City crews will be stripping away and rebuilding almost three miles of roadway starting next week.
Efforts will start on Nordeen Street before moving over to West Roberts and Sue, El Campo Public Works Director Kevin Thompson told the Leader-News.
That will be followed by sections of Wright, Lily, Spruce and Sandy Corner Road.
The roadways won’t be simply repaved. Instead crews will use an asphalt zipper to pull up road material before reworking it in a process known as Full Depth Reclamation.
“The recycled base will be stronger, more uniform and more moisture resistant than the original base,” Thompson said, adding, “FDR conserves construction materials and makes smart, strategic sense by the reuse of past pavement investments.”
The pending Sue Street project is an example of the savings, he said. “Our area has been in a very wet season since 2017. A road’s major enemy is moisture, that has deteriorated the paved surface of Sue Street.”
The 3,400-foot project will include widening from 22 to 24 feet and some drainage culvert work. Contractor estimates put the cost at $350,000 to $425,000 or $40 to $50 per square yard, a cost which would have swallowed the entire $400,000 per year city roadwork budget.
Instead, the city decided to look at FDR, putting it to the test on Higbee Street last December.
“Higbee Street was completed in six hours at a cost of $7.50 a square yard, a significant savings. The resulting road was more resilient and water proof and three times the tensile strength of flexible base roads,” Thompson said.
City crews will be training on use of the machinery starting July 23.
The road rebuilding projects are in addition to standard seal-coating efforts.
The city has identified about 14 miles needing reworking. Of that, about eight miles is considered poor or failing of the 83 miles in the city.