Three-step roadway remake begins

Debbie Griffin / Union Eagle Work started July 1 to pave three streets in Baldwin Township’s commercial district that collectively equal about a mile of roadway and this year will be improved and prepared for pavement, next year will get the first layer of asphalt and in 2017 will get the second and final layer of asphalt.
Debbie Griffin / Union Eagle
Work started July 1 to pave three streets in Baldwin Township’s commercial district that collectively equal about a mile of roadway and this year will be improved and prepared for pavement, next year will get the first layer of asphalt and in 2017 will get the second and final layer of asphalt.

Earth movers started working July 1 just behind the service road 125th Avenue in Baldwin Township to do the first of three steps that will end in the full paving of three formerly gravel streets in the commercial district: 125th 1/2 Street, as well as 314th and 316th avenues. Collectively, the roads equal about a half mile and serve 22 parcels and several businesses.
Town Chairman Jay Swanson said though paving gravel roads hasn’t been on the road-project list, “Last spring was the wettest spring on record and we had to close the south end of the road.”
Swanson said there is not a pending development driving the work. The board agreed to the project because last year’s mess had been tough on the businesses throughout the streets, where trucks got stuck and it was sloppy going. The town also had to close the road for a while to let it dry.
The work includes preparation of drainage utilities and the road surface, which will be 24 feet across and have a 33-foot easement from the center. Swanson said the first layer of asphalt won’t go down until next summer and the final layer the year after that, which gives the redone road time to settle through one freeze-thaw cycle.
Swanson said the step-by-step process also enables Baldwin to do the project out of the normal, annual road-maintenance budget of $480,000.