Pike County Times
The Pike County Times, PO Box 843, Zebulon, Georgia 30295. Click here to donate through PayPal. Becky Watts: Phone # 770-468-7583 editor@pikecountytimes.com
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These pictures are from the training session with the Zipper machine this spring. Pictures of work on Cook and McKinley Roads are below this article.
Pike County Public Works Repairing Roads with Equipment Bought with SPLOST Funds
By Editor Becky Watts

ZEBULON - Pike County Public Works has been working on repairing roads in Pike County with equipment that was bought from 2011 SPLOST funds. The March 15, 2011 SPLOST referendum was a penny tax that upgraded and repaired our Courthouse as well as designating money to repair Pike County's roads and bridges.

The Pike County Public Works Department is using the Zipper machine to upgrade the asphalt on McKinley Road in Zebulon. Be prepared to stop and look for traffic as the paved side of McKinley Road is getting some extensive work done. Yesterday, a thick layer of asphalt was begun on the New Hope end of the road. Work is continuing today.

McKinley Road is not the first road that Public Works has worked on with the Zipper Machine. Sections of Cook Road were also repaired. Public Works Director Todd Goolsby said that a bid will have to go out after both roads are completed to get the striping done on both roads. This will be the most economic solution for the county to get this done since Pike County does not own striping equipment.

County Manager John Hanson described the McKinley Road paving project as well as the laying of Calcium Chloride on one side of the dirt part of McKinley off of Highway 19 by the car wash across from Moody-Daniel Funeral Home. Since construction began on the paved part of McKinley Road that runs from Highway 19 by Moody-Daniel Funeral Home to New Hope Road, Pike County Public Works has worked to ensure that the road will be prepared up to Department of Transportation (DOT) requirements.

This process includes running a compaction test on the road. Hanson said that there are parts of the road that have failed the compaction test, but that the county employees have worked to find the root of the problem and correct it so that the entire road will pass the compaction test. "We are going to make sure what is under it is right," he said. "We knew that the road was failing for some reason." This has delayed the process, but digging out the road and making sure that the compaction is right will make sure that the road will hold up for years to come.

"We will resurface everything up to the top of the hill from New Hope Road," said Hanson. "Then we will go up the hill to Highway 19. Everything will be zipped up that needs to be fixed so that it will hold properly."

Hanson then told how the north part of McKinley Road by the car wash has had Calcium Chloride applied to it yesterday. It's about $2,500 per mile to apply, and this section of McKinley Road will be a test section for the county.

There is a process to this application. The county has had to pull the ditches and crown the road and then compact the road as firm as possible before putting a layer of gravel on the road. The Calcium Chloride is applied. This is supposed to allow the gravel to harden so the rain can run off easier and make the road last longer.

Hanson said that the county will come back in 120 to 180 days to check to road to check the long-term effects and see if this works well enough to put on other roads in the county. The Calcium Chloride is supposed to keep the county from having to come out and scrape the road so much--maybe even giving the county a twelve month or more break from scraping this high traffic road that has to be scraped on a regular basis.

However, Hanson said that Calcium Chloride doesn't work with all soils though. Sand doesn't work specifically. "This is a test over the next couple of months to see how this is going to hold before we spend more money on Calcium Chloride," he said. "The county is working to fix our roads and apply gravel as needed."

There are 174 miles of dirt roads in Pike County. There is an emphasis on hitting the highest traffic areas of the county first and looking at other roads as well. The county is also working to address right of way issues on some of our roads that are very narrow. Hanson said that the county is following the plan laid out in the Roads Workshop that was held last fall.

Public Works is working to maintain and upgrade our dirt and paved roads through the use of equipment that we have currently and through the purchase of new machinery like the Zipper Machine.

The 2015 LMIG Project for Williamson-Zebulon Road will include the full depth reclamation (milling of the current road and mixing it with concrete to fill the base of the road) and then resurfacing. Public Works Director Todd Goolsby advised that this project should begin around September.

The Pike County Courthouse was also renovated and upgraded with SPLOST funds. Click here to see the before and after pictures of the Courthouse. It is still amazing to look at the job that was done there!


These are pictures of a small section that has been replaced on New Hope Road.

Below: Sections of Cook Road that have been repaired. Expect similar results on McKinley Road.

Pictures below the gray line are all of McKinley Road and the work that is ongoing now.


This is what it looks like when the asphalt is chewed up by the Zipper machine!

All of these pictures except the picture to the right are from the New Hope side of McKinley Road.

This picture is from the top of hill down to the curve which goes across New Hope Road.

This is the portion of McKinley Road that has had Calcium Chloride applied to it. I hit the road today before the storm came through. There was no dust. (Compare it to the picture above from the other side of McKinley that has a lot of dust and that I took after I sat for about 30 seconds after I was passed by a truck on the other side of the road. It was VERY dusty.) The picture with the mailbox was taken immediately after I stopped my truck. After driving the wrong dirt road side of McKinley and then driving to this side, there was a marked difference. We will see if the product delivers as time goes on. The County Manager stressed that the application is for keeping the road together and not just for dust control... but it might work for both looking at this picture!