Motorists will experience delays beginning March 26.
Manatee County will invest about $2 million to improve conditions on Lakewood Ranch Boulevard.
It has contracted with Ajax Paving Industries of Florida to rebase the outside lanes of Lakewood Ranch Boulevard, in both directions, roughly from Rangeland Parkway north to Arcade Place.
Manatee County Pavement Manager Brian Martineau said he contracted with Tampa-based geotechnical and engineering consultant Tierra Inc., in November 2016 for $21,000 to evaluate the road structure. Its findings ruled out problems potentially caused by a high water table, for example, and instead determined the road base was not adequate for the number of vehicles using the roadway.
“The outside (or right) lanes are falling apart,” Martineau said. “The base was not thick enough when they built that project. This basically is building it to the strength it needs to be.”
Ajax Area Manager Steve Ayers said the old base is 6-7 inches deep and is made of bank run shell (material made up of clay, dirt, sand and shell rock). That type of base is more susceptible to ground water intrusion, which causes the roadway to fail.
Ajax will use a process called cold-in-place recycling to rebase the road. Contractors will remove the first 2 inches of asphalt, then grind up the 6 inches of base below. Those materials will be recycled with liquid asphalt additives to create a new stronger base of about 8 inches deep, Ayers said.
Martineau said repairs to the roadway have taxed his staff.
“When it rains here, our crews are here all the time,” he said.
Ayers said Ajax will work on one lane at a time, so there will always be one full lane open in each direction. Hours for work will be 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Completion of the project will take about one month.
Ayers said he expects construction to start around March 26.