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Phoenix officials say summer is the ideal time for street paving

(KTAR News Photo/Ali Vetnar)

PHOENIX — The Phoenix Street Transportation Department calls summer the prime time for street paving with the heat creating an ideal environment for hot asphalt to lay smoothly.

The city says warmer temperatures allow asphalt to spread easier so crews can work faster.

Ray Cruz, a foreman with Phoenix’s Street Maintenance Program, told KTAR News 92.3 FM, “Summer is our busy season. It’s easier to work with the asphalt and the plant is open longer.

“We have a lot more sunlight, so we are able to come out safely and work, and the asphalt allows us more time to work with it and get better compaction on it.”

With 110-plus degree days and asphalt measuring nearly 300 degrees, summer street paving may be ideal for the production but not for working conditions.

At the end of the day, the crews can get more work done with better quality streets that will last longer. But Phoenix wants to be sure employees are being safe on the job.

The city also teaches an annual summer safety training by emphasizing the importance of drinking water and resting in the shade.

“At the end of the day, we want our guys to go home safe,” Cruz said. “That’s why we listen to them, they speak, they asked for earlier schedules to beat the heat of the day.”

Street paving crews also have adjusted hours in the summer, typically beginning at 5 a.m.

With earlier starts, they ask for patience from the public with noise as they pave and when crews are seen taking breaks in the shade.

Since the Phoenix City Council recently approved the Accelerated Pavement Maintenance Program, they expect to pave more streets than ever this summer. It represents a 300% increase compared to the number of major-street miles the city traditionally paves per year.

The city of Phoenix recently launched an interactive map to see where other projects are planned.

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