Meanwhile virtually all of the federally funded road projects on Guam are on hold pending the resolution of a problem involving asphalt. Specifically DPW is trying to resolve issues with what is known as the job mix formula.
When companies are given contracts to provide pavement or asphalt for federally funded road projects the exact mix of the asphalt must meet certain specifications. this is called the job mix formula. right now the northern Guam signalization project, Rt. 16, Rt. 25, Rt. 17, and Rt. 4 are all delayed because of a lack of a proper job mix formula. The companies who make the asphalt submit a job mix formula along with samples that are tested by their own laboratories. DPW also has the samples independently tested by another laboratory.
Parson’s transportation is the company that has been hired to monitor and oversee the construction work performed by other contractors. Mike Lanning is a Parson’s Transportation construction manager.
“DPW with the support of federal highway administrations is reviewing those and making additional tests on those materials to verify that what’s being submitted meets the requirements of those contracts,” said Lanning.
Part of the problem according to Lanning is that the results provided by the asphalt suppliers and the ones obtained by DPW’s independent lab differs. “We’re not getting the same results that the other laboratories were getting,” explained Lanning.
Lanning says they have been having coordinating meetings between the laboratories used by the asphalt manufacturers and the laboratory used by DPW. So how long will it take to resolve the matter? “We’ve got this one submittal that just came in today we’ll pick up some samples we’ll verify the results and we should be able to go forward with the local limestone coral and aggregate,” said Lanning.
DPW’s ability to test the asphalt job mix formula on their own is something that’s new. In fact Lanning says that this is why the Rt. 4 project was paved with the wrong job mix formula. “At that particular point in time DPW did not have the ability to perform independent testing,” explained Lanning.
They have since taken samples of the pavement and found that it does not meet specifications which means it will either need to be torn up and repaved or re-mediated on site. Either way this will cost more money. Money that Lanning says is the responsibility of the contractor.
Lanning can’t say for certain how long it will take to resolve the Rt. 4 issue or all of the other roads affected by the lack of an approved job mix formula.