Repaving Highway 63
Tue, 08/18/2020 - 9:17am admin
Marcie Klomp ~ News Editor email@example.com
HOWARD COUNTY - The state of Iowa has been working on Highway 63 from Davis Corners to just inside the Chickasaw County line.
Steve Timmerman, now retired, of New Hampton and who worked for the state for 46 years and 11 months as a construction technician, gave some insight as to what work is taking place.
• In 2020 a count was taken on Highway 63, and it showed 4,650 vehicles use the road per day, with 29% of them being trucks. Timmerman said that is a pretty high count for a road.
• The total length of the work is 11.15 miles. Mathy Construction of Onalaska, Wis. is the prime contactor with the project, which is expected to cost $9,168,807.
• The islands holding the stop signs at Davis Corners and Elma are being taken out. Full-depth concrete patching is taking the place of the islands. New perimeters will be painted on the surface of the roadway. The stop signs and signal lights will remain where they are.
• For patching, the old concrete is taken out and then dug down another 6-12 inches. Rock will fill the base and be compacted. A new concrete patch will fill the hole and be level with the rest of the roadway.
• For safety reasons, the turn lanes at the Elma turnoff and Davis Corners are being made longer or added.
• The crossroad pipes are being repaired by extending and making safety slopes, and new aprons on the pipes were added.
• Replacing the roadway itself is a multi-step process.
A milling machine is used to remove four inches of asphalt from the outside portion of the roadway and crushes it into gravel-size pieces. It is then laid on top of the roadway. The ground up asphalt and four inches of the asphalt under it are ground up together.
New liquid asphalt oil is added to the two sets of already ground asphalt and are put into a paver. The asphalt is redeposited on the road and compacted with a steel roller. Next, a rubber tire roller kneads the mix to get the maximum density. A second steel roller, or finish roller, completes the process.
The final step every evening is to repaint the pavement markings.
• The construction company has to wait 4-6 or more weeks to let the blacktop cure. Then a new layer of asphalt will be added.
• When completed, there will be safety enhancements of rumble strips on the centerline and edge of each roadway going north and south bound.
• Other work being done on the 11-mile stretch of the highway is working on the bridges.