ODOT, county field gripes on road woes

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 14, 2005

"We're not done yet."

That was the message from Ohio Department of Transportation officials in regards to complaints about a chip and seal project on State Route 141 between Wilgus and Waterloo.

Crews with South Central Construction started the chip and seal project on that roadway May 23.

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Since then, both ODOT District 9 officials and Lawrence County Commissioners have gotten several complaints from people who wonder why the state is using chip and seal on a stretch of pavement that is in good condition.

Residents also wonder whether this will leave a good portion of roadway in worse condition than when they started.

"We do this to extend the life of the pavement," explained Cecil Townsend, Ohio Department of Transportation's Lawrence County Garage Transportation Administrator.

"We have had some express the concern that this was pretty good pavement and why were we doing this and I agree, it was pretty good pavement. This (chip and seal) will preserve and maintain it for as long as possible."

ODOT District 9 Spokeswoman Kathleen Fuller said workers are roughly mid-way through the project and state officials typically hear complaints about the chip and seal process about this time. This is when there is still some loose gravel on the roadway and its surface looks and feels uneven. She said once the loose gravel is swept away and the project finished, most people call again to say they were wrong about their previous opinion and that the chip and seal is fine.

"There is a method to our madness," Fuller said. "I think people will soon start seeing a definite improvement by the end of the week."

The project should be completed by the end of the month.