Paving Lone Ridge Drive

This blog post is for all of my fellow cabin and lot owners in Gold Leaf Mountain Estates. As you know, our main road, Lone Ridge Drive, has settled and cracked over the years. Since this is a private road we were unable to get Sevier County to take any responsibility for repairs.

All of us decided to pool our funds and get the worst areas repaired before we experienced any costly catastrophic failures. A big shout out and thanks to Chris Rehmann for all of his work on this project. He did all of the research, identified areas needing repair and procured quotes from contractors. Beth and I volunteered to travel up here and oversee the work. I brought my camera so each of you could see what you are getting for your hard-earned cash.

Gold Leaf Mountain Estates

This is a satellite image of our subdivision showing the problem areas. Those in red are to be completely dug out and repaved. Those in yellow will only be crack-filled. The one in orange will get partially dug out and partially crack-filled.



Volunteer Paving and Concrete based out of Knoxville, TN is doing the work. They elected to begin today on areas E, F, G, and H as shown on the left side of the satellite image.

Lone Ridge Drive - Area-E


As a point of reference, here are some “before” images of the areas of focus today.

The portion of Area-E that will be dug out is in the foreground.


Lone Ridge Drive - Area-F







Lone Ridge Drive - Area-G







Lone Ridge Drive - Area-H







At approximately 10:30am today (April 13, 2015) I met with the two owners of Volunteer Paving, Greg and Stanley. We walked the entire job site to verify the scope of work as they marked each area in orange paint. Areas to be dug out were encircled in orange paint. Areas needing only crack-fill were simply marked with an orange letter.

Lone Ridge Drive - Saw Cuts


The crew then basically pulled a string to define the saw cut lines.

All of the saw cuts for the entire project were completed today. (Areas B, E, F, G, H, I and J)


Lone Ridge Drive - Saw Cuts


The saw was set to cleanly and completely separate the full depth of the existing asphalt down to the gravel base.



Lone Ridge Drive - Old Asphalt Removal



All of the old damaged asphalt was dug away with a Bobcat.



Lone Ridge Drive - Old Asphalt Removal



It was then loaded into a dump truck and hauled to the asphalt plant to be recycled.




Lone Ridge Drive - Gravel Base Leveling


The gravel base was smoothed and leveled by hand.




Lone Ridge Drive - Gravel Base Compaction


Once the base was leveled it was compacted with a heavy roller to ensure a solid foundation.



Lone Ridge Drive - Gravel Base Compaction


Close-up image after gravel compaction. Greg indicated that we had ample gravel under our existing road so no additional gravel was added.



Lone Ridge Drive - Paving


Now we’re ready to load up the paving machine and start laying some blacktop.




Lone Ridge Drive - Paving


The paving machine lays down a layer that only approximates the size of the area to be filled. It has to be worked by hand tools to attain the proper width and depth.


Lone Ridge Drive - Paving


Repair work is significantly more labor-intensive than new construction. It’s critical to build up the shoulders to sufficient height and angle while making a smooth and complete transition from existing to new surfaces.



Lone Ridge Drive - Rolling


Asphalt was laid higher than the existing surface so that it compacts flush with the old asphalt.

The rolling machine makes multiple trips over the new asphalt to make it smooth and even.


Lone Ridge Drive - Paving


Small areas were worked at a time to ensure the asphalt remained hot and pliable. Here you can see the approximate depth to be filled. Looks like 4″ to me.


Lone Ridge Drive - Paving


After smoothing and rolling you cannot tell where one small section ends and the next one begins. It’s one continuous ribbon of asphalt.



Lone Ridge Drive - Paving



Unfortunately, there was not quite enough asphalt on hand to complete Area-H.



Lone Ridge Drive - Paving


The plan was to complete as much of Area-H as possible and place a thin layer over the remaining section to prevent any rainwater from wetting the gravel base below. We’re supposed to get rain the next two days.


Lone Ridge Drive - Paving


This is the area that was filled with a temporary 1″ layer of asphalt. It will be redone correctly when the crew returns on Thursday with more asphalt.



Lone Ridge Drive - Day-1 Completion


This is the finished product of today’s work. The new blacktop will be soft until it cools so cones were placed to prevent anyone from driving on it.


Lone Ridge Drive - Old/New Boundary



Closeup showing the smooth boundary between the old and new asphalt.






Lone Ridge Drive - Old Asphalt Removal


All of the remaining areas that needed to be dug out were dug out and compacted.




Lone Ridge Drive - Area-B



Area-B is one of the largest areas needing to be repaved.




Lone Ridge Drive - Area-B


We got 2 full days of rain prior to today and then intermittent showers again today. As a result, the base layer of gravel and dirt was pretty moist. I voiced my concern about compaction issues but, the crew didn’t think it was a problem.


Lone Ridge Drive - Area-B


The asphalt seems to be going in without issue.





Lone Ridge Drive - Area-B


This large area is sucking up the asphalt.





Lone Ridge Drive - Area-B



Rolling it down.




Lone Ridge Drive - Area-B



Area-B is complete!




Lone Ridge Drive - Area-J



On to areas I & J.




Lone Ridge Drive - Area-J


We came up approximately 3 tons short of enough asphalt to complete the final 2 areas and the short section of Area-H. I spoke with Greg and he plans to finish these sections on Monday.



Lone Ridge Drive - Crack Fill


This is the crack-fill material that will be used.
At this point we’re not sure when the crack filling will be done. Possibly Saturday.



Lone Ridge Drive - Crack Fill


This is the tool that will be used to do the crack filling. It has a propane tank that provides heat to melt the filler material.




It’s a bit frustrating that we’re so close to the finish line but, we’re not there yet. However, there’s nobody to blame except the weather. It’s tough to pave in the driving rain. Volunteer Paving assures me that they are just as anxious to get this job done as we are.

Beth and I have to head back home this weekend so we’re not going to be able to hang around until everything is complete. I’ve got a lot of confidence in James, the crew boss, and expect the rest of the job to be done right.


We returned to Gold Leaf on April 26 and were pleased to find that all of the road repairs were completed.

Lone Ridge Drive - Area-B


The final result looks great!

The 3 partially filled areas are completely filled and there’s even an extra sealing patch between new and old asphalt.



Lone Ridge Drive - Area-B



Closeup view of the seal between old and new pavement.




Lone Ridge Drive - Area-A


Area-A was crack filled only per our contract but, they also crack filled a few extra areas as well.





Overall, I’m very pleased with the final result. Volunteer Paving did everything they said they would do and a bit more. Hopefully, we won’t have to worry about Lone Ridge road repairs for a long time!

5 thoughts on “Paving Lone Ridge Drive

  1. Looks like they’re doing a great job! Can’t wait to spend some time up there this summer without worrying about sliding off the mountain. Big thanks to you for your oversight of the project, and to Chris for all the many, many hours of work to get us to this point.

  2. Thank you Bill and Chris for your outstanding jobs of keeping everyone up to date on this project. Now we don’t have to “stay in the center” of the road! Anxious to see it later this year.

  3. Now that is and was a huge job! It will be so nice when completed and I know you will be glad to have a safe road! I will be praying for good weather to finish the project! I know you will be glad when it is completed and you don’t have to dodge holes in the road!

  4. Hi Bill,
    Thanks for the excellent report n pics! I am also looking forward to driving m walking on Lone Ridge Drive without fear of breaking an axle or an ankle!
    So far, it looks like the crew is doing a good job as they promised.
    Too bad it’s not concrete, and you could have put your handprints in for posterity!

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