The Fayette County Engineer’s Office began a paving project this week five years in the making.
County Engineer Steve Luebbe said Thursday that he and his office have been working for five years to repave Old Springfield Road and Washington Waterloo Road.
“We just started our big project for the year, the Old Springfield and Washington Waterloo resurfacing project,” Luebbe said. “We did get federal grant money for that, which is difficult to do because they don’t really like spending money on paving. We applied for that grant about five years ago.”
Luebbe said the entire project costs about $1.6 million and will include an entire resurfacing of Old Springfield Road and almost all of Washington Waterloo Road. What makes the project even more special are the materials being used to resurface the roads, including an “asphalt rejuvenator” on Old Springfield, which should increase the longevity of the road by 25 percent at an additional cost of only about 15 percent.
“It is about a 12-mile project and includes all of the striping and other work,” Luebbe said. “We use the rejuvenator on some of our more heavily traveled roads, and we really think the price for the increase in life for the roads is very worth it. We are doing something different this year that we have never done though to Washington Waterloo Road, we are actually adding Aramid fibers.”
According to Luebbe, years ago they started adding fibers to concrete to increase the longevity of the product. This process has started happening to asphalt as well, but Luebbe said a lot of it is in the testing phase. He said he is certain that these fibers have value for the county, and considering the project is being 80 percent federally funded he thought it would be the best situation to test it out.
“We think it is money well spent to put fibers in our mix and see what kind of longevity we can get out of it,” Luebbe said. “It adds about 15 percent to the cost of the asphalt, but again we are hoping to see more than just an increase of 15 percent in the life span, so we are going to try it. There are other counties and municipalities that are also trying this, and there have been all sorts of research projects over the country. They have success with these kind of fibers. Others have been tested that are less successful, but these seem more promising because they can take the high heat.”
Luebbe said the project — which started Monday — should be finished within the month.
Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy.