Road Work Ahead
Expect some traffic delays as contractor begins work on 50 miles of highway in Hopkins, Franklin counties
From Staff Reports
July 12, 2007 - We all like to drive on nice smooth roads, but in order to do so we have to pay a price: Time delays while road crews are repairing and preserving roads.
The dog days of summer are generally the optimum time for such projects. This year, such work has been delayed by rain, but with predictions of warmer weather, Texas Department of Transportation's contractor is now gearing up to begin the annual asphalt seal coat program in the area.
�We normally expect to get started around the first of June,� said TxDOT Area Engineer Ernest Teague, �but hot asphalt doesn�t stick to wet pavement very well.�
Contractor Missouri Petroleum Products Co. LLC moved in on Tuesday and began setting up construction signs on the highways to be sealed.
The project includes 50 miles of roads in both Franklin and Hopkins counties. This year, the following highways are scheduled to be sealed:
n FM 71 from the Hunt County line to FM 3505
n State Highway 11 from Hunt County to State Highway 19
n FM 275 from Interstate 30 to Miller Grove
n FM 2560
n FM 1567 from State Highway 11, going south 3 miles
n U.S. Highway 67, from the Interstate 30 cut-off in Weaver east to State Highway 37 in Mount Vernon.
Work was expected to begin today on the $1.25 million project, with the understanding that there will be a day-by-day decision to make regarding wet pavement.
�The fresh layer of asphalt, covered by crushed rock, provides the protection we need against water penetrating our pavements,� said Teague, explaining the importance of the annual maintenance program, which keep water from getting under the pavement, thus helping prevent potholes, rutting and other pavement problems.
The seal generally holds moisture off for 6 to 8 years. Beyond that, ultraviolet light, temperature cycles, and normal wear and tear tend to deteriorate the asphalt to a point where it begins to crack and allow water through to the underlying structure.
Weather permitting, crews should be able to complete the project in less than a month. However, motorists along these routes should expect delays of about 10 minutes, as pilot cars lead one-way traffic past the work crews. Even after the work crew moves on, slow speeds are advised due to minor amounts of loose gravel remaining on the road.
�Broken windshields are the main traffic problem we have on seal coat projects,� said Teague, who added that it can usually �be minimized if travelers will just drive reasonably for a few days following the application of the seal coat.