Grass Valley road work to finish this month |

Grass Valley road work to finish this month

Driving down East Bennett Road near Highway 49 in Grass Valley you may have noticed some heavy construction going on, with workers smoothing down previously cracked roadways and resurfacing sidewalk curbs. These city-led efforts are part of Grass Valley’s annual street rehabilitation project which looks to preserve about 4 1/2 miles of paved streets and intersections throughout the city.

The work now is between two stages, with the second stage — placing a smooth layer on the road — starting today. City officials expect roadwork for the next several days, excluding the weekend. Traffic will be reduced to one lane in the affected areas.

“We’re focusing on sealing and keeping them in good condition. They aren’t necessarily the worst streets but they are suitable for more maintenance treatment to keep them good,” said Grass Valley Assistant City Engineer Bjorn Jones. “This project will prolong the life and usability of the roads rather than just letting them degrade.”

The more than $1.4 million project was approved in April by the City Council and contracted to Orangevale-based contractor Pro Builders. According to Jones, the construction began in June to seal street cracks, improve drainage and markings, and upgrade accessibility on pedestrian walkways. Jones said the city’s pavement management program helped prioritize which streets need to be treated. Roadwork is happening on Mill, Bennett, South Auburn, and East Main streets, including areas around Forest Glade Circle, Scotia Pines Circle, Freeman Lane, Buckingham Court, Picadilly Lane, Sterling Court and Ascot Place.

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Jones said that most concrete and curb ramp sidewalk replacements are done, and all construction and street sealing is scheduled to end this month, though due to inadequate inspection some intersection work had to be redone to better meet accessibility standards. That additional construction may cost the city more depending on whether the city or contractor were liable for the errors. Jones said any added expenses will be worked out when payment estimation and processing is completed and presented in September for approval to the City Council.

“In general there were a few different sites where some rework was necessary after the fact, unfortunately, and that’s just part of the construction process sometimes,” said Jones.

Jones said the concrete replacement had minimal effect on the overall completion date.

Revenue from 2018 statewide taxes funded the construction, including more than $300,000 from California State Senate Bill 1, a 2017 legislation that generates fuel taxes and vehicle fees for funding roadways around the state. Jones said the remaining project costs were funded by general sales tax and other state gas tax revenues allocated to the city by the state.

As the project comes to a close, Jones says there will be some roads that will not be fully marked yet, and drivers may come across more loose chip seal on the roadways.

“Sometimes people worry that that’s going to be how it’s left, but don’t worry,” he added. “We will be coming back with a sealant coat to really smooth out the ride,” he said. “Be patient and we’ll hopefully have a lot of nicer roads after this summer, and other projects coming down the pipe.”

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