Sunday, September 20, 2015

INDOT Discovers Some Asphalt Paved Roads Are Crumbling Years Ahead Of Schedule

The Indiana Department of Transportation believes as much as $71 million in asphalt paving work on nearly 200 recent highway projects around the state is crumbling and cracking years ahead of schedule because contractors failed to include enough binder material in the asphalt.

The asphalt paving industry is challenging INDOT's conclusion, blaming the problem on the use of recycled asphalt. According to the Indianapolis Star, INDOT officials aren't certain the problem is not more widespread. The focus right now is on work performed in 2014.

INDOT is not disclosing the identity of the contractors or a list of the projects under review. INDOT officials say they plan to either make contractors responsible for the problem to replace it or take a pay cut on future work corresponding to the reduced life of the road.


Anonymous said...

I have noticed this as well and just thought it was a result of privatization of road work. There is no incentive for these contractors to build long lasting roads...quality be does not take Rose Hulman case study to figure out what's happening to the asphalt. Just observe one large paving project and even a non-engineer can predict which structural flaws will lead to asphalt breakdown.

Chas. M. Navarra said...

INDOT may be noticing what Indianapolis taxpayers and voters noticed and commented on for quite some time: the newly laid asphalt paving on some City streets sure does not seem to last very long. I am not educated about asphalt paving and paving techniques/technologies but I have heard that there are different "grades" of asphalt, each grade with its own price point. As for re-cycled asphalt... that simply sounds like a recipe for quick crumbling.

Anonymous said...

It's no surprise that the dirtiest state in the country has the worst roads in the country. I go to Minneapolis, Chicago, Buffalo, Cleveland, Milwaukee, and no city has worse roads than Indianapolis.

Everybody is skimming. Everybody is shaving. Everybody is cheapening out. We get charged full price, and we get discount quality.

The U.S. Attorney could set up a full-time task force in Indianapolis and be on overtime for the next decade.

Flogger said...

The streets and roads in Indianapolis are crumbling. The secret asphalt formula must be some dark chocolate mixed in with some pebbles and sand.

Years ago I went to Western Europe including England and my recollection and pictures did not show the crumbling roads and potholes that we have. The Gas tax should be increased to pay for proper road construction and maintenance.

Anonymous said...

There is a thing called Perpetual Pavement, which is a paving process and mix which guarantees 35 years between structural failures and 14 years between repaving the asphalt top coat. Its done all over this country, and they even have an annual award for the top stretches of highway roads remaining structural defect free for the longest time. In the Netherlands they use an asphalt/concrete mix which guarantees a full 40 years of life on the road.

We have the technology. And we have the equipment and the manpower. We aren't really building a lot of new roads here in Indiana, with a couple of notable exceptions. Really we're just rebuilding and rebuilding and resurfacing and resurfacing. The competitive bid system can be flawed. Particularly when we don't specify the right finished product we're putting out to bid. When you announce that you're going to build an inferior project, and now you just want the best price, you get what you pay for.

The city of Indianapolis spends a lot of money on stupid things. I strongly opposed what would have been a multi billion dollar investment in transit that relied on trains. And I don't think much of the electric car experiment downtown. And we spend so much money on outside law firms and the projects they support. We don't seem to have an independent council that actually tightly controls the budget. We get whipsawed around on the whim of whatever big political donor is pulling the strings this year.

If we wanted to build good roads, we could. If we wanted to tear down derelict houses we could. We do a lot of things badly. We pad too many pockets. Too many "insiders" get rich off every project, and there are way too many legal fees and lawyers pulling strings. We should invite a major University like IU's Spea or Harvards programs to show us how to streamline our building and minimize our costs. Quality should be our mantra. Corruption should be our enemy. Every dollar should count. Right now we are on the wrong path. We are spiraling downwards. Shakespeare said First we kill all the lawyers. And that was 500 years ago.

Anonymous said...

I have also noticed this. We need better, real time oversight of contractors.

Pete Boggs said...

Anon 9:58 scribes an informative post. Corruption is a systematic, endemic process of statism. Statists fear quality, due to its reliance on measurable standards; that which exposes their fraud. Morbidly proportioned government is a pretense of Santa Clause; an unwritten contract emotively exploiting a non-standard of insecurity; binding dependent classes through an establishment scheme which excuses theft as "redistribution."

Government's purpose is organically limited; not fluid. Government is not business; but a blunt instrument of protection & enforcement, more hammer than scalpel. Public / private partnerships exist in name only as statist deception. Stagecraft should be reserved for the theater, where patrons willingly pay a ticket price for what the free market values as entertainment; not statism counterfeited as legitimate "government" & the abusive, opaque costs related thereto.

The first order should be dismantling the deceptive, intellectually abusive language / code of organized crime or statism. Government collects taxes & fees, has no product & therefore earns zero "revenue." The architecture of statist deception is built at an excessive cost; to liberty & real world, real time progress; its proponents being faux-gressives.

Anonymous said...

9:58 AM for Mayor!

Anonymous said...

From the Hancock County Board of Commissioner’s Minutes February 17, 2015:
Round-a-bout [intersection of N 600 W and W 300 N, just north of I-70] – the asphalt material on the base layer has failed. In lieu of replacing the asphalt, Milestone will pay a penalty of $36,950.59. The material that failed was in the first 1,000 tons but INDOT applies the penalty to all 5,000 tons.

Does DPW ever inspect its asphalt concrete resurfacing and construction projects?

Anonymous said...

Indiana used to have core sampling stations all over Indiana. I think a lot of them were closed. I notice in Germany that whoever builds the roads also pays for their maintenance costs and such is put into the bids. There is thus, incentive to build road to last.

Sir Hailstone said...

"just thought it was a result of privatization of road work"

Road works been "privatized" (contracted out) since roads came into existence. State agencies rarely purchase and possess equipment to do their own road surfacing projects whether its asphalt or concrete. A lot of what Pete Boggs and 9:58 above says a lot - look at who the biggest contributors to state and local elections are and correlate that to who gets road work contracts. I'll save you the work - Walsh Construction is at the top. Reith-Riley is up there on the list. Milestone Construction is near the top also. E&B Paving is up there on the local levels. Go by any road worksite and look at the names on the trucks - Walsh, Reith-Riley, Milestone. The US31 freeway project in HamCo is a Walsh project.