Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Highway 75 resurfacing work delayed

Contractor having problems with asphalt mixture


Express Staff Writer

Resurfacing work on state Highway 75 south of Bellevue, scheduled to be completed Monday, has been delayed due to problems with the contractor Knife River Corp. asphalt plant's computer system. The completion date is now set for Friday, July 22.

"It is their responsibility to produce good asphalt," Nathan Jerke, spokesman for the Idaho Transportation Department, said Monday. "The asphalt is not passing the testing and the operation had to shut down. There is someone coming to fix the system today and paving is expected to resume tonight and conclude by the end of this week."

Jerke said this is an ongoing problem with Knife River's traveling asphalt plant. Lightning struck the mobile plant while it was set up in eastern Idaho earlier this year.

"What they've done (to fix the problem) has yet to work," he said.

He said a computer controls the mixture of asphalt and gravel. The plant is set up near Glendale Road in Bellevue, adjacent to the project.

The Hailey-to-Ketchum segment is on tap to start in mid- to late-August and will last through September.

"The good news," Jerke said, "is they are doing the Galena to Stanley resurfacing first."

Road construction work is in progress between Baseline Road, five miles south of Bellevue, and Gannett Road, on the south end of town. The roadway is reduced to one lane. Drivers should expect single-line traffic alternating directions, and are advised to consider using an alternate route. They should look out for flaggers and expect 15-minute delays.

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