Dear Johnnie: For several years I have wondered why Hover is so, so bumpy (especially from Mountain View to 17th). Is this from traffic? Poor soil? Every time I drive this stretch, my travel mug splashes contents, and this doesn’t happen elsewhere.
Take a drive and see for yourself. My suspicion is they hired a contractor who used more asphalt and didn’t use enough cement — which I’ve been told is how properly done busy streets/highways like I-25 and 287 have pretty smooth riding.
Thank you for delving into this bumpy mystery! — Shari
Dear Shari: I suggest a travel mug with a lid.
OK. Seriously. I drive portions of Hover two or three times per week and had not noticed what you describe. Granted, while I’m certainly paying attention to traffic on Hover — look both ways after the light turns green — I’m rarely focused on the overall condition of the pavement.
So, I drove that Mountain View to 17th section a couple of times, and drove back and forth on 17th Avenue east of Hover for comparison, paying close attention to how the road felt beneath the wheels of my pickup. Both roads are concrete. What I did experience, on both, was the slight bounce that I associate with concrete pavement, which has seams, or joints, between panels. Those joints help regulate cracks that form in the slab.
I asked city engineering administrator Tom Street if the joints might be the cause of your bumpy ride.
“The smoothness concerns and ‘bouncing’ effect may be connected to several different issues, but the predominate cause is likely related to the pavement joints installed at the time of construction,” Street said in an email. “High Hover Street traffic volumes along with decades of use have caused movement of the pavement surface near the joints resulting in a loss of pavement smoothness.”
So, Shari, the city is aware of the condition of Hover Street. In fact, Longmont has a Capital Improvement Program project which will focus on improving the condition of Hover, spokeswoman Steph Bergman told me in an email.
According to the 2021-2025 CIP Program, “The rehabilitation project will improve the structural condition and smoothness (ride-ability) of aging Hover Street concrete pavement from Pike Road to SH 66. This project includes the assessment, design and implementation of a variety of preventative maintenance, rehabilitation and reconstruction strategies that may include techniques ranging from the replacement of deteriorated concrete panels to profile grinding to improve roadway smoothness.”
Street pointed out that “profile grinding” is a type of diamond grinding performed on roadways to improve pavement smoothness and rideability. “The grinding removes surface irregularities leaving a flatter surface with a slight, longitudinal texture (small grooves).”
However, this project is not currently funded in the city’s CIP. The current cost estimate is $350,000 for design and $7 million for construction.
Thanks for the question, Shari. And drive safely.
Dear Johnnie: The Longmont racial percentages listed in the recent 2020 Community Report added up to well over 100%.
25.2% Hispanic or Latino
1.1% Black or African American
2.6% two or more races
0.8% American Indian and Alaska Native
Should not the “white” category be around 70%? — Curious
Dear Curious: You are quoting the Times-Call presentation of that report, which I confess could have been clearer. All of those numbers are accurate, but they are not all “racial” percentages.
That’s because the city lists “Hispanic or Latino” as an ethnic designation. If you remove that 25.2% from the list, you’ll get 99.8%.
So, members of the Longmont’s Latino community are found on those racial categories. There’s more to this topic than I can explain here, but this at least answers your question.
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