High School's Track Drainage Problems Identified
Completion for new track expected by early September.
The Watchung Hills Regional Board of Education met last week to approve a change order for the ongoing project to rebuild the school's track, adding $56,135 to remove a previous unknown layer of rubberized asphalt.
"What necessitated this was when they started to milled the surface, they found a layer underneath it of rubberized asphalt," board Vice-President Harold Grossnickle said.
The material was uneven and needed to be leveled, and he added the layer of rubberized asphalt—probably laid in the '70s—is the likely cause of the drainage problems which have vexed the track over the years, since the rubber would block any water from seeping into the ground. Water trapped between layers of asphalt would cause the track to break up as it went through freezing cycles in the winter.
With the rubberized layer removed, Grossnickle said the track will be able to properly drain.
The track has been closed for a year, after sections of the surface began to buckle and seams opened up, just two years after installation. Board members were concerned about the cause of the problem, and the drainage problems the track seemed to have.
Unfortunately, the added costs of removing the rubberized asphalt, and disposal of it, added to the total cost. "There's not a lot of processors it send it to," Grossnickle added.
The work is being done by Copeland Coating Co. Inc., and acording to the terms of the change order approved July 16, the company "removed hazardous material as directed by the DEP." The board called a special meeting to approve the change order. Since the additional work added less than 20 percent of the contract total, the board could approve it with a change order without having to reopen the bidding.
With the additional expense, the project totals $353,877.