Dear Stephanie: To Pave or Not To Pave?

Dear Stephanie,

I have a park that was once considered rural when built back in the 1970’s, and it still has dirt roads. However, since that time and since my take-over I have been able to add more lots and we are nearly 100% occupied. The dirt roads haven’t fared so well, however, and during particularly bad weather they can be nearly impassable. I think I might lose tenants because of these old roads and it might be time to bite the bullet and pave them. I happened to meet a paver who said when I’m ready he usually has extra asphalt left over after his jobs and if I want he can pave them for me at a great price. I’m seriously considering it so I can decrease this major capital expenditure and I have no other contacts in paving since this will be my first go-round. He says mobile home parks do this all the time. Is this true?

- To Pave or Not To Pave in B.F.E.

Dear To Pave or Not To Pave:

Once you get past all the legalities involved with paving your park, and you should check with your attorney on those, the next biggest factors are going to be cost and quality. Know that you do have choices and each grade of asphalt and the thickness of it has a direct impact on the cost, such as the economical tar-and-chip paving that is just as durable but easier on the budget. While I’m not a paving expert I do know that anyone offering to pave your roads with “extra asphalt left over” is trying to take you for a ride. Paving contractors know exactly how much asphalt they need to pave a road and asphalt has to be a certain temperature to actually stick and left overs in the back of a truck have been spending the day cooling. According to The Asphalt Institute original asphalt paving should last for 12 to 15 years if done properly. To help answering your question I’ve turned to Bob McKinney at Blythe Brothers Development in Charlotte, NC who has laid out the following basic guidelines:

· Road paving is typically 8” of ABC sub-base and 2” of surface course. If you go with 2” make sure it is 2” compacted, not 2” loose!

· Estimate $9 per square yard for 2” of asphalt installed, not including base material.

· In addition, consideration must be given to volume of runoff, impact on storm drainage, runoff retention ponds, pathway of heavy vehicles such as garbage trucks and heating oil trucks, and the load bearing capacity of soil.

- Happy to help! Stephanie

If you have a question, please contact me, Stephanie McAnuff, at or

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