By Richard Van Winkle, News of Mill Creek.
The City of Mill Creek’s complete closure of 35th Avenue SE on July 2, 2018, was done so that the road could be rebuilt where it crosses over Penny Creek. The project’s goal is to eliminate periodic flooding and subsequent road closures that occur during the rainy season.
Back in November, the city announced that design changes to daylight Penny Creek required by the Washington State Department of Ecology caused the scheduled road reopening to slip from December 2018, to March 2019.
The recent snow and cold temperatures have further impacted the schedule.
At the February 26th council meeting Interim City Manager Bob Stowe informed the city council that he was going to issue change orders totaling $38,000 to the 35th Avenue SE Reconstruction Project in order to improve the chances that the road would open on time. He said that the total amount of the change orders was well under his $50,000 purchasing authority.
He remarked, “These change orders provide us with the best opportunity to reopen the road before March 15th.”
Community Development and Public Works Director Gina Hortillosa explained, “The benefit of issuing these change orders is that they increase the city’s chances of opening the road before March 15th.”
She told the city council that the change orders authorize modifications to the hot-mixed asphalt so that the contractor can better transport the paving material from the plant where it is produced to the project site. Chemicals are added and mixed into the asphalt so that it is still hot when it gets to the site.
Hortillosa cautioned that the ground temperatures still have to be above 35 degrees in order for the hot-mixed asphalt to be applied. “We have no control over this,” she added.