Highway 93 resurfacing part of research program


Mark Callahan of the Iowa Department of Transportation (left) answers questions of Stan and Sue Woodson of rural Fayette who live along a portion of Iowa Highway 93 slated for resurfacing this summer. A public meeting on the topic was held Thursday night in Sumner. (Janell Bradley photo)





Work to begin by June 24
Highway 93 resurfacing part of research program


By Janell Bradley
Contributing writer


Iowa Department of Transportation  officials said Thursday night that the resurfacing of State Highway 93 from Sumner east to the Fayette city limits this summer will be part of a research program designed to study various methods of resurfacing with asphalt overlay.

Mark Callahan of the IDOT District 2 office in Mason City described the $1.8 million project for the public at the Sumner library. A number of people who either use the highway to commute to work or live along the roadway and wanted to know about access during the work period asked questions of IDOT officials.

The project was let on Tuesday, May 21, with Mathy Construction of LaCrosse, Wis., getting the bid. Callahan said he would expect Mathy to subcontract much of the work to River City Asphalt of Dubuque. The contractor is allowed a late start of June 24 to begin the resurfacing project of about 12 miles. The contractor is allowed 55 working days to complete the project, which could be approximately three months, depending on weather. The contractor can choose whether work begins at the Fayette end or at the Sumner city limits.

Because the resurfacing is part of a research program, there will be 10 different sections of various treatments, he said. At sections four and five, which stretch roughly 1.5 miles from between T and S Ave. to Fayette County Road W-14, a reclamation is proposed, which will require closing of the state highway. During this time, Highway 93 will be detoured from W-14 south to C-33 and then north again on V-68. The entire road surface will be given a full depth reclamation to a depth of five inches and even further into the roadbed, Callahan said. The scarified materials will then be recycled into the new surface and covered with 1.5" of asphalt in section four and a double sealcoat on section five.

"I think this is the first time we've tried this in the 19 counties of Iowa (that make up District 2)," he said.

Near Fayette, sections eight, nine and 10  will include asphalt overlay treatments of varying depths.

Not everyone who came to hear about the resurfacing program was pleased.

"It's been a crappy road for a long time. Now we're going to be guinea pigs?" asked one man. Others questioned why the road surface was chosen for experimental procedures, rather than an expected resurface of one kind of treatment.

"We just don't have the dollars to do things the way we might want to," Callahan said. He and other IDOT officials said gas tax funds don't stretch as far as the state's needs for maintenance and repair. 

Motorists can expect to follow a pilot car through the project, except during the time that contractors are working on sections four and five, when the road will be closed and the detour required.

To submit a comment about the project, go to http://www.news.iowadot.gov/pim/2013/05/iowa-93-fayette-county.html and click on "Submit a comment." The deadline for comments is Monday, June 3.

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