Middletown Township's Department of Public Works completed the band-aid over the pothole-laden Big Oak Road, and now preparations are in motion for the major surgery needed to hopefully prevent the craters from forming on the mile stretch of asphalt between Woodbourne Road and Township Line Road.
The Middletown Board of Supervisors approved the advertising of bids for the demolition and reconstruction of Big Oak Road. Zoning manager Pat Duffy figured that once the bid packages are submitted, reviewed and approved, the project will be underway by the spring.
"We originally split it into two phases, but we did not like the bids for the first phase," said Duffy. "This will now be one, large project."
The problem with Big Oak Road, Duffy told the supervisors, is that it was built too low. During major rainstorms, water collects on the road and sits on the asphalt, deteriorating the material. The ultimate solution of raising the road was deemed unfeasible because of costs and the negative impact to residential neighborhoods that would see the water runoff to their homes.
Instead, the road base at the lowest points will be excavated and replaced with stronger, more water-resistant materials that will last 10 to 15 years, and the underground drainage culverts will be enlarged to handle the volume of water.
Duffy estimates that the project will cost approximately $1.5 million and take about 8 to 12 weeks to complete.