Recently TXDOT hired some contractors to lay down a layer of rocks on FM 758. The road is now worse than ever. I drive the road daily. Prior to this I never had rocks hitting my car. I have had 5 rocks hit my car in the last week alone from cars passing while waiting to turn onto the road or by cars passing in opposite lane. I now have 2 new chips in my windshield. I have never seen this surface on a highway before. Is it temporary and why not replace with a smooth surface like it was?
The elements of the complaint are fairly easily broken down:
- The road is in horrible shape and covered in loose gravel
- Rocks are spraying cars damaging windshields and paint jobs
- This is poor workmanship the likes of which has never been seen
What is a sealcoat?
Sealcoats are intended to moisturize the road to prevent crumbling and extend the life of the pavement.
amorphous solid dependent on a level of wetness for its structural integrity. Just like our skin, it chaps and cracks in the hot Texas sun. While many add lotion to preserve soft and silky smooth skin, highway engineers add a cocktail of oil and tar to the road to preserve its shape and smoothness. Over time the cocktail seeps into the road, but when we first apply the mix it sets on the surface of the road.
Anyone who has seen a James Bond movie or played Spy Hunter knows how treacherous a road with oil concentrated on the surface can be. To keep a road we've done a seal coat on safe and to improve traction we lay a thin, sparse layer of gravel atop the seal coat mix.
Why not just resurface?
The cost difference is huge and cannot be overstated. A seal coat will cost literally pennies on the dollar we might spend resurfacing the road. While we are committed to providing and maintaining a safe and reliable transportation system, we are tasked and trusted to be extremely prudent with the limited taxpayer dollars we are given.
After a few short weeks that gravel gets pressed and ground into the road surface and becomes a non-issue.