Highway 73 resurfacing project completed

The Department of Transportation resurfacing project of Highway 73 between Interstate 90 and Philip was unofficially completed on August 6. At least that is when traffic-stops were ceased and road machinery was transported to a new site.

The company completed the project with no extra materials. The Haakon Board of Education has called a special meeting to resolve that the school system would purchase any extra resurfacing materials to cover several Philip school parking areas.

According to Amy Brady, communications manager for the South Dakota Department of Transportation, the highway project first showed up as a newly identified need in the 2005 State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). At that time it was scheduled for construction in 2007. The project was let on March 19, 2008. On March 29, the project bid of $4,467,439.64 was awarded to Border States Paving, Inc. of Fargo, ND, and work started on April 29. The official project completion date will be on or before October 31, 2008. The project surfacing consisted of two lifts of asphalt totaling 3-1/2 inches.

The wet summer caused a few minor problems, but mainly just slowed down the project. There were several areas just north of the interstate where the soils were extremely poor, and had to be removed and replaced with better material to build a stable grade for the road to be built on. This project was scheduled for a process in place (PIP) of the existing surfacing section, and new asphalt concrete surfacing, due to the numerous surface cracks and wheel rutting that was present on the existing surface of SD73.

This treatment involves blending the existing asphalt surface with an underlying base to construct a new stable recycled base. The new asphalt surface is then placed on this improved base and is designed to provide a stable and smooth surface to carry the future traffic. This rehabilitation has a design life of 20 years and future periodic treatments such as chip seals, crack seals, and asphalt overlays extend the pavement service life to 40-plus years.