ROCHESTER, Minn. – Drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists are being asked to use care for the next three weeks while driving through and around sections of the South Broadway Avenue corridor during a $1.3 million pavement rehabilitation project.
There are currently road closures on Broadway Avenue from 25th St. South to 12th St. South. One-lane travel will be maintained in each direction at all times.
Pavement milling will continue through Oct. 20. Those areas will be paved immediately after. On Oct. 24, striping of travel lanes will begin on the new pavement. Minnesota Department of Transportation officials say these dates are tentative based on the weather.
The project is being done on the heels of city study conducted in 2015 that evaluated the pavement condition on Broadway. The Broadway Corridor Study identified this segment as the second-highest priority for rehabilitation determined by pavement condition and bumpiness. The road was last rehabilitated in 1997, according to a news release.
“Delaying this rehabilitation project would ultimately result in a significantly more expensive need for reconstruction of the entire street in the future” said Public Works Director Richard Freese.
The planned mill and overlay project does not require the complete closure of a road, and access to driveways and side streets will be maintained.
A “mill and overlay” process being done is a street maintenance or pavement preservation strategy performed on streets made out of asphalt. The gravel base under the road and the bottom portion of asphalt are left and only the top portion of the road is new. The “milling” portion of the project is the process of removing the top layer using a large grinding machine, known as a mill. This removes all the deteriorated material and levels the surface, erasing potholes and cracks. To help the new material stick to the old, tack oil is sprayed on the rough milled surface, acting as a glue.
The “overlay” portion of the project involves installing about 2 inches of new asphalt material over the milled surface using a machine called a paver. This is then smoothed out with large, heavy steel drum rollers that vibrate to compact the asphalt into a smooth and durable finished surface.
The new overlay is expected to last about 12-15 years. The project is being payed for using Turnback Funds from the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Rochester Sand and Gravel is conducting it as part of a contract with the city that also includes construction of a traffic signal at the Broadway and Third Avenue SE intersection.