Chuck Nichols, Cottage Creek, told Gardner council members in July he had concerns regarding the pavement management program. He said the work that had been done at the end of his driveway had been of inferior quality and was already showing signs of damage. As work road work continues, Nichols sent an e mail and photo this week to council members reiterating his concern. Other residents have complained regarding the city’s chip and seal on social media. Submitted photo

Gardner’s Pavement Management Program (PMP) phase 3 is well underway.
In 2016, Gardner voters approved a half cent sales tax to fund infrastructure improvements to streets and trails. It will sunset in 10 years.
Several residents have complained on social media regarding the chip and seal process, and in July a resident complained regarding the procedure to the Gardner City Council.
This year, approximately 38 lane miles of road improvements will be completed throughout the city. The city primarily uses two types of  pavement treatments to help extend the life of a road: mill and overlay and granite chip seal. This year’s PMP schedule includes 23 miles of chip seal and 14 miles of mill & overlay.
The chip seal process is the primary surface  treatment used. It consists of applying a base layer of hot liquid asphalt to seal cracks, then granite chips are spread on top of the mix, followed by rollers to embed the chips securely into the street surface. Following a 24-hour curing period, the contractor performs an initial sweeping followed by a second one two weeks later. Additional sweepings are performed as needed.

Residents in several subdivisions have voiced concerns on social media regarding Gardner’s chip and seal program . At least one Cottage Creek resident attended a council meeting this summer and has written a letter to the editor (page 3) saying council members don’t seem to care. Apparently in response to criticism on social media, Rich Melton and Lee Moore, council members, started their own social media thread. Submitted photo

Chip seal increases the life of a street at a reduced cost in comparison to a mill & overlay, which requires the complete removal of the top layer of a road and replacement with fresh asphalt. For example, a lane mile of chip seal application costs $15,136 compared to $56,883 per lane for a mill & overlay.
While an asphalt overlay lasts approximately 10 years for roads beyond repair, the chip seal application lasts 5 to 7 years before needing to be reapplied and can be redone multiple times before equaling the cost of a one-time application for a mill and overlay. By using the chip seal process, the city can stretch infrastructure dollars and preserve more roads for a longer period of time.
For questions regarding the city’s PMP or the chip seal process, contact the Public Works Department at 913.856.0914.