Repaving a smooth road?

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Repaving a smooth road?

Postby Michael Pelletier » Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:53 am

Does the Turnpike Authority really have so much extra money that they can afford to undertake make-work projects like repaving a nearly pristine stretch of freeway through Nashua? I wonder how much it cost to make a short stretch of road which used to be as smooth as silk, as smooth as a baby's butt. I wonder who skimmed the cream. Looks like it's FDR's CWA all over again, right here in New Hampshire.
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Re: Repaving a smooth road?

Postby andysinnh » Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:14 am

While I used to drive that stretch thru Nashua every day, I only do so once every few weeks now. As such, I get to see/feel the changes in the road more dramatically than I would if I were a daily user. The surface of that road, while not bumpy or cracked, was VERY worn. You could hear it thru your tires and suspension when you hit that stretch. Today, it was smooth. But it's very likely that after another winter, you'd start to see potholes start to appear and other issues. I see their actions for repaving as pre-emptive, such that the traffic won't be impacted with road surface failures. Is it smart given the economic conditions these days? Unsure - and up to the view of each person considering the matter. I"m sure there were some federal funds that would have been left on the table should NH not taken the actions. Not sure...

But I will say the road condition was getting worn quite a bit - but not as noticible if you drive it every day...

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Re: Repaving a smooth road?

Postby RD » Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:14 am

andysinnh wrote:
But I will say the road condition was getting worn quite a bit - but not as noticible if you drive it every day...



I, too, only occasionally drive that stretch, and agree with you Andy. But this is not a post about paving. It is a political post that points to a sub-par newspaper opinion piece titled "Obama: Not as honest as FDR."
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Re: Repaving a smooth road?

Postby Michael Pelletier » Thu Aug 19, 2010 7:12 am

Apparently they're also replacing steel guard rails with... you'll never guess... steel guard rails.

Apparently the total project is worth $1.9 million and is being handled by Continental Paving of Londonderry.

Yes, the surface was worn, but there were no cracks or developing issues, and the surface was smooth aside from a couple of bumps at bridge transitions, which are still there even after the new paving. Surely there's roads elsewhere that are already in worse shape, or a road that could use another lane, as opposed to spending the money on a pre-emptive repair of a road that might eventually be in slightly less-than-optimal condition after a few more winters.

I think you're probably on to something that may explain it, though - the stimulus dollars for which they were probably competing have a limited lifetime, and they had to come up with something to get the money, even if it comes at the expense of other far more worthy projects (structurally deficient bridges across the state spring to mind). But should we really be spending two million to make a smooth road into a pristine road, and replace steel guard rails with steel guard rails, when we're already on the hook for tens of millions of dollars for over 100 crumbling bridges on the state's red list? The state just recently borrowed $45 million just to cover part of the cost of Memorial Bridge, for example.
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Re: Repaving a smooth road?

Postby Speeder » Fri Aug 20, 2010 6:15 am

I don't have specific info on the Nashua project, but NHDOT has a very good pavement maintenance program that basically adresses serious pavement issues BEFORE they occur. Roads that seem smooth may only have a year or two left before deteriorating, at which point the cost to repair goes up significantly.

For example, lets use the Nashua project with some assumed numbers.

Lets say this was last paved in 2000. And now, 10 years later, it is being repaved at a cost of $1.9 million. Waiting until 2012 might result in further deterioration that drives that cost to say $3 million. Using their current program, that stretch costs $190,000 per year ($1.9m/10) in pavement maintenance. Waiting 2 years changes that cost to $250,000/year ($3m/12). May not seem like a lot, but multiply that by the number of lane-miles NHDOT takes care of, the numbers are significant.

I actually think NHDOT deserves credit for maintaining the infrastructure in this state, and not neglecting things to save a buck like Massachusetts.
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Re: Repaving a smooth road?

Postby Michael Pelletier » Sun Oct 10, 2010 7:21 am

Well, I guess we'll see in another two years or so, because the section that they paved was not in much different condition than long stretches that they didn't.
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Re: Repaving a smooth road?

Postby cyclone7070 » Wed Feb 23, 2011 7:58 am

I have posed this question to the state before.
Their answer was that they have a 10 year plan for all the highways,whether it looks like it needs it to us or not.
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