Repaving Smith Street, Part I
Two weeks ago today, I was wakened by the sounds of heavy equipment on the street. I suspected it was part of the repaving project that started on blocks farther north a week or more earlier, so looked out my front bedroom window, to see this.
I moved to the side window and followed the progress of the paired pavement breaker and dump truck, partly blocked visually by my trees.
I thought I'd have liked to take more pix of the process and was sad I wasn't awake in time, when I realized that the trucks had stopped a couple of doors down and the dump truck had pulled away, leaving the pavement ripper standing still. So I had time to get dressed and out to see the process after all. (I guess these smoky vehicles aren't subject to emissions controls, but shouldn't all vehicles be?)
A couple of my neighbors also took advantage of the standstill to say hello to the workers.
I explained to one of the workman that I was taking pix for a fotoblog and handed him my card. I saw lettering on the side of the machine that has a conveyor belt to move broken pavement into the dump truck.
The guy I was speaking with said that Rockborn is the name of the contractor and Wirtgen the name of the machine's manufacturer. W 2200 is the model of this particular machine. I found out from the Wirtgen website (Wirtgen is apparently a German company with a U.S. subsidiary) that the pavement ripper is called a "cold milling machine":
Cold milling machines from Wirtgen America Inc. remove deteriorated pavement to exacting thicknesses, so roadways may be effectively resurfaced.This model is their biggest.
The reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) can be reused in permanent hot mix asphalt plants without any additional processing. Cold milling machines from Wirtgen are also used to remove strips of asphalt pavement for utility trench work.
The complete line of 14 milling machines sold in North America is designed to meet all various requirements for processing pavement, from partial repair of small areas, to complete removal of entire road surfaces.
The W 2200 -- introduced in 2000 -- is designed for big, continuous cold milling projects in which a pavement must be removed mile after mile. The high-horsepower, high-production W 2200 lets contractors or government agencies mill large projects in surprisingly short periods of time. ***Another workman said there would be another truck along in a couple of minutes. I asked how long it takes to fill a truck, and he said only a few minutes. How great a distance does that cover? He indicated about as far as down to a truck toward the north end of the block, which turns out to be a few hundred feet of a one-lane width.
Wirtgen's design engineers have produced a machine with a cutting width of 86.6 inches (2200 mm, or 2.2 meters), four large D-6 crawler tracks, a milling drum with a high-efficiency mechanical belt drive, and a reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) front-loading system on a unit that is both compact and easy to operate. The FCS Cutter System can be fitted with cutters of 8 feet, 10 feet, 12.5 feet and 14.5 feet in width.
... The front-loading conveyor system is sized to handle extremely large volumes of material, by means of its 43.3-inch (1100 mm) belts with a theoretical carrying capacity of over 1,100 tons (1000 metric tonnes) per hour.
There were six trucks in use for this project. I don't know how far they had to go to dump their load, but I hope however far it was, it was to one of those "hot mix asphalt plants" mentioned on the Wirtgen website. Maybe they can even mix in some broken and smoothed glass, to create the dazzling mix "glassphalt".
Glassphalt was originally developed as an alternative to landfill disposal of mixed color waste glass. Mixed color glass, which is unsuitable for recycling into new containers, is generated by most recycling programs. If there are no alternative local markets for mixed color glass and the only other option is disposal with landfill tip fees, using processed glass as a substitute for natural aggregate in asphalt may be an option to be considered. *** Glassphalt surfaces are also more reflective than conventional asphalt, and may improve nighttime road visibility. *** The most common applications are as surface pavement (surface coarse [course?]) for residential streets, secondary roads, parking lots, sidewalks, and curbing.The next truck was backing up from 18th Avenue, perhaps 400 feet away. Heck, I don't like backing up 40 feet. It was a bit larger than the earlier one so could accommodate a longer stretch, which would be more than the entire remainder of the block for the one-lane width. I got this picture of the 2200 all by its lonesome before the next truck arrived.
I wanted to see if there were any moving parts visible, but as this picture past one of the "crawler tracks" shows (I didn't know that term either, for a tank-like tread), there is no gaping maw to swallow stray pets or other things that get in the path of the milling machine.
As I was lining up that shot, the first guy I spoke with clowned as tho for the camera, with his hand behind his head like a cheesecake model. I told him, "You're lucky I wasn't ready to take a picture", or you'd see it here, folks. Then the truck arrived and the driver positioned it carefully under the end of the conveyor belt.
I hadn't appreciated how well the truckdriver has to control his speed and position until I watched him checking the side mirror to make sure he was neither getting too far ahead (as would result in broken asphalt being dumped onto the street) nor too far behind, as could cause the 2200 to ram the back of the truck. I was impressed. (And he had a nice face, seen twice, once directly and once in the mirror.)
The foto above shows the broken pavement pouring into the truck. The picture below shows the size of the broken bits a little better, but I like the fine lines of the conveyor-belt truss tied into fine lines of other elements in the foto above, better.
For some reason, one of the crew took a spray can and painted two parallel white lines on the exposed subpavement perhaps a foot apart. Maybe there was some kind of weak area there, in front of two new houses that had had a trench cut to bring in utilities.
The miller caused minor damage to the street end of some driveways.
It also swerved around storm-drain grates, so I wondered if those areas would be repaved or not. Then I saw a second crew following behind, which uses a jackhammer to break up the pavement around storm drains.
That was followed up by a bulldozer to remove rubble that the dump truck didn't get, and apparently also to rip up some of the pavement in the area of the outward diversion around the storm drain, without getting too close to the grate itself, the immediate vicinity around which was to be broken by jackhammer.
Monday is also streetsweeping day on my side of the street. As the sweeper approached, I started to take a picture, but the driver shouted playfully, "No pictures, no pictures! I'm wanted!" I was disarmed, so lost the moment and got only this foto of the sweeper cleaning up behind the other equipment. The swerve around the storm drain is conspicuous here.
The streetsweeper then, as usual, turned around and did this same side of the street going the opposite direction, but farther out than usual, not against the curb.
That foto shows one of the minor irritants in my neighborhood. My side of the street slopes upward, and driveways climb the slope thru cuts bounded by retaining walls. Some inconsiderate neighbors do not pull their car all the way up past the retaining walls but block the sidewalk so they can open the doors. This has got to be illegal, and I resent having to walk into the street, exposed to traffic (not much traffic, I concede; but I do sometimes have to wait for cars to pass), if I want to go to the local store. Park on the street or farther up into your own property, not on the sidewalk!
The pavement milling project went on for the rest of that short autumn day, until the entire width of the street was bare of the top 4 inches or so of pavement.
It is fully two weeks now that the subpavement has been exposed. I don't know what the delay is for, between stripping the top pavement and putting down the new pavement, but there was a similar delay even in the repaving of the busiest section of Market Street, between Mulberry Street and the Old Courthouse, months ago. I hope to be home when Part II of this repaving project is underway to see what kind of machines and processes that entails. I hope they don't make any mistakes, like paving several inches higher than manhole covers as was done on some parts of South Orange Avenue (for instance, right outside Saint Antoninus) months ago, causing a hazard to tires and rims. Stay tuned.