U.S. 158 repaving project headed for home stretch
The $13.4 million dollar project started in April, with RPC Contracting of Kitty Hawk removing the old road surface.
A friction course top layer was added last decade to address problems with the roadway becoming very slick during rainfall and is the next phase of the project.
“The friction course allows the water to go down through the asphalt, down to the underlying layer which we just put down,” said David Ots, assistant resident engineer for the NCDOT Elizabeth City construction office.
“Once it gets down to that layer, it will travel along the slope of the road until it runs off on the shoulders.”
The friction course should take less time to lay than the base pavement did earlier this summer.
“It’s half as thick as the original surface course we put down, so theoretically it should go down twice as fast,” Ots said.
The base paving was completed several weeks ago, and work to drop the shoulders lower than the final road surface to help with drainage is wrapping up.
“When we normally do road work, we will completely build the road and then build the shoulders last,” Ots said.
“We’re building the shoulders now so they will remain below the level of the friction course so the water can run out, run across the shoulder, and eventually into the ditch.’
To reduce traffic delays along U.S. 158 during the summer, work could only take place between Monday and Thursday.
“The restrictions will be in place through the weekend after Labor Day, but we are going to discuss what happens Sept. 14 and on,” Ots said.
Small sections of concrete curb-and-gutter, which runs along the edge of the road from the N.C. 168 intersection in Barco to just north of the Knapp Memorial Bridge in Coinjock, must still be replaced due to settling that has affected drainage.
After the friction course is applied, the only remaining segments of the project will be the painting of lane markings, application of reflectors, and grinding of rumble strips to alert drivers they are drifting into the center turn lane.
The state’s contract with RPC requires work to be finished by Nov. 16, Ots said.
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