BY ETHAN FORMAN
---- — 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.
“The rest got sucked into the emulsion with the product,” Lee said. The process should allow the roadway to last another eight years. Lee said the work and the sand generated calls from residents, some of whom remember a process used many years ago in which oil and sand was applied to a roadway to seal it. The difference with the new process is that the emulsion is designed to be absorbed by the failing pavement.
Whether the process will be used on other Danvers roads remains to be seen, Lee said. Roads failing in the way Pine Street had “have not been a continuing problem.”
Next week, Lee said residents and drivers will notice some paving operations starting on Garden Street, 300 feet north of Andover Street (Route 114) to Prince Street; Prince Street from Garden Street to Centre Street; Pasture Lane from Green Street to its end; Hidden Place from Pasture Lane to its end; Burns Street from Green Street to Fairview Avenue; Longfellow Street from Green Street to Fairview Street; Fairview Street from Burns to Longfellow; and Burroughs Street, starting and ending at Holten Street.
From Aug. 15 to 19, the DPW will reconstruct deteriorated sections of concrete sidewalks in Danvers Square.
There will also be micro-paving and crack sealing on Salvatore Circle, Valentine Terrace, Robert Road, Brookside Avenue, Roosevelt Avenue, Toomey Road and Wildwood Road. Portions of Garden and Prince streets will undergo a crack repair process.
To smooth the ride between the malls in Danvers and Peabody, the town will be repaving a portion of Sylvan Street at the Peabody line in a joint project with Peabody. That project is expected to start in two to three weeks.
Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @DanverSalemNews.