Fine grade and compact

This is different sort of problem for me.
Our HOA contracted with a company for it to do three things.
Number 2 is "Asphalt Repairs [in roadway in front of 8 townhouses] - Escavate approximately 307 square yards of failed pavement to an 4" average. Fine grade and compact. Haul all debris off site. Install approximately 307 square yards with a 4" average of bituminous asphalt; roll to compact." $8,826.00
The problem is that I watched and they only removed 1 inch or mayybe inch and a quarter, instead of the 4" it says.
Would anyone in this situation remove 4" in this situation? Or is this clearly a typo, even though it appears twice?
Is one to 1 1/4 inches enough to have a decent job?
I haven't driven over this yet, but a friend tells me it is very bumpy, even in his Lincoln Town car. They had a mini "steam" roller there, but I didn't watch that part.
WHAT ABOUT "Fine grade and compact"? Does that mean they were supposed to add some fine gravel, and then grade and compact it? Again I didn't watch that part, but I don't see how there could be room for any gravel with only an inch removed.
Or does it mean they were to "fine grade" it, and what would that be. What would compacting be, if no new material was put down? The old material was already compaceted, I think, by years of our driving on it.
They used one big machine to remove a five-foot wide swath of asphalt and run it up a long conveyor belt attached to the machine, into a dump truck, that moved ahead as the machine moved ahead. They only had one dump truck and did the whole area while only filling it once.
The machine had a big flat almost vertical door on the back, 3 foot tall and as wide as the machine, except for an inch on each side, that lifted up a couple inches when they were done with a section, and lowered when they started again. Given the height of the door and the do-it-all nature of the machine, I'm pretty sure the machine could have done 4 inches if it had been set for that.
They had five machines, the big one above, the dump truck, a mini-roller, a front loader with a big horizontal scoop which I think they used for debris, and a big pickup with lots of tool cabinets in back, which also pullled the compressor which they used to run the jack hammer to remove a small section of blacktop the big machine couldn't reach. They had a driver for each machine and about two laborers, who shovelled or swept.
Hmmm. In some universe they could have used the jack hammer to remove another 3 inches from the big area, but they didn't do that, did they? Why would they when they had that big machine, and if it couldn't do 4 inches in one pass, it could do it in two or three?
(They also appear to have done item 3, the "striping", not according to what was wanted. We only wanted squares on the side of the curb. That's another topic, but it also raises the question of Are they able to follow their own contract? I also don't think the area they did was 307 sq. yds, more like 200, but I need to check the whole n'hood, tomorrow, if there are other parts.))
Thanks for any help.

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The primary reasons that asphalt fails are:
Too heavy a loads - trash trucks, etc Old age and loss of the oils that keep asphalt alive. Moisture under the asphalt (bad grade, bad subsoil, bad compaction)
I don't know why yours did fail. Many residential applications are only 1 1/2" when new. This might be laid right on a clay subsoil. This is a recipe for early failure.
Good commercial asphalt often has lime stabilized subsoil (makes the clay friable and compactable) down almost 24". Rolled and compacted. A 6" hot sand base. 2" finish course.
If the subsoil was in good condition and the asphalt was just old and worn out (lost oils), you may have an excellent installation. Your contract did not say to remove subsoil from site, it said remove the old asphalt (which I suspect they did) and to disturb, grade, and compact whatever else is there. It did not ask them bring in select material or to stabilize. Who is supposed to have inspected or monitored the work performed? Who wrote the original language of the contract? What were you trying to perform - a fresh new surface or remediation of bad conditions? I'm not trying to be smart, but you do know there are 9 SF in a SY. I assume they used a lay down machine to install the new asphalt (I hope someone was testing the temperature of the mix) and that it was roller compacted within the necessary time restrictions. A bad roller man can ruin the efforts of the lay down crew.
I don't know that I helped or hurt. Sounds a bit like sour grapes because they completed to quickly or someone is feeling ripped off. There are many asphalt repair sites on the internet. Here is one that sounds pretty legit to me:
Keep the whole world singing . . . .
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Thanks for replying.

Well, there had been a water leak that caused water to run over this portion, for several weeks. But I'm not doubting that it failed, or complaining about that. I saw with my own eyes that chunks were coming out.
It's the repair to it that I have doubts about.

So if the finish is only to be 2 inches, what do these things in the contract refer to "Excavate ... failed pavement to a 4" average. Install ...with a 4" average of bituminous asphalt" ??
They excavated no more than an inch and a half anywhere, and replaced the same amount. It was a patch and it is now level at the borders with the part that was not patched. So the height is the same and I know how deep they went.

What is meant by disturb, grade, and compact? Is it that they should have used shovels or jackhammers to dig up what was under the blacktop?
Grade means to make it level, right? With a rake or a small roller vehicle?
But how could they possibly compact it more than it was compactec when they started. If they had ripped up the blacktop with jackhammers that wouldnt' have been true, but since they used that fancy machine, the area underneath was undisturbed, except for maybe some dust or small particles on top from the fancy machine.

I only suggested that to show my confusion about "fine grade and compact" which was in the contract.

I don't know. Not me. Possibly the HOA pres who teaches school and hadn't gone back to work yet, but she know almost nothing about construction and would have only stopped by once or twice for a few minutes. She wasn't there any of the times I was there.    

Almost certainly the contractor.

The latter.

Yes, I do. :) And I considered that.

I would assume that too but I didn't see. They did this part between 4PM and 6PM and the machine wasn't there prior to that. I forgot to go check on the bumps I'm told are in the surface, so I don't know how big they are.

Not at all. I don't have any sour grapes, and I had no complaint about when they finished**, and I won't feel ripped off until I find out what the contract meant, and if it was just a typo or if they contracted and charged for more than they did. Were they supposed to dig out 4 inches and put down 4 inches like the contract said, or is an inch and a quarter or less OK?
**I was only looking at the contract because afaik, from the meeting and reading the contract before we agreed to it, they were supposed to paint yellow on non-parking portions of the curbs, they were supposed to put ticks on the curb to separate the parking places, and they were supposed to do this pavement repair. But in fact, they painted stripes between parking spaces. The stripes look nice now, but a) in a couple years they'll look dime, b) we didn't want to spend the money, and c) no one felt any need for stripes. We were fine with only the white squares on the side of the curb. (I didnt' even want those) but I didn't post about this because I have to talk to other board members about that, to see if this is what they voted for, and misunderstood something.

I'll take a look. I have to start getright so I want to post before I read this.

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