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Diamond pothole patchwork continues

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By Katy Korkos

The potholes on Diamond Drive near the high school have become worse since a so-called fix was applied in December. Public Works Director Kyle Zimmerman said that he had received complaints from county residents, and that he and his staff were doing everything possible to fix the problem.“As many residents have noticed, some areas of the overlay have failed and the transitions at the Canyon Road and Sandia Drive intersections were very poorly constructed,” Zimmerman said. “Because of the condition of the work performed, the contractor has not received any payment for the work. County staff has been communicating with the contractor, and demanding that the work be corrected.”In December, the county had a contractor place a thin asphalt overlay on Diamond Drive between Canyon and Sandia Drive. The purpose of the overlay was to protect the existing road structure from moisture and possible failure until the Diamond Drive Reconstruction project rebuilds that section of Diamond Drive (2010), Zimmerman said.The cost of the overlay is estimated at $89,000. Procurement of the contractor started the first part of October, but due to the workload of local contractors, the work could not be scheduled until December.Last Saturday, the contractor filled some of the potholes and smoothed the transitions with a poly/asphalt cold patch mix.“They use a poly patch material,” Zimmerman said, “but there was not enough material to complete the work.”Weather permitting, the temporary fix will be completed Saturday.“Just because we striped it doesn’t mean that we’ve accepted it,” Zimmerman said, adding that the lane markings were put on for the safety of drivers.Work is being done on Saturdays so as not to interfere with traffic. “I would rather have had it taken care of between Christmas and New Year’s,” Zimmerman said.The permanent fix for the section of road will be completed when the hot mix asphalt plants are back on line, usually in March or April, and the weather is projected to be favorable for the duration of work.Zimmerman said the permanent work would include smoothing the transitions at both intersections, providing a gradual transition to the thickness of the overlay. Also included in the permanent fix, a 250-foot-by-12-foot section of the overlay that is failing will be cold-milled and re-laid. Isolated areas with potholes will be removed by saw cutting or cold-milling to square off the affected area and then patched with hot asphalt pavement. All the areas will be swept clean and a tack coat will be applied before new asphalt goes on.