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Why raise manhole covers after roads are repaved, instead of before?

Ken Little
StarNews
This manhole covers on Oleander Drive isn't flush with the street and poses a hazard to cars. Staff photo by Julian March.

This manhole cover on Oleander Drive wasn’t t flush with the street and posed a hazard to cars. StarNews file photo

Q. Why do they raise the manhole covers after the roads are repaved, instead of raising them before the repaving is done? This causes the roads to have bumps in them and causes a rough ride on a brand new surface. I have noticed this on Market Street and South College.

A. There are pros and cons to doing it either way, said Wayne Currie, Division 3 resident engineer of the N.C. Department of Transportation.

Raising the manholes lids prior to paving is the preferred method. But it’s harder to adjust the lids to correct height and sometimes they have to be readjusted, Currie said.

“It is easier to adjust the lids after paving but you must cut out some of the new asphalt around the lid to adjust it,” he said.

The reason the work is done both ways “is primarily due to logistics and scheduling a crew to perform the work,” Currie said.

On a road like College Road, the contractor would probably choose to pave it the entire road and then come back and adjust the manhole lids afterwards, thus allowing the paving crew to move on, Currie said.

“The contractor cannot work in but one lane at a time. So if a crew is adjusting manholes, the paving crew cannot work in the other lanes in that direction,” Currie said.

The contractor wants to keep his paving crew working, “especially as wet it has been this summer,” he added.

Once the paving crew finishes, then another crew can come back afterwards and adjust manholes and water valves, Currie said.

RELATED LINKS:

Why can’t manhole covers on Oleander Drive be raised flush with the pavement?

Why are the manhole covers on Princess Place Drive raised 2 inches above street level?

Is anything going to be done about the new asphalt pavement on Independence Boulevard? Cars have to swerve to avoid manhole covers

User-contributed question by:
Bob Herd

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