What seemed like a routine street paving in Country Club turned out to be a test of a new, more eco-friendly asphalt that can be put in place quickly and doesn’t carry the same diesel smell of its counterpart used in almost all other pavings.
The paving of Fairmount Avenue from Fairfax to Dean avenues brought out Department of Transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, Bronx DOT commissioner Constance Moran, and Councilman Jimmy Vacca on the morning of Thursday, June 10. They were there to celebrate what they hope will be a successful test of this new type of asphalt.
The new substance, called Warm Mix Asphalt, can be poured and flattened at lower temperatures than traditional asphalt, 200 degrees as opposed to 350, due to an additive in the asphalt. Since it requires less energy to heat, less diesel fuel is burned and this helps to eliminate much of the smell often associated with Macadam.
“This new technology could mean fewer potholes, smoother streets, and an end to one of the worst aspects of repaving: the smell,” Vacca said. “At the same time, this new type of asphalt could save the city money and have less of an impact on the environment. As transportation chair of the city council, those are two things that I would like to see.”
According to the Department of Transportation, widespread use of warm mix asphalt, which is currently being tested at one other site in the city, would decrease emissions, fumes, and odors both at the asphalt plants and at resurfacing work sites. It would also reduce the amount of energy needed for asphalt production.
Country Club Civic Association president Marcia Pavlica said she was glad that paving of any kind was being done at the site. She said some residents were beginning to wonder if their street was ever going to be paved after a recent milling tore up the old surface.
“It was just nice to see the money that we pay in tax dollars coming back into our community,” Pavlica said of the paving. “There is nothing nicer than a good, solid street to ride on.
DOT had milled Fairmount Avenue nine weeks prior to the paving. Residents had to deal with the dust from a milled street when there were seven or eight different blocks nearby that were paved right away.”
Despite any inconvenience, Pavlica said the paving was significant because a city commissioner recognized the community. Pavlica was happy to see this as a sign that the community was alive and well. She also expressed concern that the street be properly graded, because many streets in Country Club have no catch basins.
Reach reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 742-3393 or procchio@c