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UnExCo's New Street

resson Road has been around a long time.  Originally, way back in the horse and  buggy days, this short section of Kresson Road was
called "Batesville."

In the 1800's, Batesville was the "Boonies" - there just wasn't too much that came after Batesville.  Our Batesville, which was mostly Haddonfield's "black section" until the early part of the 20th century, has now changed to a professional/business category, with doctors and lawyers, a plumber and an exterminator now on the street.  Except for the exterminator, and maybe the plumber, you might say it's gone downhill....

For years, we've just become used to our old, bumpy street.  If a truck hits the manhole right in the middle of the street, we FEEL it.  It's a raceway, too.  Everybody tries to get up the hill as fast as they can - except, it seems, for the people in front of me.  We just never gave our old Kresson Road a thought, certainly never thought that we would get a new street - not in our lifetimes, anyway.

Then one day, some fellow pops in the door, hands us a single sheet of paper, and ducks out again.  The paper is a notice telling us that they will be re-paving our street in two weeks.  Yeah, right.  We file it in the round file.

Re-paving Day came and went.  Re-paving Week came and went.  The NEXT week came and went.  We didn't even know they came and went because of the notice going into the round file.  But then, early on the morning of August 14th, 2001, we have trucks outside, lining up, with strange equipment being unloaded.  Re-paving Day, it seems, is here!  

Strange as it may seem, even though they're doing about a mile of our Kresson Road, they start the whole project directly across the street!  At the time, I thought that was strange, but later it turns out it was the best way after all, mostly because of this HUGE tree they are going to have to pull down.  More on The Tree later.

Since they start right at our front door, I have a window on what they are doing.  With my handy-dandy camera at the ready, we're going to find out just how they do this.

Doesn't look that hard.  A few scruffy-looking guys, some strange looking/smelling equipment....  Hell, we've already got that!  I can see it now.   "United Paving Company..." Except, I think, they already have a United Paving.  Hmmmmm.  How 'bout, maybe, "AAA United Paving?"

Ready to Go....

So it looks like what they do, is they start right there, at the edge of the curb.  The machine you see cuts about a two foot wide slot right next to the curb.  You can see that in the next few shots here.  I didn't get to see what the machine looks like underneath, but while cutting this slot, it conveys the chewed-up material out the front of the machine, into a dump truck which sporadically moves with the "Slotter." They save this chewed-up material, you'll see why later.
Ready to Go....

The start of a long day....
As the Slotter moves along, the roadway is cleared of the larger debris, and curb and sewer details are taken care of.  There is some work that must be done by hand for the roadway to be prepared for the next procedure.  The base roadway consists of part of the old roadway, ground up, and new paving materials mixed in with the old.

As it passes on down the street, realization sets in. Actually, it was more like "panic."  It's obvious they're going to go down to the end of the street, (not very far) turn around and come right back up our side, cutting that slot, preventing our very ordinary vehicles from negotiating the parking lot.  The girls wonder if they're going to be able to leave, if the guys are going to be able to get in?   Does this mean (gulp) no lunch?
Moving right along....

The Trucks are Coming!

The truck is coming fast.  Well, slow, but it seems fast when you're in a panic.  In a flurry, cars are moved next door, into the Doctor's Office's lot, where there are more exits further up the street.  Nobody believes me when I tell them they won't be stuck. After all, the lady across the street is a nurse and she'll HAVE to get out.  But then, I'm really not too sure myself.  Fortunately, there's a bed upstairs and they'll have to fight me for it.

The trucks are coming! The trucks are coming!

Once the Slotter rolls by, the resultant slot locks out all customers, service techs, the mail girl, state inspectors and salesmen out of our office.  All in all, not actually a bad thing, just a bit inconvenient.

The nurse across the street, on her own wildly fluctuating work schedule, had to be rescued.  Her request goes down the street and within minutes, a bulldozer shows up with a bucket of gravel to bridge the slot.  Off she goes to work, and the United office crew is relieved they won't have to spend the night at the office with the boss.

After they slot both sides of the street, the same arrangement comes back and chews up about a four inch layer of the roadway itself, mixes it and lays it back down, spits the overflow out the back and directly into the maw of the second piece of equipment.  The second one takes the chewed-up remnants of the road, mixes it with very hot (I think he said 300 degrees) asphalt and spreads it out, also filling the slot, and forming the base of the new roadway.  Talk about easy?  

Since they add quite a bit of asphalt, sometimes they have to divert some of this material to a truck instead of back into the road.  They'll use this some other place.  The ultimate recycler.

As you can see, this equipment is all hooked together. The tank truck holds the mixture of asphalt to be mixed with the present roadway, a hose supplying the asphalt connects the two in their slow trek up the street.  It starts and stops, but when it's moving, it goes at slow walk speed.

Now for the manholes....
They also have to come back and do the manhole they didn't get with either pass.  The boss watches to make sure the blades don't hit the metal manhole. Not that I'm wishing this on them, but I wonder what happens when they hit one?  Since they seem quite careful, and both the operator and the boss are watching, it doesn't happen.  They have to do this with each manhole.

This takes some coordination.  When tearing up the street, you have to put this stuff somewhere.... So it goes right into the back of a truck, and will be used later.
Moving right along....

At the end of the day they had our section of the street done.  Not done completely, just the base of the road, it will still require the finish coat.  We realize, quickly, that isn't going to be on the morrow, this is only a short section of the mile or so they  were contracted to re-pave.  Besides, there's The Tree to worry about....

The Tree

But before they can put the finish coat on, and make this a REAL road, it turns out there's a slight problem. The Tree is the problem.  This tree, an oak, around two hundred years old, just picked the wrong place to grow.  Maybe we picked the wrong place to build a road, it was probably there first.   Anyway, since it encroaches too much on the highway, and no one rises to protect this old oak, it must come down.
The Tree....

Re-Paving Day!

After The Tree had been taken care of, finally, it's time for the finish coat.  We have been told ahead of time that this will be the day, so we can make sure our vehicles are correctly placed and everybody has their lunch.

The End is Near....

Cleaning Up
Cleaned Up

Finally, a week or so after Labor Day, 2001, they have chewed out the stump, painted the traffic lines and, I guess, collected their money. Which, if I remember correctly, was some $338,000.  Like I said, "Easy." AAA United Paving could've done it for $337,000, no problem.

Although, truth be told, I think I'd like Mike's job, working in the trees, it looks like the most fun.

Down the Street
Up the Street

Our brand-new street, all re-paved and striped.  What a country!

Click on each thumbnail for a full size image

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