Starting next week, motorists in the northeast parts of Barton County may need to adjust their traffic routes. The 2015 blacktop chip/sand sealing season will likely begin this coming Tuesday, Road and Bridge Director Dale Phillips said.
The operation will begin east of Ellinwood at the Rice County line and progress north, cover approximately 80 road miles. Work will be taking place for approximately three weeks.
“Drivers in the construction zone should slow down and be aware of construction equipment and personnel,” Phillips said. Fresh oil and loose gravel can be dangerous for drivers.
Barton County Road and Bridge maintains 389 miles of paved roads, he said. Normally the roads are sealed every four years to prevent water from destroying the pavement and creating potholes.
Preparations for the project started in June. That is when crews started patching the roads.
In addition to filling potholes, the roads have to be broomed (or swept) prior to any surface work, Phillips said. Then comes the spreading of oil, rock and/or asphalt, all of which have to be compacted with giant rollers.
All this will be followed by the painting of center and road-edge lines, as well as railroad crossing markers, all of which includes the application of fine glass beads for reflectivity. The county hires a company for this.
Each mile will be closed to traffic while the work is being done. But, crews can cover six miles in one day.
Factoring in materials, labor and painting, it costs $15,000 per mile for the undertaking. Prices are holding steady from last year, Phillips said.