DOTto resume night-time pavement cutting

Published on Thu, Aug 30, 2007 by ara Nelson

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DOT to resume night-time pavement cutting

By Tara Nelson

Residents along State Route 543 will once again have to endure 24-hour construction noise as loud as a close-up blender beginning September 4, state Department of Transportation (DOT) officials said.

In their regular meeting Monday, Blaine city council voted 5-0 to approve a temporary noise variance that would allow state DOT crews to saw joints in State Route 543.

Blaine public works director Steve Banham said the cuts are necessary to prevent pavement failures, or unwanted cracks that would need early repairs. The timing of the saw cutting is critical, as it must be performed before the cement is completely hardened, he said.

“Because cutting cannot be scheduled until the cement is properly cured and because curing time varies with weather conditions, flexibility in the cutting schedule is necessary,” he said.
Project engineer Chris Damitio, however, said the process would likely ensure long-lasting pavement.

“Through proper jointing, we can create a pavement that is long lasting with a minimum of maintenance concerns that could last as long as 50 years,” Damitio said.

The pavement and sawing will begin on SR 543 between H Street and the Canadian border and will continue for about 20 working days beginning September 4.

Damitio said typical sawcutting occurs approximately 12 hours after the placement of the concrete, but depending on outside conditions such as humidity, temperature and wind, sawcutting would need to be accelerated or delayed.

“A typical day would consist of placement starting at 7 p.m. and ending about 10 hours later,” he wrote in a letter to the city. “Sawcutting would roughly start about 7 p.m. but could be delayed until midnight or beyond depending on the weather. The cutting would typically carry on for about six hours per day.”

Damitio said crews will utilize several mitigating techniques to minimize noise and light pollution to surrounding residents.

Those measures may include nighttime work lighting directed away or shielded from oncoming traffic and residences, notification to residences along 12th and 14th streets, and the possible delay of saw cutting to hours other than between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., weather permitting.

The DOT’s 24-hour noise complaint line is 800/569-0834.