Microsurfacing, a process that involves applying a layer of rock and tar-like emulsion to smooth out the road surface, fill in any imperfections and extend the life of the pavement, began May 1 in three locations in San Tan Valley. Hunt Highway at various locations near Magic Ranch, Copper Basin and Johnson Ranch; Golf Club Drive from Johnson Ranch Boulevard to Hunt Highway and; Johnson Ranch Boulevard from Bismark Street to Golf Club Drive were all slated for microsurfacing during this time, according to a Pinal County press release.
The pavement preservation project was slated to include a combined total of 41,269 square yards of material or approximately 5.02 lane miles of improved road, according to the press release.
A message board was used to help alert citizens of possible traffic delays throughout the project.
With any road construction project, delays can be a major concern for citizens who rely on the roads to get where they need to go.
“I traveled a section of Hunt… and was held for a few minutes while opposing traffic passed on our side of the road,” Ms. Murphy said. “Periodic single lane closures are necessary while the material is applied and has time to cure. Traf fic is blocked for a few minutes to allow opposing traf fic to move through on one side of the road. After all the cars are clear, crews allow the cars to proceed,” she said while the construction was under way. Microsurfacing not only extends the life of the pavement that it is applied to but also allows for a smoother road for residents to drive on, Ms. Murphy said.
“Pinal County is always working to improve its roads and extend the life of our road surfaces,” Ms. Murphy said. “ This happens to be ideal weather for the successful application of microsurfacing material, which is why we’re doing this project now.”
The project is estimated to cost a total of $106,886.71, to include all expenses, labor, equipment and materials, Ms. Murphy said. Funding for this specific project came from the Transportation Advisory Committee and funds from the Highway User Revenue Fund, she said.
For every gallon of gas that is sold, a portion of the sale goes to the state HURF. Those funds are then apportioned to the counties and can be used for projects such as this one, Ms. Murphy said.
For future road projects, contributions can come from state, city and county funds, depending on the project.
“Pinal County has a seven-phase plan to widen Hunt Highway in both directions,” Ms. Murphy said. “A lot of early design work, flood control planning and engineering has taken place as well as acquisition of rightof- way for the planned construction. This project has been one of Pinal County ‘s top three federal funding priorities for the past several years. We have been successful in obtaining some federal funding but not a sufficient amount to begin the first and subsequent phases of the widening project.”
There are currently multiple projects out to bid in Pinal County. A list of those projects can be found at www.Pinalcountyaz. gov by clicking All County Departments, Public Works then Bid Solicitations.
Everything that the county does, aside from small jobs such as patching potholes, has to be put out to bid, Ms. Murphy said.
The TAC accepts suggestions for future transportation projects year-round, according to the Public Works website. Requests must be submitted online using a Transportation Project Request Form.
The TAC reviews proposed projects and makes recommendations that become part of the five-year Transportation Improvement and Maintenance Plan.
Written by: Nora Heston