OK. We thought it was just us.

But no, the cracking of the newly laid asphalt all along Roosevelt Road, almost from the week it was spread in October 2017, should not have happened. Now we have the word of Tim Gillian, village administrator, and a man who made a living in the asphalt business for many years. 

Turns out Gillian and the village engineer have been in intense discussions with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) almost from the beginning. Nearly two years later, after a couple of moments when it seemed a resolution with IDOT was possible, there is still not a final answer on how this final aspect of the otherwise strong work on the Roosevelt Road streetscape project will be rectified.

Gillian describes the widespread flaws with the asphalt as “raveling.” Two causes of raveling, he says. The mix of the asphalt — sand, stone, emulsion — was wrong or the way the asphalt was spread and rolled was done wrong. Either way, the asphalt begins to deteriorate quickly and will certainly not last as long as intended. 

The village has been documenting the deterioration from the start and also hired an independent testing firm to document the problems. 

Gillian wants the entire length of the street scraped and new asphalt laid. IDOT likely wants a less expensive resolution. 

Key question: Why isn’t IDOT turning the screws on Schroeder Asphalt, the subcontractor to the general contractor hired by IDOT to do this work? Seems to us that the village of Forest Park and IDOT ought to be entirely on the same page and that is standing up for state and local taxpayers who shelled out good money to have an important job done right. 

Mayor Rory Hoskins touts his strong connections in Springfield. This is a moment to use those alliances. Also, village government has just hired a new Springfield lobbyist. A fine project to turn his attention toward. 

Gillian. Hoskins. Lobbyist. Let’s get the asphalt on Roosevelt to match the quality of the rest of this project.