coming up behind of it and putting six inches of crush and run … .”
Horne said that Seventh Street residents will be slightly inconvenienced but will still be able to get in and out of their driveways.
“We’ve notified property owners by letter that we’d make it accessible — make their driveways accessible,” he said. “The street is not open to free traffic.”
Rob Armstrong, director of Public Works, said during the council’s Policy Committee meeting in March said that the construction from start to finish could cause noise as well as detours.
According to Horne, there will be no changes to the street other than its surface.
“Crush and run is coming up right behind it — they’re levelling it and rolling it,” he said. “They’re putting the crush and run as they go so that when they stop the crush and run will be at the point they stop at.”
Horne said that the work is moving at an efficient pace, with 30 percent of the overall project already completed.
“Probably by the middle of June we will be ready to pave,” he said.