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Street projects near completion





The long summer of street repairs in Hays is winding down, showing evidence of city officials' focus on an aggressive 2012 street maintenance program.

With $1.2 million contracted for repairs, Public Works Director I.D. Creech said the city has fielded a "very impressive street program."

The program encompassed a wide range of street repairs, including chip seal, concrete repair, curb and gutter replacement, brick street repair, micro surfacing and mill and overlay,

Approximately $155,000 worth of curb and brick gutter replacement costs were included in the program, resulting in more than 1,000 linear feet of curb line installation and 900 square yards of replacement repair of bricks in the downtown corridor area.

Creech said he also was pleased with the chip seal application contracted out by the city.

"We think our coverage was very good," he said. "We're picking up the excess material now and collecting it.

"We'll use that for other areas of the city -- alleys and parking areas -- in the future."

Mill and overlay on 32nd Street, 33rd Street and Agnes Drive has been underway this week. The process has included milling approximately 2 inches of existing asphalt off the road, then laying down a petro mat, followed by approximately 2 inches of hot asphalt mix.

Petra mat is a sub-surface material that is rolled out and adheres to the milled asphalt material with adhesive. It bonds with the new asphalt, which is placed on top. This is the first year the material has been used in roadway repairs in Hays.

"The idea of the petra mat is to stop the reflective cracking that comes back up," Creech said. "If you have a crack in the roadway and just put new asphalt on top of it, it tends to reflect up a crack again."

"The roadway surface, when we finish, will be an excellent roadway surface for these three areas," Creech said.

Another new application being launched this year is micro surfacing. The process is hoped to extend the life of some roadways that are in a good to excellent classification.

Approximately $45,000 of concrete work throughout the city will be done by a contractor, with $40,000 done by city crews. During the year, concrete patches and repairs will occur intermittently but should not cause any roads to be blocked, Creech said.

Funding for the street repairs has come, in part, from the city's special highway fund, gasoline taxes collected and redistributed back to city's by the state.

The city collects approximately $650,000 yearly from the highway fund, with nearly $100,000 allocated for sidewalk replacement, curb and gutter replacement and brick street repair.

In 2011, the city contracted an in-depth study of city streets, and delayed repairs until 2012.

"This year, we are basically using two years worth of money, last years and this years," said City Manager Toby Dougherty.

In addition, city commissioners voted in the spring to put an extra $250,000 from their reserves into the street maintenance program.

"We had a pretty good year last year sales tax-wise," Dougherty said. "Our collections exceeded budget, so they (commissioners) wanted to take some of that money and put it back into streets, which is a good use -- quite frankly -- of that money."