Transportation

Repaving begins on half-mile section of John Smith Road

Completion expected July 12.

In an instance where the squeaky wheel, in the person of Heatherwood Estates’ resident Barbara Taddeo, may have nudged the county into finally taking action, Graniterock showed up en masse the morning of July 8 to recycle and rebuild a half-mile portion of John Smith Road at a cost of $315,600, according to Supervisor Jim Gillio.

Most of the work will be completed later in the afternoon and the road will be reopened to traffic, said Livrado Esparza of Graniterock.

The condition of the road was so poor, a thin slurry seal wasn’t going to fix it. As workers directed traffic around the work site, a linked caravan consisting of a water truck, an oil truck, a mammoth crusher, and a concrete spreader worked its way slowly toward Fairview Road, cutting away four inches of existing asphalt, then spreading it back on the ground to be compacted by a heavy roller. The process is called recycle in place.

“After they take four inches they use a concrete spreader as the water truck injects water into the grinder,” Esparza said. “There’s also an oil truck and they mix it all together. Then, on Friday [July 12], they will put an asphalt overlay on top. Then it’s a new road.”

A Graniterock employee uses a density meter to check the road's density and moisture levels.
A Graniterock employee uses a density meter to check the road’s density and moisture levels.

Taddeo had complained numerous times to San Benito County government about the road. She last spoke at the March 19 San Benito County Board of Supervisors meeting about what she saw as a lack of progress and reminded supervisors of the many flat tires and damage to vehicles she and other residents experienced.

John Smith Road had already been partially repaired from the John Smith Landfill just past Heatherwood Drive, leaving the final half-mile for a planned $2.7 million realignment to intersect with Fairview Road at the intersection to St. Benedict Catholic Church.

Because of species protection issues related to fairy shrimp and the California tiger salamander, Supervisor Anthony Botelho said at the March 19 meeting that the California Department of Fish and Wildlife valued the animals more than humans.

Four inches of the road are peeled away and ground up to be laid down as new asphalt.
Four inches of the road are peeled away and ground up to be laid down as new asphalt.

“With that said, we ought to be utilizing the funding we have as efficiently as we possibly can,” Botelho said at the time. “I think we can free up more funds to do more paving elsewhere rather than spend millions of dollars mitigating fairy shrimp.”

County Administrative Officer Ray Espinosa said funds from Waste Connections were already in place for the realignment, amounting to more than $300,000. Gillio elaborated.

“The county has a contract with Waste Connections,” Gillio said. “The revenue that is generated is kept in a separate fund, the enterprise fund, for impacts related to the landfill, which is paying for the John Smith Road repave.”

The massive grinder uses recycled asphalt from the old road to build a new road.
The massive grinder uses recycled asphalt from the old road to build a new road.

 

Other related BenitoLink articles:

https://benitolink.com/potholes-john-smith-road-beat-cars-fray-nerves/

https://benitolink.com/supervisors-aim-expedite-improvements-john-smith-road/

https://benitolink.com/supervisors-approve-road-projects-next-fiscal-year/

https://benitolink.com/county-understaffing-hinders-bridge-repairs-supes-approve-2-7-million-realignment-of-john-smith-road/

 

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John Chadwell

John Chadwell is a BenitoLink reporter and an author. He has many years experience as a freelance photojournalist, copywriter, ghostwriter, scriptwriter and novelist. He is a former U.S. Navy Combat Photojournalist and is an award-winning writer who has worked for magazine, newspapers, radio and television. He has a BA in Journalism and Mass Communications from Chapman University and underwent graduate studies at USC Cinema School. John has worked as a script doctor and his own script, God's Club, was released as a motion picture in 2016. He has also written eight novels, ranging from science fiction to true crime that are sold on Amazon. To contact John Chadwell, send an email to: johnchadwell@benitolink.com.