Sandy Springs leaders experimented with saving money on paving projects, but ended up spending $121,000 more than they planned after the innovative paving process they approved backfired.

The city is currently in the process of repaving those 17 roads now, and predict it will be finished by July 14.

Karen Meinzen McEnerny, District 6

In November, city leaders announced plans to pave 17 small streets using a “hot-in-place recycling” process. It would melt the asphalt, stir it and smooth it back over the roads. At the time, it was believed it would save the city 20 percent on its paving, and the council awarded a$417,000 contract to Illinois-based Gallagher Asphalt. The total amount budgeted for paving the 17 streets was $500,000. But by April, it was clear the paving job wasn’t going as planned. The council had spent $278,219 before it pulled the plug on the experimental paving. In May, the council awarded a second $342,755 contract to Baldwin Paving Company, sending the project $120,974 over budget.

Gabriel Sterling, District 4 Credit:

Councilman Gabriel Sterling said he first noted problems with the process when he saw trucks paving in his area. He said the paving machines were too long for the smaller streets the city was paving. Councilwoman Karen Meinzen McEnerny said the machines also generated a tremendous amount of heat, which scorched residents’ yards.

“You had folks on Tanglewood Trail, in the center of their culdesac they planted plant material that was just killed,” she said. “It wasn’t suited for our type of road system.”

Sterling said the council was trying to think outside the box.

“We were trying to be innovative,” Sterling said. “It just didn’t work.”

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Here is the current paving schedule:

Street Resurfacing Project

The City will begin milling and resurfacing a number of streets on June 27, 2011. Residents are asked to turn off their sprinklers and not park cars in the street during the construction work. The current schedule of work is as follows:

UPDATED JULY 7, 2011

7-7-11 – Milling: Driveummen Court & Helmsley Drive / Paving: Aerie Court, Fauna Court, Valemont Drive, & View Hill Court

7-8-11 – Milling: Mountain Brook Lane / Paving: Carriage Drive

7-11-11 – Milling: Tanglewood Court & Tanglewood Trail / Paving: Paving: Driveummen Court & Helmsley Drive

7-12-11 – Milling: Franklin Road & Marilyn Place / Paving: Mountain Brook Lane

7-13-11 – Paving: Tanglewood Court & Tanglewood Trail

7-14-11 – Paving: Franklin Road & Marilyn Place

This schedule may change as the project progresses due to weather or other factors. Please check back for updated information.

Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt wrote for Reporter Newspapers from 2011 - 2014. He is the founder and editor of Decaturish.com