DANVERS — If you noticed a sandy situation on Pine Street recently, it was due to the Department of Public Works taking a novel and cost-effective solution to restoring the road.
The 7,949-foot-long roadway serves as a busy cut-through between Sylvan and Maple streets. It had been repaved 11 years ago, but the pavement was “unraveling,” with voids visible in the surface, DPW Director of Operations Robert Lee said.
Earlier this month, the DPW used a new technique to fix the pavement, which was failing well before it should have. The process, called “restorative seal,” cost $44,000, as opposed to patching the pavement for a couple more years and milling the surface and repaving it, which would have cost $250,000, Lee said.
The process is approved by the state Department of Transportation’s highway division and has been used by other municipalities, Lee said, but it was the first time Danvers used it.
While the road still has cracks that need to be repaired, the process was designed to restore the entire curb-to-curb width of the street. The DPW surmised that the road was failing due to a bad mix of asphalt when it was paved in 2002, Lee said.
“What happens is, they (contractor Felix Marino of Peabody) spread the emulsion — that’s the actual word of what the asphalt is — and they spread it, and they brush it twice. After the second time they brush it, a town DPW sander for winter operations comes out and spreads a thin layer of a sand, crushed-stone mix.”
The next step is to wait about a half-hour, then let traffic work the sand and stone mix into the pavement. After several days, the sand is swept up.
Lee estimated that the town dumped 24 tons of sand stone mix and swept up about six tons.