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TxDOT update: Night work on Loop 323, construction on I-20 continues

Friday, June 29, 2012 - 11:06am

UNDATED -- All Texas Department of Transportation offices will be closed Wednesday in observance of Independence Day. Offices will reopen for normal business operations on Thursday.

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

Seal Coat work continues in Rusk County

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

Crews are scheduled to apply a seal coat to the following roadways in the coming week:

● SH 149 between the Gregg County Line and Tatum;
● SH 322 between FM 2011 and FM 1249;then move into Gregg County later in the week on FM 2087, between Loop 281 in Longview and FM 349 in Kilgore.

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."

Night work on Tyler's Loop 323 continues

TYLER -- Construction crews are scheduled to continue several weeks of nighttime work on Tyler's WSW Loop 323 between SH 155 (Frankston Highway) and Bellwood Drive, which is just south of the railroad overpass near West Front Street.

Crews are scheduled to work from 7 p.m.-5 a.m., Sunday-Thursday repairing and then resurfacing the roadway. Temporary lane-closures will be in effect while the work is in progress, and motorists should be prepared to reduce speed and merge in and around the work zone.

Also in Smith County, TxDOT maintenance crews are scheduled to continue resurfacing operations on FM 16 on either side of US 69 in Lindale.

Daytime lane closures will be in effect while the work is in progress, and flaggers will control traffic.

TxDOT continues work on Interstate 20

GREGG COUNTY – Texas Department of Transportation maintenance crews this week are scheduled to continue 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.

Looking ahead, work associated with TxDOT's District-Wide Seal Coat Program is scheduled to begin in Gregg County as early as this week, with work on FM 2087 beginning as early as Tuesday between Loop 281 in Longview and FM 349 in Kilgore.

Once work on FM 2087 is complete, crews are scheduled to seal:

● FM 1252 between SH 135 near Liberty City and SH 42; and
● FM 3053 south of Liberty City between SH 31 and Rusk County Line

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.

TxDOT continues work near Wills Point

WILLS POINT -- Texas Department of Transportation maintenance crews this week are scheduled to continue base and pavement repairs in various locations on FM 47 between US 80 and IH 20 in the Wills Point area.
Daytime lane closures will be in effect while the work is in progress, and flaggers will control traffic in two-lane areas.

TxDOT continues work on FM 316

HENDERSON COUNTY -- Texas Department of Transportation maintenance crews this week are scheduled to continue resurfacing operations on FM 316 between US 175 and RM 2329. Once the work is complete, crews will stay on FM 316 to work on the shoulders and ditches.

Daytime lane closures will be in effect while the work is in progress, and flaggers will control traffic.

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