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Ishpeming DDA debates Malton Road options

December 18, 2012
By ADELLE WHITEFOOT - Journal Staff Writer ( , Journal Ishpeming Bureau

ISHPEMING - The Ishpeming Downtown Development Authority discussed various options for paving Malton Road at its meeting Monday.

In late October the DDA was told the Malton Road project was over budget. The road, funded through DDA bonding, was originally slated to be completed before winter. It will connect U.S. 41 to Business M-28 in the the Hematite Heights neighborhood between Ishpeming and Negaunee.

The DDA approved a construction contract change order in October which dropped asphalt paving and increased the amount of earthwork on the Malton Road project. The change order increased the net cost of the contract by slightly more than $49,000.

Article Photos

How and with what Malton Road will be paved is still undecided. A couple of suggestions have been made to the Ishpeming Downtown Developement Authority such as using a seal coat or hot mix asphalt. (Journal file photo by Adelle Whitefoot)

At the meeting Monday, the DDA discussed how to surface the road. Two main options were considered: sealcoating and hot mix asphalt. DDA Chairman David Aeh said he would prefer to see the asphalt used because it's a more durable solution.

"I think the better practice would be to use the long-term hot mix asphalt and do what has to be done to satisfy the original agreement," Aeh said.

The original plan only called for paving the north end of the road for dust control purposes. Aeh said that after the original agreement is fulfilled the DDA can continue to pave additional stretches of Malton Road in future years, until it's completely paved.

According to Brian Savolainen of U.P. Engineers and Architects, the original agreement included sealcoating as a way to control dust, but that option has a life span of five to 10 years depending on how the road is used. Sealcoating is primarily used in driveways, alleyways and parking lots and is cheaper than hot mix asphalt.

"When you put (sealcoating) on a main roadway that is designed to carry more traffic and truck traffic, you're definitely looking at the more lower end of the life cycle."

Savolainen said he also wants to see as much of the road paved as possible. He said he thinks the best option would be to pave a 2-inch depth of hot mix asphalt and make the road 22 feet wide with gravel shoulders. According to Savolainen, the option of a 40-foot wide road would remain open, but the narrower road will cut costs.

No final decisions were made Monday. The DDA is continuing to work with UPEA and city manager Jered Ottenwess to make sure that the project will be completed as originally agreed upon.

The next DDA meeting is scheduled for 4 p.m. Jan. 28 in the city hall conference room.

Adelle Whitefoot can be reached at 906-486-4401.



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