Saturday, June 1, 2013

Rains delay paving of center turn lane for Wickham Road widening project

MELBOURNE, Florida – Rains have put a damper on efforts to complete phase II construction of the center turn lane on the Wickham Road reconstruction project, between U.S. 192 and NASA Boulevard.

Public Works Director John Denninghoff said the current phase of the project is 90 percent complete, except for asphalt paving.  It has rained 16 times on the project since the start of phase II construction on April 28, and that’s hampered the contractor’s efforts to complete proper placement of the lime rock base material for paving.   The center turn lane was targeted for opening Friday, May 31, 2013.

Denninghoff said roughly three to four days without rain is needed to complete the paving work.  That includes two days to prepare the base for paving, and a day to a day and a half to lay asphalt.

“It becomes a catch-it-as-you-can situation,” Denninghoff said. “We have to have about two days without rain to make progress. Once it’s dry, we’ll begin the process of laying asphalt.”

Once completed, the $6.5 million project to widen the milelong route will provide safer and more convenient access to businesses in the heavy traffic corridor. 

The widening project, which is adding a fifth lane to the only section of Wickham Road that doesn’t have 4 divided lanes, began in March 2012. Businesses between U.S. 192 and NASA Boulevard remain accessible to customers.  Motorists can access these businesses by making either a U-turn or a left turn at intersections throughout the construction area.