The Holt Street paving project is nearing completion after it was delayed last week due to heavy rainfall, Mexico Public Works Director Kensey Russell told the Mexico City Council at its meeting Monday night. Mexico residents could drive on the road as soon as this weekend.

The council approved an additional $78,000 to address loose soil issues. A large majority of the project will be funded through a Missouri Department of Transportation highway grant, which will cover approximately $64,000 of the additional cost.

The highway grant has funded 80 percent of the project, leaving the city to pay the other 20 percent. The original contract was approved for $759,000 but has jumped to more than $800,000 with the additional work.

The project had an initial paving date of July 13, but the subgrade soil was not stable enough to begin paving, Russell said. The contractor, Rhad A. Baker Construction, mixed about four or five percent concrete in with the soil and re-compacted it to make the road stable enough to pave. Base rock is then put on top of the soil-concrete mixture and compacted again, Russell said.

The work has already been completed by the contractor at an at-risk basis. The approval Monday was a reimbursement to the contractor.

After the subgrade work was complete, the city planned to have paving done by July 19, but was delayed because of heavy rains last Wednesday. In less than an hour, approximately an inch and a half of rain flooded the center part of the project, at Tyronn Lue Boulevard and Holt Street, which was still bare soil. Despite the delay, Holt Street could support traffic as soon as this weekend, Russell said.

Paving began Tuesday morning. Russell said the street could possibly support traffic within three days of paving, if everything goes according to plan.

Sewer issues

Cassandra Gold voiced her concerns during the public comment section of the council meeting about strong odors coming from the sewer along Breckenridge Street, neary Tyronn Lue Boulevard.

“Some nights we can’t even stay in our home,” Gold said. “The odor gives us headaches … Sometimes I can’t even have my kids play outside because of the odor issue.”

The city is addressing the problem, City Manager Bruce Slagle said.

Ameren recently conducted chemical tests to determine the cause of the odor, and was concerned enough to start a larger investigation, Russell said.

Ameren is also testing to make sure a gas line was not hit, which could also be a partial cause of the sewer odor, Slagle said.

A deodorizer will be applied each week to determine if the cause of the odor is bacteria coating the pipes.

“Hopefully, after three or four applications it should be cleared up,” Russell said.

 ecliburn@moberlymonitor.com