Robins supposed to be bobbin' along, not the road

2014-03-27T00:00:00Z Robins supposed to be bobbin' along, not the roadPhil Wieland, (219) 548-4352

VALPARAISO | Strolling on County Road 500 North, Public Works Director Matt Evans had a spring in his step, but it wasn't because of spring break or the prospect the snow might finally be winding down for the winter.

It was the road itself.

"It bounced like a bog when you walked on it," Evans said of the section of road just east of Ind. 49.

Crews already have been out to try to shore up the damage to the road caused by the cold weather and the spring thaw, and Evans said he is looking at having to do some tweaking of the paving program he had planned for the coming year.

The city finished its latest evaluation of all the roads Monday, and Evans said he'll spend the rest of the week looking over the stack of reports to figure out where best to use the $1.5 million road budget he has.

"I did have a general idea of what I wanted to accomplish, but I'm going to have to retweak the whole thing," he said. "That's a great sum of money, and I have to figure out how to use it. It's like a Rubik's Cube. I have to look at it from all angles to see the best way to do it."

The winter has been especially unkind to Lancaster Drive and much of Campbell Street. Evans said a long section of Lancaster is showing serious wear, and both the north and south bound lanes of Campbell from Park Avenue to Bullseye Lake Road have shown "an amazing amount of distress."

"That's a major corridor, and it will need a lot of work to stabilize it," he said of Campbell.

One of the solutions he plans to get into more is recycling the old pavement to extend the life of the road and reduce costs, as well as be more ecologically friendly.

"There are many ways for prolonging the life of the road before we have to reconstruct it," he said. "We've done some of this in the past, but we will incorporate it more in the tool belt of things we can use."

Despite a few late snow flurries, the city still has plenty of salt and is looking at carrying some forward for next winter. In the meantime, Evans said he has as many as four crews out almost every day patching potholes until temperatures finally get above 45 degrees and repairs can be done.

"My concern is that there will be more popping up as the water gets below the asphalt," he said.

Then it will be the asphalt that is springing up.

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