Decorative inlay brightens Warsaw alley

The alley between Warsaw City Hall and the Three Crowns Coffee/Oak & Alley building at 114 S. Buffalo St. got a lot more colorful this week.

Globe Asphalt Paving, Indianapolis, embedded 65 feet of blue and white decorative inlay in the alley for the city’s alley enhancement project.

The decorative inlay is one of the first major additions in the city’s $100,000 effort to spruce up the alley.

In explaining the process, Tom Duncan, of Globe Asphalt, said, “You heat the asphalt up to roughly 300 degrees. And then we have the templates over here, the white templates, and we lay them out. And then we have this big whacker and we beat it into the ground. And then we have this thermo (plastic), which is cut the same as the template. We put the thermo in and melt it down, and it’s good to go.”

He said the thermo plastic is basically like the same material “on the crosswalks, your stop bars, the white lines. It’s basically the same stuff, but it’s preformed.”

Globe Asphalt Paving has worked across Indiana, he said, including Indianapolis, Fishers, Carmel, New Albany, Jeffersonville and in places in Kentucky.

“We’ve been doing it about 20 years,” Duncan said.

He said they can do about any design one comes up with.

For the Warsaw alley, he and a crew of three others started Monday, but the afternoon rains prohibited them from finishing that day. They returned Tuesday and completed the job.

“Roughly 65 feet, you’re looking at seven hours (of work). It’s a slow process. You’re heating asphalt. It’s not hard, it’s just slow,” Duncan said about 1-1/2 hours before finishing the alley Tuesday.

While a crew of four worked on Warsaw’s alley, their next step is New Albany, where they were going to do 40 crosswalks. “So we’ll probably have a couple more guys (on that job),” Duncan said.

The Warsaw alley extends about 130 feet and stretches from South Buffalo Street to an intersecting alley to the west. Along with the inlay, proposed improvements include seating areas, bike racks, plants, public wi-fi, lighting, and possible artwork on the facade.

At the May 22 Warsaw Board of Public Works and Safety meeting, the board approved $12,320 for Phend & Brown to redo the alley asphalt and $10,631 for the inlay by Globe Asphalt Paving.

Donations totaling $56,504 were raised for the alley project through, and the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority provided a $50,000 matching grant through its Creating Places program.