Foreman: Mabry road work temporary fix

CNJ staff photo: Kevin Wilson A resurfacing of Mabry Drive from Prince Street to Norris Street has been finished, and a state crew starts Tuesday on resurfacing from Prince Street to Thornton Street. Maintenance Foreman Lee Marquez said the project is supposed to keep the road together until a more complete project starts 18 months to two years from now.

Kevin Wilson

Road construction on Mabry Drive is complete from Prince to Norris streets, but the foreman with the state’s highway maintenance department warns motorists, “What we’re doing is just patching.”

“It’s to fill in the voids long enough for a (more complete rebuilding) project,” said Lee Marquez. “Last I’ve heard, we’ve got about a year and a half (from such a project). We’re just trying to make it last until a project can come up.”

Howard Loflin was having a soft drink at the Rocking M Cafe along Mabry on Monday.

“They didn’t get it smoothed out,” Loflin said, gesturing toward Mabry from his stool inside the eatery. “It’s rougher than a washboard.”

Over the previous week, motorists complained to Marquez’ department that there was plenty of loose gravel and not much improvement.

But the level of complaints, he said, wasn’t higher than in previous road projects.

Referred to as Mabry Street, the project is mostly First Street, which becomes Mabry a few blocks east of Prince Street. Marquez said the crews would do resurfacing on First Street from Prince to Thornton Streets starting today and lasting about a week.

During that time, Marquez said, the city should be repainting the roads that have been resurfaced.

The resurfacing job, Marquez said, cost around $35,000. A more thorough job, based on an estimate of $1 million per mile of two-lane roadwork, would have cost about $2 million for the four-lane road.