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Ottumwa performs major road repairs before winter hits

By Jefferson Tyler, Multimedia Journalist

OTTUMWA, IA (KYOU) – Crews are cutting into the amount of roadwork that needs to be done.
“It’s about 50 spots and should take us about 4 and a half days,” said Greg Miller from Midwest Contractors Inc. He works for one of several private companies which are working to replace weak spots.

“A lot of the spots we are taking out are bad bumps in the road,” said Miller.

Initially, asphalt fills are used to temporarily repair damaged roadway so cars can continue to drive on it. But the bumps can cause damage to cars, and in some cases even cause vehicles to veer out of control.

“Water will seep up from the cracks and it will just take off from there. Or the middle of the summer when the highway gets hot. They will have blowups. And the cause is from that,” said Miller.

Replacing the roadway is not an easy process.

“We have to saw the concrete. Then hit it with the breaker. A backhoe will remove it. Then we ‘dal’ it. And pour it back,” said Miller.

But the process may be quicker than you think.

“For 20 holes a day, a day and a half,” said Miller.

“The right lanes will be repaired first. We will do both of those. And then we will move the traffic to the lane we repaired, the outside lanes. And then the inside lanes we will finish there,” said Miller.

Construction crews will be out there. So drivers need to keep an eye out for workers, and drive safely.

“We all have families to go home to just like the public. So please just slow down, and give us room to work,” said Miller.

Until the work is finished, workers will continue to stay in Ottumwa. Contributing to the local economy and making the roads safer for everyone. The construction crew expects to be finished on Business 63, Highway 149, by Friday afternoon. Similar workload times, 20 holes every day to day and a half, are expected for other parts of Iowa as well.

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