fb pixel

Log In

Reset Password

Breaking up new pavement part of the process

What is happening on Fourth street in Medford between Oakdale Avenue and Columbus Avenue? This summer, the city did a ton of work on the street, putting in new curbs, gutters, sidewalk cuts and sewer work and then topped it all off with a new coat of blacktop. It was smooth and sweet, but not for long. In recent weeks the street has been jackhammered a dozen times at least, with crews out at all hours busting up the new roadway. The once-smooth pavement is now pockmarked by metal plates and hasty patch jobs. What’s the problem?

— Fourth Street commuter

No problem, commuter, at least according to Cory Crebbin, Medford public works director, who keeps tabs on all those projects around the city.

He said work to remove some of the newly laid asphalt is likely a part of the process to raise manholes along the street.

First, some sort of impact tool is needed to remove the asphalt from the manhole covers that get buried (but marked) under the overlay.

That always is done last, he said, so that the manholes wind up being even with the pavement. It’s tougher to match pavement to already-raised manholes.

If you have been following along with our SYA coverage of the Fourth Street project throughout the year, you might remember how Crebbin described the opposite being true about the new sidewalk ramps, which are required by the Americans with Disabilities Act to be redone every time a street overlay happens.

“We do the ramps first, because it’s way easier to make the asphalt match the ramp than make the ramp match the asphalt,” Crebbin said in a January interview.

Never fear about the metal plates, or the lane closures that will coincide with the manhole raising work that begins Tuesday, Dec. 30, according to Crebbin’s timeline. Once that part is complete, the street work, barring any problems, is expected to be over.

Here’s to the return of the smooth commute in the new year!

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@rosebudmedia.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.