This is not an especially good week to navigate my neighborhood --- the hills south of Court Avenue around Columbus School. We're being repaved.
On the other hand, it's good week to celebrate folks who work hard for a living at jobs --- like hot mix asphalt paving --- we couldn't live without, but couldn't do ourselves. The days have been a little cooler this week --- but that asphalt's still hot, radiating as it goes down and then for a while as it cools. It's hot and dirty work.
The crews this week are from N.A.P. Co. (Norris Asphalt Paving Co.), which operates in partnership with Douds Stone LLC, headquartered in Ottumwa.
The asphalt itself is being trucked down from one of the company's plants --- located this year at Knoxville.
I'd just gotten to the museum after lunch Wednesday when my neighbor, Virginia, called and said, "Uh, you'd better get home if you're going to get home," or something to that effect. So I turned around and threaded my way back around barricades, trucks and pre-paving patches of concrete just before the paving began.
My side of this block got a preliminary lane of paving because this is where the big buses line up before picking up students at Columbus --- and they're hard on it. A couple of hours later, the guys were back to pave the entire block.
I was happy to be parked be in the driveway, mow a little lawn and watch the paving process.
Others were not so happy.
One of my neighbors, whose house faces 11th Street (also being resurfaced), blockaded temporarily for one purpose or another, decided he'd just drive down the alley and exit on 12th --- but when confronted at this end by fresh asphalt could do little more than turn around, go home and sit it out.
Our block was done by about 5:30 p.m. and the barricades came down about 9 p.m. --- so now we have a freshly paved surface and it should be smooth sailing in and out of this part of the neighborhood for the rest of the week.
Unless it rains a lot --- the neighborhood should be repaved and ready to go by late Friday.