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More Summer Roadwork Approved by Normal Council

Brian Otto speaks to the council
Charlie Schlenker
Normal City Engineer Brian Otto briefed council members on relative costs and life-cycles of cement and asphalt during Monday night's town council meeting.

The Normal Town Council on Monday approved more than $792,000 in late summer road repairs.

City Engineer Brian Otto said the town had considered using concrete instead of asphalt on Cottage Avenue between Gregory Street and Barton Drive, but the money didn't work out.

"We could do the asphalt work almost three times for what the cost of concrete would be. Concrete would have a life cycle of 20 to 30 years. Asphalt lasts around 15 to 20 years. When you look at the life cycle, it makes sense that asphalt is going to be our best bet," said Otto.

The money that will be paid to Rowe Construction will go to work on Cottage Avenue from Gregory Street to Sanderson Court; Parkway Plaza from Veterans Parkway to Greenbriar Drive; Tamarack CC Trail from Ironwood Drive to Willowbridge Court; and the 1900 block of Haverhill CC Park.

Several Normal Town Council members said they had concerns there was only one bidder for the projects. Mayor Chris Koos called it an issue of longstanding frustration for the council.

But Otto said asphalt can't be transported too far before it cools and hardens. And there are only three area firms that deal in asphalt.

"Rowe Construction does a lot of state work and they are set up for that. The higher volume roads require mixes that some of the other contractors may not make just because of the volume and the type of work they typically do," said Otto.

Otto says some contractors also do not like the town policy that gives preference to local bidders.

This is the second resurfacing contract issued by the town this year. The funding for the previous contract, awarded on March 18, included Motor Fuel Tax funds. The newly approved contract is funded through the Town’s Roadway Fund.

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