Medford streets will have to be repaved

Medford withholds contractor's pay after difficulty paving streets
The stretch of East McAndrews Road between Brookdale Avenue and Hillcrest Road will have to be redone with slurry seal next summer after defects surfaced in the recent repaving.Julia Moore

An asphalt contractor performed a "defective" repaving job on three Medford roads recently and will be forced to return next summer to fix them.

"We haven't paid them any money at this point," said Bryce Perkins, Medford public works operations division manager.

Intermountain Slurry Seal of Nevada suffered delays in the project, which was supposed to take a few days in August but ended just last week.

Perkins said the company had difficulty getting the right specification of gravel that is mixed with sand and asphalt to produce a 3/8-inch layer. The micro-surfacing procedure requires a certain kind of rock that the contractor couldn't find in the region.

Because of delays in starting the project, Intermountain bumped into rainy weather and then cold temperatures, producing an unsatisfactory finish on the roadways.

Some motorists have complained about the road conditions, ranging from unevenness to too thin a coating of asphalt.

The streets include East McAndrews Road, from Brookdale Avenue to Hillcrest Road; East Main Street, from Willamette Avenue to East Eighth Street; and West 14th Street, from King to Newtown streets.

"We've had defective work on all three locations," Perkins said.

With temperatures hovering just above freezing at night, Perkins said it's too cold to try and repave sections of the roads again.

Intermountain was going to receive $252,000 for the work. Perkins said the city is still negotiating some kind of payment but will likely hold back about $50,000 until the work can be completed next summer.

Larry Beskow, city engineer, said there are only a handful of companies in the Pacific Northwest that can perform the micro-surfacing work.

None of the companies that routinely bid on these type of projects are local.

The type of surfacing is more cost-effective for the city because it helps maintain existing roads for longer periods before they need repaving, Beskow said.

Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476, or email

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