East Texas road construction: work continues on I-20

Friday, June 15, 2012 - 1:00pm

UNDATED - Here's a quick look at events and work planned in the Tyler District:

District-Wide Seal Coat program continues in Anderson County

ANDERSON COUNTY -- The Texas Department of Transportation's annual preventative maintenance program known as "District-Wide Seal Coat" is scheduled to resume Monday in Anderson County, weather permitting.

Crews are scheduled to apply a seal coat to FM 315 between FM 837 and SH 155 in Palestine; SB SH 155 between FM 2267 in Pert and FM 315 north of Palestine; and FM 323 between US 84 and FM 1817.

A second crew on Wednesday is scheduled to seal FM 2706 between US 287 and FM 321.

Daytime lane closures will be in effect in each location while the work is in progress, and flaggers will control traffic in two lane areas. Loose gravel may be present for several days following a seal coat application. Motorists are encouraged to seek alternate routes if possible to avoid delays.

The District-Wide Seal Coat program, which will seal approximately 300 miles of roads as it passes through all eight counties in the Tyler District before the end of August, uses a two-step process of spraying down hot asphalt and covering it with rock to add years of life to existing pavement.

"Just because a highway has a smooth ride now doesn't mean it will for long," said TxDOT public information officer Larry Krantz. "Once a hot mix surface gets to be 2-to-3 years old, it's time to start thinking about seal coating. Once cracks start appearing in the surface, it's only a matter of time before you start seeing bigger problems like base failures. Base failures mean lane closures, and lane closures mean inconvenience."

The hot asphalt oil penetrates any cracks or imperfections in the roadway surface to seal water out.
"Just that little bit of preventative maintenance can sometimes add up to seven years of nearly maintenance-free life to a roadway," Krantz said.

In a district that has nearly 3,600 centerline miles of highways throughout eight counties, any road that doesn't need constant attention saves taxpayers money.

Resurfacing a mile of a two-lane Farm-To-Market road with the standard two inches of hot mix costs around $131,000 in material alone. Seal-coating that same roadway, which will likely help the roadway last longer than the more expensive overlay, costs roughly $21,000.

"Highway maintenance is all about getting the biggest return for the tax dollar," Krantz said. "As with many things, prevention is much cheaper than the cure in the long run. Seal coat is our best and most cost-effective method of prevention."

The sprayed asphaltic oil also provides an adhesive layer for the rock spread on top to stick, providing a new driving surface.

"We can't just spray down that much asphaltic oil and drive off. It would be too slippery," Krantz said. "By adding that rock on top, we're giving motorists a roadway that gives their tires something to bite into in wet weather and in case of an emergency braking maneuver."

Maintenance sections plan years in advance to determine which roads will get a seal coat and when.

"The idea is to get roads in a given section into a seven-year rotation for seal coat," Krantz said. "Our maintenance sections work hard to get their 'seal coat roads' ready each year. Most of them began preparing their roads for seal coat last summer, and they're all planning their 2013 and 2014 seal coat roads now.

In fact, a majority of work performed by maintenance sections is in preparation for District-Wide Seal Coat, from repairing potholes to repairing edge damage to drainage work. Crews try to work ahead to make repairs of and get the roadway as smooth as possible so the seal coat can cover it all and help those repairs last.

"It's all part of a bigger picture," Krantz said. "It's all part of getting ready for seal coat."

TxDOT plans pavement repairs in Whitehouse

SMITH COUNTY -- Texas Department of Transportation maintenance crews this week are scheduled to perform pavement repairs in various locations on SH 110 on the north side of Whitehouse.

Daytime lane closures will be in effect while the work is in progress. Motorists are encouraged to be prepared to reduce speed and merge in and around the work zone.

Looking ahead, construction crews are scheduled to begin night work on Tyler's WSW Loop 323 beginning Sunday, June 24. Crews will be working between 7 p.m.-5 a.m. Sunday-Thursday between SH 155 (Frankston Highway) and Bellwood Drive, just south of West Front Street. The approximate $2.5 million project let in January. Big Creek Construction, Ltd., of Hewitt, is the contractor.

Seal Coat work set to begin in Cherokee County

CHEROKEE COUNTY -- The Texas Department of Transportation's annual preventative maintenance program known as "District-Wide Seal Coat" is scheduled to begin work later this week in Cherokee County, weather permitting.

Crews are scheduled to apply a seal coat to US 69 between the north end of FM 1911 near Alto and the Angelina County Line in Wells, and on US 84 between US 69 in Rusk and the Angelina River.

Daytime lane closures will be in effect in each location while the work is in progress, and flaggers will control traffic in two lane areas. Loose gravel may be present for several days following a seal coat application. Motorists are encouraged to seek alternate routes if possible to avoid delays.

Also this week in Cherokee County, TxDOT maintenance crews this week are scheduled to begin edge work on FM 855 between US 69 in Mount Selman and FM 2137. Daytime lane closures will be in effect while the work is in progress, and flaggers will control traffic.

The District-Wide Seal Coat program, which will seal approximately 300 miles of roads as it passes through all eight counties in the Tyler District before the end of August, uses a two-step process of spraying down hot asphalt and covering it with rock to add years of life to existing pavement.

