Posted on 06 April 2015.
Patches along the 2-mile stretch of Jetton Road are just one sign of the need for the rebuilding project. This patch (left side of road) is near Meta Road. (David Boraks/CorneliusNews.net)
By JONATHAN COX
After a year’s delay, work is finally scheduled to begin next week rebuilding and repaving a 2-mile stretch of Jetton Road. And the NC Department of Transportation, which currently maintains the road, says it’s going to get “messy.”
How messy? The four-lane road will be narrowed to one lane in each direction during construction, which could last through mid-June. There will be dust and dirt, loose asphalt, uneven pavement, and lower speeds. And – if recorded utility locations aren’t accurate – there even could be cuts to water or communications lines.
“This is not your ordinary resurfacing,” DOT spokesman Warren Cooksey told a gathering of reporters at Cornelius Town Hall Monday.
Work is scheduled to begin Tuesday, April 14, and the contact end date is June 14.
Cooksey said he wanted “to really emphasize that the long awaited Jetton Road reclamation project is happening soon and is going to be very, very messy. For a short time it will be messy, and then the folks who live along there are going to have a wonderful facility.”
The work will include a 2-mile stretch of Jetton Road, and intersections, just up to the painted, stamped sections like this one at Meta Road. (David Boraks/CorneliusNews.net)
The road work will stretch from West Catawba Avenue west into the Peninsula neighborhood on the Lake Norman waterfront. When the project is complete, the town of Cornelius will take over maintenance of the road.
Jetton Road’s crumbling subsurface has left potholes and other damaged sections, which have become a headache for Peninsula residents, who have no other way in and out of the area.
NCDOT tests in early 2014 confirmed problems with the road’s subsurface. Officials decided patches were no longer enough and the road needed to be rebuilt from the ground up.
The DOT originally expected to begin work a year ago, but higher than expected bids forced a delay as the department put the project out to bid a second time. (Sept. 22, 2014, “NCDOT delays Jetton Rd. repaving until next spring”)
When new bids came back this winter, they weren’t any better, but the DOT is moving forward with the project. The department recently chose Blythe Bros. Asphalt, which will get $1.46 million for the work.
TEARING UP AND REBUILDING
In what DOT officials call a “full reclamation,” the road surface will be stripped down between 12 and 15 inches. The work will starting about 150 feet west of West Catawba Avenue and continue until North Beatties Ford Road (near John Connor Road).
Instead of replacing the subsurface with new material, workers will grind up the old material, mix it with cement and water, and use it as the new subsurface.
“Through this reclamation process we’re saving money, we’re saving time, and we’re saving resources,” Cooksey said.
While reclamation is efficient, it has the unwelcome side effect of kicking up dust, which DOT officials say could settle on neighboring property.
“Probably not a good idea to wash one’s car, and the dust from construction will be with us for quite some time,” Cornelius Commissioner Jim Duke said Monday.
The DOT cautioned that drivers should drive slowly through the work area, not only to protect work crews but also because loose gravel could chip cars’ paint or glass. The speed limit will be reduced from 35 mph to 25 mph during the construction process. Utilities – cable, telephone, water, and gas lines – might also be interrupted during the construction process.
The contract end date is June 14, though the contractor – Blythe Brothers Asphalt Co. – anticipates that the $1.5 million project will be completed well before then. In an April 2014 meeting, Town Manager Anthony Roberts said the project would give the new road a life span of between 12 and 15 years.
The town will take over Jetton Road from the NCDOT after the project, but the town budget won’t necessarily suffer for it. Roberts said the town will receive more state money to maintain the road. (April 10, “After tests confirm problems, DOT to repair Jetton Road”).
Duke said that the construction will be well worth the short-term inconvenience: “Peninsula residents will be pleased with the final work product and our beautiful community will have a safe and long lasting roadway for all to use,” he said.
RELATED COVERAGE AND LINKS
Download an NCDOT Q&A about the Jetton Road project, with details about dates, disruptions and work locations. (PDF)
March 31, 2015, “DOT picks Blythe Bros. to rebuild Jetton Rd.; work to start April 13″
See other past coverage under the Jetton Road tag on CorneliusNews.net.