An update to a blog entry from Aug. 19, about a delay in downtown street improvements that had some motorists and residents frustrated: Chad Hinnant, engineer with the N.C. Department of Transportation, says repair work started today on Mangum Street, where contractors found some unexpected problems when they started removing the asphalt there. Mangum is one of five streets being repaved in a stimulus-funded project that hit some unexpected delays, resulting in citizen and leaders lodging complaints with the N.C. DOT.

Here’s Hinnant’s update:

We have asked the City of Durham to pass along to the community list servs an update on the status of the downtown street resurfacing project, as promised in our original message sent out on August 20th.

On Friday, August 27, 2010, our contractor began the repair work that is required on Mangum Street. The repair work consists of removing the existing thin layer of asphalt and some of the stone base and replacing it with a thicker layer of asphalt. This work must be done prior to paving the final riding surface and will result in a stronger road than currently exists.

The work on Mangum Street is going to take place between the intersection of Pettigrew Street and the NC Hwy. 147 overpass. To maintain safety to the motoring public and those who will be performing the work, lane closures will be installed in this area and some of the lanes being closed will remain in place for several days. The contractor is planning to pursue the majority of this work during the day, which will increase productivity and expedite the work. It is important to remember that three of the four lanes on Mangum Street may be closed between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. during this process.

Once Mangum Street is repaired, all lanes will be opened to traffic and our contractor will move to Roxboro Street between Pettigrew Street and Main Street to make repairs in this area as well. Only one lane will be closed on Roxboro Street during this portion of the project.

Although there will be lane closures in these areas, traffic will be maintained. Motorists are encouraged to use alternate routes while this work is ongoing and those travelling through the work area should plan ahead to allow additional travel time. With good weather and working conditions, we anticipate that this repair work can be completed in approximately two weeks. Once the repairs are completed, the final riding surface on Mangum Street and Roxboro Street will follow.

Thank you for the opportunity to provide an update on this project and for your continued patience as we work to make better roads for Durham.

Chad Hinnant
Resident Engineer
North Carolina Department of Transportation