by Glenn C. Koenig, webmaster at Town Wide Mall
Note: This is two stories in one post. The second story starts just below the first one.
Florida Road Bridge Now Open!
Having Mass DOT manage bridge construction is typical in Massachusetts. For details, please see my previous story, Public Workings #1. Plans are to have the ownership of the bridge transferred back to the Town of Maynard, but the official date and likely ceremony are not available at this time.
Maynard residents are now able to say "good riddance" to the many detour signs, no longer needed.
Make way for Traffic Line Painting!
Maynard, MA - The Maynard Department of Public Works has announced that the center and side lines on most of the major roads in town will be repainted during an overnight operation this week. The project will start this Wednesday, November 8th, at 9:00 PM and continue until the work is done the following morning, Thursday, November 9th.
The DPW and the Police Department are asking all town residents to refrain from parking on the designated streets and roads, and avoid driving or walking on the lines, while they remain marked off with traffic cones, until they are fully dry.
The process, known in the construction industry as "Striping" or "Pavement Marking" will involve applying a special material to the pavement surface (not always "paint" as we know it). In some cases, the lines may consist of heated thermoplastic, which then cools and hardens. A layer of reflective material is typically applied on top (consisting of extremely small glass beads).
It's done this way so that the resulting stripes will reflect light at night for better visibility, while the paint or other material is designed expand and contract at the same ratio as the asphalt beneath. This is necessary as the road surface will undergo extreme temperature changes, from the hottest days in the summer to well below freezing in the winter. If this was not done, the lines might wear out prematurely, or even erode the asphalt beneath them.
To learn more about the process, here are some relevant links. The first is an animated story presentation, showing the workers and equipment used (in this case, in another state) for highway marking:
The second one is more about the challenges of formulating the striping materials and the chemistry involved:
I have included this second link because I never want to underestimate the interests or capacity of readers for understanding the technology of today's world, and the nuances of the trade offs involved in creating it. This relates to my firm belief in the benefit of lifelong learning.