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JULY 15 - JULY 23, 2014

Marra Confirms July 21 Date To Ask Board to Investigate Janese Explains How Joe Davis Parking Lot will be Tested

By Frank Parlato

July 15, 2014

The 2-year-old lot at Joe Davis State Park has failed. Was it because large trucks drove on it, or that there was not the contracted amount of asphalt laid? Councilman Mike Marra intends to ask the board to find out on July 21. 

In previous editions, this publication reported on the failure of recently paved parking lots at Joseph Davis State Park. 

The park is operated by the Town of Lewiston under a lease agreement with the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. 

The lease, which requires the town to maintain and improve the park, was negotiated by former Town Supervisor Steven L. Reiter. 

More than $1.2 million was spent by the town on the park, most of which was for consultant fees and engineering studies. 

The physical improvements were, to date, the demolition of a several derelict, wooden, park structures, the cutting of mature trees to make way for buildings that were not built, the filling of an old swimming pool, and paving 192,000 square feet of parking lots.

The lots were paved in August 2012 by Ken Young Paving of Youngstown. The specifications called for installation of asphalt at a thickness of 2 1/2- inches that would be compacted by rollers to a smooth 2 inch final surface. 

Despite $189,000 of public money being spent on the project, according to former Supervisor Reiter, no one monitored the work.

"We trusted Ken Young," Reiter said. "He always did good work." 

In June, the Niagara County Department of Public works asked the town to allow their contractor, Suit-Kote Corporation, to store equipment at Joe Davis park during the repaving of Lower River Road.  When equipment and trucks were brought into the parking lot, the two-year old pavement failed, large ruts formed and the asphalt broke apart, exposing its thickness in places. 

Samples taken by this writer from the failed area ran from 1/2 inch to 1 1/2 inches of thickness rather than the two inches of compacted asphalt specified by the contract. 

At the request of the Niagara Falls Reporter, Councilman Michael Marra and Highway Supt. Doug Janese visited the site, three weeks ago. 

After seeing the thickness of pavement, Marra said that, at the July 14 meeting of the Town Board, he would ask the board to conduct an investigation to determine if the town received the amount of blacktop it contracted and paid for.  

The Town Board July 14 work-session meeting  has been rescheduled for Monday (July 21).. 

This week, Marra confirmed his intention to seek town board approval of an engineer's analysis on July 21.

Marra said he would ask that the investigation be conducted by the town engineer, Bob Lannon, of CRA Engineering. 

"It's not my area of expertise, but it certainly does seem like we should get to the bottom of it and be definitive," Marra said. "I'm not casting aspersions on (Young paving) but we need to know and it will not be a hard process for the town engineer to come to a conclusion about whether the contracted amount of asphalt was applied or not."

Young told the Reporter he welcomed the test.

Highway Supt. Janese explained how the testing can be done.

He suggested the lot be core-sampled to determine the depth of the asphalt.  

"A bit is used to take samples," Janese said. "It is hollow inside and similar to a deep hole-saw. As it drills, it leaves a cylinder of material inside the bit which is the actual core which can be tested to see if the asphalt meets the specifications for thickness, compaction, and composition. 

"By using a set pattern similar to a grid, the engineer can get an accurate picture of what the thickness may be," Janese said. 

Young told the Reporter the pavement may have been thin in some areas, but explained this was because the surface of the original lot was uneven. 

Young said that, "less than the two inch compacted depth might be found in some places, in other places the blacktop was laid at thicknesses of eight to 10 inches, which was required for a smooth surface."  

On average, he said, he installed the correct amount of asphalt.

Young also said that the lot was not intended to take heavy trucks such as the ones Suit-Kote drove on it, which was the real cause of the failed lot. 

The results of the town investigation, which now appears to be certain, will give residents of Lewiston the answer to whether they got what they paid for.   

The Reporter intends to be present at the core sampling and report the findings of the town engineer.





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Phone: (716) 284-5595

Publisher and Editor in Chief: Frank Parlato
Managing Editor: Dr. Chitra Selvaraj
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