Long road ahead for chip sealed streets

The oil mix used to repair Hilltop Drive and South Eighth Street, a treatment option recently suggested by a city council member, is outdated.

After chip seal was put on those streets last fall, residents are still unhappy with the condition of the roads outside of their homes, claiming there was too much gravel.

At the last city council meeting, Feb. 10, Leon Lamer, at-large council member, had suggested using an oil mix to repair it. Bruce Campbell, assistant to the city engineer, said that option, isn’t an industry standard.

“There isn’t a company around that does it,” Campbell said.

Campbell said he received information about a company in Des Moines called Construction Materials Testing, CMT, that can come and evaluate the streets.

“They have professional engineers on staff that will give us a recommendation of the process through various costs through four, six or 8-inch milling or something we want to do,” Campbell said.

Bob Schubert, 1st Ward council member, questioned what research was done before.

“This is the way Leon remembered it being done a number of years ago where it was more recycled,” said Randy Wetmore, city administrator. “Since we’ve done the chip seal we are looking for different options than the last meeting. Now they’re trying to come up with other options that would be similar or something that would be completely different.”

Mayor Jim Lowrance asked Campbell if it was at all possible to grind and mix the streets. Campbell said he wouldn’t know that until they gave a recommendation to see what kind of materials are used.

By next week, Campbell said CMT will look at the roads and give recommendations once the snow gets cleared.

Council made no decision regarding repair options.