2018-04-14 / Featured

Work will begin soon on Old Durham Road

BY BILL WILLCOX
COURIER-TIMES STAFF WRITER


After two rounds of bidding and some significant negotiations, the town has signed a deal with Carolina Sunrock to rebuild a section of Old Durham Road. 
BILL WILLCOX | courier-times After two rounds of bidding and some significant negotiations, the town has signed a deal with Carolina Sunrock to rebuild a section of Old Durham Road. BILL WILLCOX | courier-times The City Council on Tuesday night awarded a contract to Carolina Sunrock to fix a pothole-ridden section of Old Durham Road between Talbert Building Supply and Somerset Baptist Church, with work expected to begin almost immediately.

Public Utilities Director Andy Oakley told the council he had advertised the project for bids twice. The first time, he received only two bids. The second time, when bids were received April 3, Carolina Sunrock was the sole bidder, at $762,591.41.

This was considerably above the total budget for the project of $500,000, but Oakley said he saw an opportunity to work with the company..

“City staff met with Sunrock to see if we could review the bid and find cost savings opportunities,” he said. “The main concern of Sunrock and us from the very beginning was that unsuitable material in the concrete roadway that we just don’t know the extent of.”

After two visits to Old Durham Road, Sunrock was able to reduce their estimate to $456,156.86.

Instead of the company removing the roadway to a depth of three feet before filling and repairing, it will only take out of a foot of material and use a geotextile material for reinforcement.

“It is like reinforcing it with rebar in concrete,” Oakley said. “It is now an accepted practice used by DOT. Sunrock is currently using the method on some projects in Durham and Granville County. I thought it was a great idea for reinforcing the subgrade as they are doing this on these other projects.”

Assistant City Manager Tommy Warren said the city also used the method many years ago on part of Long Avenue near the intersection with Leasburg Road.

“If you go down there now you won’t see any cracks or anything in the pavement and it has been there 10 or 15 years, so it is a proven technology,” he said.

Oakley said the company is eager to get started as soon as possible before the big DOT projects start. Work will generally be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or possibly longer if weather conditions are favorable.

“We’ve told them we don’t mind them working whatever time, unless there is something going on at one of the churches,” Oakley said.

He said the work will result in one lane of the road being closed at a time, and it will return to regular traffic patterns every night.

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