Anoka County received only one bid for a bituminous microsurfacing project, a road surfacing process it has not used before, and it was almost $400,000 over the engineer’s estimate.

That prompted the Anoka County Board June 25 to reject the $1.45 million bid from Asphalt Surface Technologies Corp. The engineer’s estimate was $1.09 million.

Instead, the county highway department will reduce the scope of the work, tweak the schedule and readvertise for new bids, according to Doug Fischer, county highway engineer and division manager for transportation.

Reasons for the lack of bids and high bid include the lateness of the season — contractors already have full schedules — and the amount of traffic control that is involved because of numerous access roads, even though the work is planned to take place at night, Fischer said.

The project is proposed on three county state aid highways in Andover and Coon Rapids: Main Street from Round Lake Boulevard, Round Lake Boulevard from Main Street to Bunker Lake Boulevard, and Bunker Lake Boulevard from Round Lake to Hanson boulevards.

Plans now are to eliminate the segment on Round Lake Boulevard from Highway 10 to Bunker Lake Boulevard because a further look at the existing road condition shows that it needs a more extensive mill and overlay rather than microsurfacing, according to Fischer.

That will reduce the scope of the project and cut the cost, Fischer said.

In addition, contractors will be given the option of doing the work later this year or waiting until the spring of 2020 when this will be “a job in the bag,” which should attract more interest and a better price, he said.

Bituminous microsurfacing is more than a simple road overlay, but it does not involve as much work as a mill and overlay, where the top 2 inches of the surface are ground up and replaced with 2 inches of new bituminous, Fischer said.

“The pavement on these three roads is currently in fairly decent condition with few potholes, but they have cracks in the longitudinal seam which are deteriorating,” Fischer said.

In a two-stage process, the longitudinal seams are filled with a film or skin coat that takes care of the cracks and ruts, then the contractor places 3/8 inch of bituminous curb to curb on the existing pavement, according to Fischer.

In deciding to use this bituminous microsurfacing for the first time, the highway department spoke with the Minnesota Department of Transportation and contractors and received good recommendations as to its effectiveness, Fischer said.

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