Poplarville planning road work

Published 8:03 pm Thursday, January 18, 2007

Mayor Billy Spiers and the city’s board of aldermen are hoping to save Poplarville taxpayers over $1 million by applying a new type of seal to city streets rather than resurfacing them with asphalt.

Bill Moss, owner of Sur-Coat Asphalt in Carthage and Bob Hasness of Asphalt Rescue Services Inc. made a presentation to Spiers and the city board that the Hawk Seal-E water proofing sealant can lengthen the life of the city’s streets without having to resurface them with costly asphalt.

“Water is asphalt’s number one enemy, and Mother Nature and the sun are number two because heat causes asphalt to age,” said Moss. The Hawk Seal-E product is a penetrating asphalt maintenance treatment that is advertised to extend the working life of the asphalt surface while reducing maintenance problems.

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Because the city’s streets are in need of a facelift, in addition to repairing those streets affected by the faulty sewer construction project in the 1990s, Spiers began investigating the new type of sealant as a possible alternative to resurfacing with asphalt. He spoke to both the mayor and street superintendent of Nashville, Tenn., a street superintendent in Arkansas, and an engineer in Arkansas who sold him on the technology before asking Moss to address the board.

“I haven’t talked to anyone who doesn’t love this,” said Spiers.

After speaking with a city engineer in Paragould, Ark., who said he had never seen a sealant on the market to work like the Hawk Seal-E, Spiers was convinced.

“I have no reason to believe it won’t work after talking to the people in Arkansas,” said Spiers.

The advantages of the Hawk Seal-E treatment are multi-faceted, said Moss. The approximate cost for waterproofing the city’s streets is $18,000 per mile based on a 20-foot-wide street. The cost for bringing in new asphalt is approximately $68,000 or more per mile. Even with making three applications of the sealant, streets won’t be shut down like they would be with asphalt resurfacing.

Moss said cars may safely drive on the sealant without splattering just after it is applied if they don’t go over five miles per hour. If they drive faster the sealant may splatter on their vehicles, although it can be easily remov ed, he said.

Because the sealant waterproofs, it helps prevent future potholes, Moss said. When Shirley Wiltshire asked how long the sealant works, Moss said in the nine years he has been in the business he has never had to redo a street.

“They are still waterproofed,” he said.

The board asked Moss and Hasless to complete their inspection of the city’s streets on Wednesday. Moss will then determine a final price for sealing the streets in addition to repairing any potholes. Before the city can proceed with the project, however, it will have to place it out for bid.

Even with sealing the city’s existing streets, the city is still waiting for repairs to streets affected by the faulty sewer construction project in the 1990s. Spiers said he had hoped to meet earlier this week with W.A. Warren of Warren Construction in Hattiesburg.

The city’s lawsuit against the original contractor Magnolia Construction and Alford Engineering resulted in Magnolia paying for the city to hire Warren Construction to redo areas where streets had caved in or had major sinks.

Spiers said he had spoken once again to W.A. Warren last week and had been promised he would meet with Spiers this week concerning getting started on the street repair project. As of Tuesday evening, Spiers had not seen Warren, but hopes he will make contact again with him this week to move the project forward.