Five years after road repaving, residents report noisy nuisance along Wilhelmina Rise

A city road that was repaved five years ago is holding up well against potholes, but it’s causing some sleepless nights for nearby residents.

Wilhelmina Rise was repaved with concrete in 2012 at a cost of nearly $2 million.

Earlier this year, residents began hearing a strange noise when cars drove by.

“(It sounds like) somebody driving down the road with two flat tires, thump, thump, thump, thump,” said resident Richard Manetta.

Residents say the road is actually wobbling, which is what’s causing that strange sound. It’s at its worst when people are trying to sleep.

Residents started noticing the sound back in May.

“We weren’t really sure what it was, and it got to the point, it was kind of annoying, so I went out one day and looked and you can see the roadway moving,” Manetta said.

Manetta says the city responded right away when he called, and told him that the layer underneath the concrete is eroding.

“That erosion created a vacant space, allowing the wobble to occur,” Manetta said. “The theory in the discussion with the city’s chief engineer on road maintenance was probably the blocks shrink as they cool.”

“So the colder the road, the more noise it makes,” added resident Denis Salle. “So right at the time that you sleep is when the road makes the most noise, unfortunately.”

The whole hill was paved by pouring concrete in square blocks. Each concrete block was then connected by dowels or pins.

Manetta was told that water was getting inside the cracks, which is causing the erosion.

“It just makes an annoying noise, and it will probably get worse, they’ve told me over time,” Manetta said.

KHON2 reached out to the city to find out what other areas were repaved using similar methods and what’s being done to fix the problem.

The city says the same type of concrete has been used in other repaving projects, so that wasn’t the problem. A spokesman says the city is not aware of any problems where this type of concrete was used.

In a statement, the city tells us that initial analysis points to voids under the joints and it’s looking at injecting a material into those voids.

It will take anywhere from two weeks to two months to get that done.

“I wish the city could find a quick fix for that, because we already have a lot of road noise. We really don’t need the road itself to make noise on top of that,” Salle said.

The city estimates the cost of fixing it at $40,000.

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