UDOT works to fix water seepage on S.R. 248
November 15, 2017
Lately, when Christion Sadler drives on S.R. 248, he has had to keep a watchful eye out for spots of moisture and black ice.
Sadler, who lives in Oakley and commutes to his office in Murray, said it's usually pretty obvious where water is covering the road, especially when heading toward Kamas from Park City. The Utah Department of Transportation has also placed signs along that stretch of road warning drivers about the potential for black ice.
"It's pretty clear where it is," he said. "But, if you are accelerating up the hill, and if you are putting some power into it, you can slip. There is just once specific spot, as far as I've been able to tell, where there is the sign warning people about it and that's usually where it is."
UDOT replaced the asphalt on S.R. 248 between U.S. 40 and S.R. 32 in Kamas over the summer. Road crews milled and resurfaced the road to extend the life of the pavement and provide a smoother driving surface.
Water is expected to move out of the material, but it is seeping through onto the road more than expected, according to Tim Beery, UDOT's Region 2 communications manager. He said UDOT started noticing the presence of ice and oil on the road in September.
"This was unexpected," he said. "It's unclear what was wrong with the mix for the pavement that has caused it to be porous, but it's a bad batch. There are some spots on the road that give the appearance of black ice, but it's not ice. It's oil that's coming up out of the pavement, as well. It's not ideal."
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Crews began placing a seal over two asphalt joints throughout the corridor on Monday to allow the water to drain before it reaches the surface. UDOT is also planning to have salt trucks de-ice the road every morning beginning at 4 a.m., Beery said.
UDOT has been inundated with inquiries about the issue, with several people posting their concerns to social media sites and contacting the project hotline.
"We are taking it seriously and we are aware of the situation," Beery said. "If anyone has any concerns they can reach out to us in any number of ways. I'm happy to take their calls and speak with them and take any questions."
UDOT crews will chip and reseal the road once the temperatures are consistently 60 degrees, Beery said. He added, "It's the sealant over the top that will keep the water from coming up so we won't have to rip out the base pavement and redo the road." The project will take approximately one month.
"What they used to pave this road is called a stone mastic asphalt and, typically with that, they don't have to do the sealant over the top," he said. "Typically, it has the sealant in it. In this case, it didn't seal. Obviously, we didn't expect it. But, it's not completely uncommon for them to have to go back and reseal over the asphalt."
Sadler didn't criticize UDOT for the issues commuters are encountering. He referred to himself as "a realist," saying he understands that no one is perfect.
"If we want to have nice things, we have to understand that we are going to put up with some of this stuff," he said. "The workers are doing their best to make it right, but it's kind of a first-world problem situation to have to slow down. I'm glad that they at least have a sign out. It's not the permanent fix, but it's better than them having to shut down that entire stretch of road before the winter."
To contact someone with UDOT's project hotline, call 801-903-8327. To reach Tim Beery, contact him at 801-975-4958. UDOT can also be reached on Twitter, Facebook and through the agency's website at https://www.udot.utah.gov/main/f?p=100:pg:0:::1:T,V:60,
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