A Hummel Report Investigation
A lifelong resident of one Warwick neighborhood is critical of how the city handled a recent road paving project, saying a lack of through preparation will result in cracks and deterioration of the asphalt sooner than later. This week, Jim Hummel sits down with city officials who defend their paving program and say another layer of oversight out in the field is on the way.
It is one of the best-looking streets in the entire city of Warwick.
And it should be.
That’s because Norwood Avenue, and some side streets adjacent to it, got a fresh layer of asphalt just last month, part of a $2.1 million city paving project in a neighborhood just off Post Road.
The pavement itself looks great. But it’s what’s underneath that will ultimately determine how long this road lasts.
DiSalvia: ``Next year come back and you’ll see a bunch of cracks, I’ll guarantee that.
Mike DiSalvia is a lifelong resident of Norwood, who has watched crews from Cardi Corporation, the contractor hired by the city for this project, first prepare, then pave the length of Norwood Avenue. DiSalvia has worked on road construction crews and has extensive experience with asphalt and concrete.
DiSavlia: ``We have a lot of traffic that travels on these roads, putting an inch and a half over it with no base is just set up for failure. Call up anybody who does driveways, they’ll tell you they want to put 3 to 4 inches in your driveway. That’s where you park a car. We drive tractor trailers over these roads, buses come over these roads, school buses come over these roads. It’s meant to fail.’’
In an era of tight municipal budgets, the extent of the work here comes down to money. DiSalvia says the roads should be pulverized, a much more extensive - and expensive - process.
Instead Norwood underwent what’s called a mill and overlay process, which costs much less.
DiSalvia: ``The road should be done the proper way, instead of just getting out of it the cheap way. When I talk to the city I get an answer of we don’t have the money , be happy with the road that lasts five to seven years. I’m not happy with that. I want a road that’s going to last 20,30 years.’’
Earls: ``We did that road correctly: we milled down and the road was in good shape, we put the overlay on top of it.’’
Eric Earls is Warwick’s City Engineer. He, along with Mayor Scott Avedisian and Department of Public Works Director David Picozzi, met with us last week to address DiSalvia’s specific concerns - and to talk about the larger issue of paving in the city.
The mayor said a big issue has been utility cuts in the city’s streets - something that has particularly aggravated DiSalvia.