Those who drove down Whitley Ave. last week most likely noticed the trench in the middle of the road. The four-inch deep trench was four-feet wide and extended from Dairy Ave. east to Wigdal Ave., just short of downtown and about 1,700 feet long.
The cut-out and its refilling was part of a City of Corcoran project done in preparation for major roadwork later this year. Public Works Director Joe Faulkner explained that the work had to be undertaken to repair problems from a previous job on Whitley.
Years ago, he explained, a new water main was put in that spot. However, when the pipe was recovered, the dirt around it was not packed tight enough before the asphalt was put back in place. This caused subsidence, allowing the asphalt to fail and the road to continually show cracks—which had to be repaired more than once.
“With a major project coming up, we wanted the road to be in good shape,” Faulkner said.
This time, the asphalt was re-heated and compacted into place. There should be no more subsidence.
If the overall project takes place, slurry seal and chip seal will follow along Whitley (between Dairy and Van Dorsten) and along Dairy and 4th avenues. Pavement remarkings and signage will also be addressed.
The city went to bid on the project in July, but rejected the sole offer it received. The bid package is again being presented. Faulkner said the single bid was received because contractors are remaining very busy and the time frame listed in the bid required work to be completed by the end of August.
This time, however, the city is extending the time frame and Faulkner is confident the city will be able to present the job.
Faulkner expected bid work to reach about $300,000. The work will go ahead as planned, as long as the city receives money from SB-1, the states currently contested gas tax initiative. SB-1 is being challenged on the November ballot and Faulkner said if the gas tax is voted down, there will be no money in the city’s budget for large road repair projects.
“Normally, it takes us years to set aside money in our streets funds for this type of project,” Faulkner noted. “We can get a lot more done with the new gas tax funds.”
The city expected to receive more than $400,000 a year from the gas tax monies.