"Just because a highway has a smooth ride now doesn't mean it will for long," said TxDOT public information officer Larry Krantz. "Once a hot mix surface gets to be 2-to-3 years old, it's time to start thinking about seal coating. Once cracks start appearing in the surface, it's only a matter of time before you start seeing bigger problems like base failures. Base failures mean lane closures, and lane closures mean inconvenience."

The hot asphalt oil penetrates any cracks or imperfections in the roadway surface to seal water out.

"Just that little bit of preventative maintenance can sometimes add up to seven years of nearly maintenance-free life to a roadway," Krantz said.

In a district that has nearly 3,600 centerline miles of highways throughout eight counties, any road that doesn't need constant attention saves taxpayers money.

Resurfacing a mile of a two-lane Farm-To-Market road with the standard two inches of hot mix costs around $131,000 in material alone. Seal-coating that same roadway, which will likely help the roadway last longer than the more expensive overlay, costs roughly $21,000.

"Highway maintenance is all about getting the biggest return for the tax dollar," Krantz said. "As with many things, prevention is much cheaper than the cure in the long run. Seal coat is our best and most cost-effective method of prevention."

The sprayed asphaltic oil also provides an adhesive layer for the rock spread on top to stick, providing a new driving surface.
"We can't just spray down that much asphaltic oil and drive off. It would be too slippery," Krantz said. "By adding that rock on top, we're giving motorists a roadway that gives their tires something to bite into in wet weather and in case of an emergency braking maneuver."

Maintenance sections plan years in advance to determine which roads will get a seal coat and when.

"The idea is to get roads in a given section into a seven-year rotation for seal coat," Krantz said. "Our maintenance sections work hard to get their 'seal coat roads' ready each year. Most of them began preparing their roads for seal coat last summer, and they're all planning their 2013 and 2014 seal coat roads now.

In fact, a majority of work performed by maintenance sections is in preparation for District-Wide Seal Coat, from repairing potholes to repairing edge damage to drainage work. Crews try to work ahead to make repairs of and get the roadway as smooth as possible so the seal coat can cover it all and help those repairs last.

"It's all part of a bigger picture," Krantz said. "It's all part of getting ready for seal coat."

TxDOT continues work on Interstate 20

GREGG COUNTY – Texas Department of Transportation maintenance crews are scheduled to continue several days of pavement repairs on Interstate 20, both eastbound and westbound, between SH 135 and the Smith County Line.
Daytime lane closures will be in effect in each location while the work is in progress. Motorists should be prepared to reduce speed and merge in and around the work zone. Loose gravel may be present for several days following a seal coat application.

TxDOT continues work on SH 323 in Overton

RUSK COUNTY -- Texas Department of Transportation maintenance crews this week are scheduled to continue resurfacing operations on SH 323 between SH 135 in Overton and SH 42 near New London. Daytime lane closures will be in effect in each location while the work is in progress, and flaggers and pilot vehicles will control traffic.

Looking ahead, work related to TxDOT's District Wide Seal Coat program is scheduled to begin in Rusk County within the next 10 days, weather permitting. Crews will be applying a seal coat to the following roadways:

● FM 1716 between FM 2011 and SH 43;
● FM 2496 between FM 1798 and US 259;
● SH 149 between the Gregg County Line and Tatum;
● SH 322 between FM 2011 and FM 1249;
● SH 155 between Coffee City and Frankston

TxDOT continues work in, near Winnsboro

WOOD COUNTY -- Texas Department of Transportation maintenance crews this week are scheduled to continue edge repairs on FM 312 between FM 515 south of Winnsboro and FM 49 in Pine Mills, then begin several days of pavement repairs on FM 312 in Winnsboro between SH 11 and FM 515.
Daytime lane closures will be in effect in each location while the work is in progress, and flaggers will control traffic in two-lane areas.

TxDOT plans work in Canton

CANTON -- Texas Department of Transportation maintenance crews this week are scheduled to begin base and pavement repairs in various locations on SH 64 in Canton. Daytime lane closures will be in effect in each location while the work is in progress, and flaggers will control traffic in two-lane areas.

Looking ahead, TxDOT maintenance crews are scheduled on Wednesday, June 20 to begin several days of base and pavement repairs in various locations on FM 47.

Elsewhere in Van Zandt County, construction work continues to repair, add shoulders and passing lanes, and resurface SH 64 between FM 314 and the Smith County Line, and add centerline rumble strips between FM 279 in Ben Wheeler and the Smith County Line. The approximate $6.4 million project let to contract in June and began in October. The project is scheduled for completion in summer of 2013. Big Creek Construction, Ltd., of Hewitt, Texas, is the contractor.

TxDOT plans work in Henderson County

HENDERSON COUNTY -- Texas Department of Transportation maintenance crews this week are scheduled to perform resurfacing operations on FM 316 between US 175 and RM 2329.

Meanwhile, construction work to rebuild RM 2329 continues with an eye toward completion this summer. Crews are working to repair and resurface RM 2329 between FM 316 and US 175. The $1.2 million project let in January 2011 and began in May 2011. The project is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2012. A.L. Helmcamp, Inc., of Buffalo, Texas is the contractor.
Daytime lane closures will be in effect while the work is in progress, and flaggers will control traffic in two-lane areas.

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