B y Dan King

If you’ve driven down county Route 18 or 21 recently, you know the road is under repair.

Washington County Department of Public Works is working on a project that will almost be an entire reconstruction of county Route 21 between county Route 18 and Route 4; and county Route 18 from its intersection with 21 headed toward Whitehall.

DPW Superintendent Steve Haskins said the roadwork is intended to make it so the county doesn’t have to repeatedly pave over the roads in the future.

“It’s an old state road that the county took over in the 70s and we’ve put asphalt on top of that concrete over and over,” Haskins said. “It’s kind of like the definition of insanity.”

So now the county has decided to remove all the asphalt and get to the base layer of concrete. Workers are “crushing” the concrete and making a base layer out of the crushed concrete, which will then be paved over.

“It’s not quite a complete reconstruction,” Haskins said. “A complete reconstruction would involve removing all of the concrete and replacing it with crushed limestone or something like that.”

While the process of crushing the concrete is going on, Haskins advises drivers to stay off the roads if they can.

“We’ve already had a few incidents with popped tires,” he said.

Haskins anticipates the crushing of the concrete will be complete soon, and then three phases of paving will be done. That paving will be complete “on or around Oct. 1” Haskins said.

The goal is to make the road smoother in the future, and prevent frost heaves from ruining the road. Haskins said there were pockets of water in the concrete that were leading to the frost heaves on county Route 18.

“When we’re done that should be a great road to drive on for years to come – much better than it is now,” Haskins said.

The county will also be working on the portion of 18 from the current roadwork, headed east to Hickey Road in the town of Hampton. Haskins said that will be a two-week project, beginning the week of Sept. 12.

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