Starting now, motorists in the north and west central parts of Barton County may need to adjust their driving habits. The 2016 blacktop asphalt overlay and sealing season is underway in these areas, Road and Bridge Director Dale Phillips said.
The operation this year involves 42 miles of asphalt at a cost of $40,000 per mile, or a total cost of $1,680,000. It also includes 124 miles of chip sealing at a price of $12,000 per mil for a total of $1,488,000.
“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 began 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.