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Props to the contractor on the West Roxbury Parkway repaving project

Normally, when a road gets torn up, you can expect weeks of unremitting commuting pain as you navigate among the barrels and raised grates. I was certainly expecting that when crews started tearing up the parkway between Washington Street and just past Bellevue Hill Road on Monday. But by last night, they were actually finished - the road is nice and smooth and all that's left is to put down the permanent lane stripes.

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I've always wondered why re-paving takes so long in Massachusetts. When I lived in the DC area, they would mill and repave in one step, using one giant machine that seemed to recycle the milled pavement into fresh asphalt.

I wondered about this on Metafilter a while back: http://ask.metafilter.com/78221/Why-does-road-pavi...

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So how long have they been repaving 128 now? In pieces...

Yeah, it seems like a peculiar local fetish to tear up a road, spray orange paint on the manholes, and call it a day.

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Where it crosses 128 in Dedham - you never wonder if you're just going to plunge right through the plastic sheets the road seems to be made of now.

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Many of these side roads in Massachusetts (including Rt. 9, and most parkways) are older roads with gas, water and electric pipes underneat the road. It would be impossible to simply mill and repave in one step in most cases.

But my sources tell me that with one paving crew (1 big milling maching, two rollers, and 20 trucks per hour with 10 workers on the road) a single crew should be able to do 2000-4000 feet in a day (8 hours).

Private companies that win the bids for MA work probably space it out, knowing what time frame they have and dont have, and then work accordingly. I would also assume that those same private companies in VA would be able to bid on projects in MA?

Most of this work in MA is done at night too on major roads. That could just be a traffic issue though.

And they have to pave it twice. If youve noticed on Rt. 9, the road has been paved for about 3 months now. But the final pave is only going on now. I think it has to do with fact that the iron castings (manhole covers) are repaired, raised, and then paved over....

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Riveting. Things that make you go hmmmm.

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Wish they could work that fast on Somerville Avenue. Just yesterday, I had to ride my bike at least a half mile on the sidewalk, because the road had been reduced to two extremely narrow lanes while the rest was being torn up.

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I think it is far more than repaving - they have some pretty impressive pipe pieces hanging around the work areas.

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When you see those pipes around the work areas, the job is most likely a water pipe one. The MWRA has a bunch of these jobs going on around the state. Basically, most of the watermains and pipes in Massachusetts are all 100+ years old. Sometimes they get replaced, but more often than not, companies will go into the pipe and put this plastic type sealant inside the original pipe. Companies also need to fix and replace the joints, nuts and bolts with new parts as well. Thats why many of those projects take such a long time.

Wait till you see what happens on Beacon St in Brookline again. They just spend almost 3 years repairing the whole street and now the town has bids out to replace water pipes down on lower beacon st. This will basically tear up most of the work that was just done!

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It seemed it was done overnight, also. I missed a couple of days, but it's all spiffy and new now.

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