Archive for Thursday, July 31, 2008

Clinton dam road to close

July 31, 2008

Nearly a decade after rebuilding the road atop the dam at Clinton Lake, the two-lane surface is about to get an upgrade.

The road is scheduled to be closed for two days - this Friday and the following Friday, Aug. 8 - for $212,000 in paving work. The closing will stretch for about 3.1 miles, from Douglas County Road 458 to the south to a spot just south of Clinton Parkway to the north.

The work will close off access to the northern end of East 902 Road, which runs below the dam and leads to Eagle Bend Golf Course and an off-leash dog park. Drivers wanting to access those will need to come in from the south, using County Road 458.

"I hope people will understand," said Lew Ruona, operations manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Clinton Lake. "It's a great opportunity to provide safe roads out here. It will inconvenience people who use it to go to work, and to go play golf, and take their dog to the park. But it's just two days of inconvenience. If we hadn't done anything, (the road) would have failed."

Each day, up to 2,100 drivers use the road on the dam.

Friday's work calls for adding a layer of "chip and seal" pavement, a process by which small rocks are poured onto and pressed into a layer of sticky, emulsified oil. Then on Aug. 8 crews will add a premixed layer of pavement using a process known as microsurfacing.

"It's a rigid road, with a rubberized road on top of it to lock the chip and seal in place," said Brian Turk, a civil engineering technician for the corps.

The goal is to extend the life of the dam road, which was resurfaced as part of a $1.1 million project in 1999. The corps hasn't had much money since to do any upgrades, or even maintenance, and just last week managed to have crews go through and pour sealant on the widest of the "spider" cracks that had formed on the surface.

Crews sealed 7,400 feet of cracks - that adds up to more than 1.4 miles - that had widened to push road pavement at least a quarter-inch apart, Ruona said.

Once the new chip-and-seal surface is installed, then covered with the next layer of pavement, crews will finish the job by installing new lane stripes.

"This is exciting for us to get this work done," Ruona said.

More work is being planned for the road beneath the dam, possibly later this year.

The road's northern half - the one that runs south from the dam road to Eagle Bend - will be replaced with new pavement and wider lanes, Ruona said. The existing road will be crushed on site, with the rubble used to create a new road bed.

Turk said access to Eagle Bend would remain available from the south. No precise timetable for that project has been set, but it could come as early as September or as late as early next summer.

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