Maddox Track was closed to the public in late August after Rome-Floyd Parks and Recreation Authority staff noticed the rubber granule surface was melting.
Assistant City Manager Sammy Rich said the subcontractor would return in early October to put a top layer of different material on the year-old surface. The project will take an estimated four to six weeks.
“We haven’t discussed with Parks and Rec if we’ll reopen the track before they start. It’s possible,” he said in response to Commissioner Kim Canada’s question.
Among the potential issues: A runner could be hurt on the uneven surface or the deteriorating rubber could be tracked onto the stadium’s Astroturf field.
Rich said there’s also the possibility the track would have to be closed if the weather is too sunny or hot. An irregular schedule could be frustrating for users, he noted.
City officials had been in talks with contractor Brasfield & Gorrie regarding the deterioration, but had been reluctant to approve a fix until the problem was clearly identified.
Rich said laboratory tests by supplier Beynon Sports Surfaces showed “we got a bad batch” of rubber granules that are degrading because of a chemical reaction with ultraviolet light.
“Putting a new, wearable layer over that surface should be OK because, if it’s not exposed to UV you don’t have a break-down issue,” he said.
The city’s 8-year warranty on the track surface would start afresh with the new layer.
Click to see a list of public tracks and trails in Floyd County.
At their pre-meeting caucus, commissioners also got a progress report on the redevelopment committee’s improvement plan for the main roads leading into the city.
The presentation started with a clip from the movie “The Mosquito Coast,” which was filmed in Rome in 1985. “This place is a toilet,” star Harrison Ford’s character says on a drive through town with his son.
The committee is drafting a proposed ordinance with standards for landscaping, parking, screening and architecture that would apply to new development along the corridors.
Mary Hardin Thornton, director of Keep Rome-Floyd Beautiful, also is planning a cleanup and improvement program in which the city will partner with existing property owners along the mostly commercial routes.
Thornton said she’s targeted Dean Avenue for the first Corridor Focus event and plans to meet with the business owners in early October.