A two-block stretch of Massachusetts was resurfaced Tuesday by employees in the Public Works Department in the City of Sedalia.

The crew used two new pieces of equipment – namely a miller that grinds up the existing road surface, and a paver that lays down new asphalt – along with older equipment – to get the job done.

Even being short two crew members, Public Works Operation Manager Justin Bray didn't seem bothered at all. He climbed aboard the new Weiler P385c paver at 3rd and Massachusetts and got to work.

The machine has two driver's seats and other crew members ride on the back, while another controls the flow of fresh hot asphalt that is poured from a dump truck that came straight from the asphalt factory. At least three trucks kept the supply of black asphalt coming while the paver laid down a nice fresh layer of material late Tuesday morning while the two blocks between 3rd and 5th were closed to traffic.

To the west is the Pettis County Jail, while to the east are the Cromwell Apartments. Signs urging residents to refrain from parking on South Massachusetts during the road construction period were posted ahead of the planned project.

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Fourth Ward Councilwoman Rhiannon Foster, who was on scene to witness the work, said that between 280 and 300 tons of asphalt costing between $18,000 and $20,000 were used on the project.

And that asphalt is hot.

According to Sedalia Mayor Andrew Dawson, the asphalt is around 400 degrees when it hits the road surface.

And to make sure that asphalt lays down and sticks properly, a layer of molten oil mixed with water is first applied to the road surface after it is milled and cleaned up. The oil appears brown when it first comes out of the tank, but the sun quickly evaporated the water, allowing the oil to turn back to its natural deep dark black color.

“We're doing a mill and overlay,” said Bray quite simply.

“We're milling the street down to get a good, sufficient base underneath it, then lay two inches (of asphalt) on top of it,” Bray told KSIS Tuesday morning while waiting for fresh asphalt to arrive.

Putting a crown on the roadway is a matter of making two or three passes with the paver, and adjusting the levels on each side to create a “crown” that allows for proper drainage of rainwater, Bray noted.

“We're doing what we're supposed to be doing – rebuilding streets,” commented Sedalia Mayor Andrew Dawson, who also witnessed the Massachusetts project Tuesday.

“They have a project list they will be going through (for future scheduled work). Clinton Road's on that, Lamine, Liberty Park Boulevard, North State Fair Boulevard. It's exciting, laying some asphalt,” Dawson told KSIS.

The project even drew the attention of former Mayor John Kehde, who stopped by briefly with his dog in his car to take a look, and chat with current Mayor Dawson and Councilwoman Foster.

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