WHITE HALL —
The winter was especially rough this year.
The extreme temperature fluctuations combined with frequent snow and ice to create rough road conditions all over the county.
Many of the city and state roads’ holes have been patched, and road lines have been repainted.
As of last week, another of residents’ biggest pothole complaints has been taken care of: the Middletown Mall parking lot.
“It was a pretty bad winter,” White Hall Mayor Guy Ward said. “It was the worst in quite a while.”
The Middletown Mall has been around since the 1970s. It was one of the first enclosed shopping malls in the area, and, like many other malls around the country, its glory days are gone.
However, most of the storefronts at the mall are still filled, and many of the other businesses on the surrounding property, such as the Healthplex, restaurants and retail locations, enjoy busy crowds.
So the toll the winter took on the parking lot was noticed.
The private road, Southland Drive, that runs from Arby’s to beyond the Healthplex was one of the hardest hit, as was the part of the parking lot called Mall Loop, just in front of the Microtel. Frequent traffic over these roadways didn’t help road conditions.
“Heavier traffic is harder on the pavement, no doubt about it,” Ward said.
The Middletown Mall itself is owned by Pin Oak Properties, LLC, while the
back lots 15 and 11 behind it, which include Southland Drive, are owned by Southland Properties, LLC, according to documents from the records room at the Marion County Assessor’s Office. Both companies’ addresses for tax purposes are the same, located in Morgantown, and the phone number associated with the companies is also the same, and, according to the answering machine, is associated with Steve Fansler. Multiple attempts to contact the companies were unsuccessful.
The roadways were patched up starting about three weeks ago, with work coming to an end this past week.
The work was done by C.W. Stickley, a construction company that works on paving at the mall every year around May and June. They also do work for the city of White Hall.
“Mother Nature wreaked havoc on everything,” Rick Stickley, with C.W. Stickley, said.
While sometimes companies and governments will choose to put in cold mix to patch a particularly bad hole before hot patch is available, Stickley said it isn’t very effective.
“It doesn’t hold up as well,” Stickley said.
He said over 200 tons of hot patch was used to patch pot holes at the mall.
“There was a lot of debris on the lot. Fansler had his guys come in ahead of us and clean up the holes, and watch for traffic for us because it’s hectic up there in the morning and early afternoon,” Stickley said.
Stickley said that there were a lot of holes to patch, with Stickley and his workers using about 40 tons a day.
“You usually end up with patching,” Stickley said. “This year was just a little extensive. Roads everywhere got pretty bad this winter.
“Mother Nature blows things apart, and you have to patch them up and get them ready for summer time,” Stickley said.
Even with hot patch in the pot holes, some areas of the lot are a bit rough. The mall parking lot hasn’t been fully repaved in around 20 years.
However, there are barriers to getting the lot fully repaved.
“Stretches have been repaved. In my opinion, the whole thing does need repaved,” Ward said. “It would be nice if they could do that. I’m sure people would appreciate it. But it’s the same old story: it comes down to dollars.”
Stickley estimated it would take roughly between 8,000 and 10,000 tons of asphalt to fully repave the lot.
To compare, Fairmont’s street paving project this year will use around 9,200 tons of asphalt, and, at the more favorable state contract rate, cost around $730,000 for materials and labor. Commercial rates for paving work are higher.
Fairmont started its spring paving project about a week and a half ago.
Ward said White Hall will begin patching neighborhood streets soon.
“It’s on the agenda Monday,” Ward said.
Email Colleen S. Good at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @CSGoodTWV.
WHITE HALL —
The winter was especially rough this year.
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