PIKE COUNTY - Work to repair a pavement collapse on US 460 between Shelbiana and the mouth of Chloe is "on schedule," according to George Collins, Construction Specialist with Highway District 12.
What that means is that traffic should be back on the road sometime on Friday, May 25. Motorists will enjoy two-lane traffic only over the weekend, though. On Monday, May 28, weather permitting, Mountain Enterprises will begin paving both lanes from the Shelby Bridge to the mouth of Chloe.
Collins itemized the work remaining, all the result of heavy rains this spring, particularly the weekend of April 14-15. On Friday of this week, American Electric Power is scheduled to set a new power pole. "The one they installed last month was just done as a temporary thing so that they could get out of our way and we could begin working on the road," Collins explained. "After they set the new pole on Friday, AEP will come back on Monday or Tuesday and run new lines. Bell South will be out on Monday, too, to run their new lines. Monday is also the day that Mountain Water District will test their water lines. If they have no leaks, then Mountain Water is finished with their work."
Collins said that all the utility companies "have been great. We would be this far along without their immediate attention to this situation."
On Friday of this week, May 11, the area of the actual pavement collapse should be filled. Since there is already a paving contract that runs from "stoplight to stoplight," as Collins put it, the road work involves putting in a base up to the existing surface. "In other words, we aren't paving twice, just once."
After the main pavement collapse area is finished on Friday, crews will move east along the road to the first curve past the pavement collapse. "There is a big crack there," Collins explained, "and one lane of the road has settled about three inches. From the first house at the curve we will be replacing one lane for about three hundred feet, going six to eight inches deep, installing a new cross drain, and putting in base material up to the existing pavement."
Collins said that Bizzack, the contractor doing the base excavation work, should be finished by Saturday, May 19. On Monday, May 21, Mountain Enterprises should begin applying the crushed stone base. By Thursday, May 24, the rebuilding of the shoulders should be completed, and the guardrail should be replaced by the end of work on Friday, May 25. "We plan to turn the road back to traffic at some point on Friday, May 25, probably in the afternoon," Collins said.
Both lanes of the road will be open that weekend - Memorial Day Weekend - and then Mountain Enterprises will start the paving project on Tuesday, May 29 (Monday is a holiday), placing new asphalt pavement from the Shelby Bridge to the mouth of Chloe Creek.
"The pavement collapse occurred on April 15," Collins recalled. "All things considered, getting the road open to traffic in six weeks shows an excellent effort on the part of the utility companies, the contractors, and our own Highway District 12 workers. We know people have been aggravated by the inconvenience, but it's almost over, and we just ask folks to hang in there for two more weeks. When it's all finished, the road will be in better shape and safer than before."