Smooth dreaming

Pavement doesn’t live up to expectations

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My favorite chicken sandwich near my office is at Portillo’s a few miles away. On the way over there today, I drove over a few blocks of brand new pavement and was appalled to find that it was ribbed like a washboard. I expected to be able to enjoy a smooth ride for a change, but this is anything but smooth. Along with the rough surface, there are large patches of crumbled old and new asphalt.


For months and months, the short stretch of road leading to the restaurant in the Chicago suburbs was under construction. Traffic was moved to one half of the street, while the other half was being repaved. It looked to me like they tore out the whole pavement—asphalt overlay and concrete underlayer—down to the soil base.


The need for the work was obvious. The old pavement was a minefield of old, patched potholes and new cracks and potholes. The deterioration was horrific. In my previous car, a sports car with a stiff suspension, the drive was a pain in my back.


It looks to me like the paving work is finished. The whole street is open to traffic. The new pavement comes up to the level of the curb and gutter. I don’t think they’re planning to lay a smooth finishing course over what’s there now. I hope I’m wrong.


I wish I could tell you all the details of the project, but I’m just an ordinary citizen on this one.


If the town is going to close half the street for months at a time and spend who-knows-how-much taxpayer money on repaving the street, the town should give the citizens a smooth pavement.

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