UDOT delays start of chip seal project on S.R. 248
The Utah Department of Transportation announced last week it would be delaying a chip seal project targeting a significant portion of S.R. 248 between Quinn’s Junction and Kamas for at least a month until the weather warms up.
The project was planned last summer to coincide with the replacement of the asphalt between U.S. 40 and S.R. 32 in Kamas. Road crews milled and resurfaced the road to extend the life of the pavement and provide a smoother driving surface as part of a nearly $7.8 million on the project. But, early snow prevented it from moving forward.
“The reason we didn’t do the chip seal back then is because we got a lot of heavy snow in September and were bracing ourselves for a heavy winter,” said Tim Beery, UDOT’s Region 2 communications manager. “The reason we are putting it off now is because we are waiting for temperatures to be above 60 degrees and we will probably be getting there pretty soon.”
Chip seals are common in Summit County because of sporadic weather changes and frequent freeze-and-thaw scenarios, according to Beery. “The chip seal is the most appropriate and cost effective approach to preventing any problems in the future,” a UDOT press release stated.
“It gives roads a little bit of durability,” Beery said.
Beery emphasized that the chip seal project is not connected to the water seepage that occurred on S.R. 248 after the repavement was completed. UDOT officials have stated that water seepage is commonly associated with the type of asphalt that was used.
“It is not related to that water seepage issue,” he said. “This was planned originally. The water issue was expected, but we did get more than what we had anticipated. That’s why we did the saw cuts to drain that and we haven’t had any further issues. We believe that issue has been solved. One is not the result of the other.”
But, some residents along S.R. 248 are unsure whether the chip seal is necessary on such a high-volume road. Peter Kemp, who lives in Deer Mountain, said a chip seal will create loose gravel for several months after the project is complete.
“I have experienced chip seal and generally chip seal is used on roads that either are too expensive or not high-used roads,” Kemp said. “Wasatch County did one in the Deer Mountain neighborhood last year and we are still dealing with the loose gravel. It comes off your tires and it’s a mess.”
Kemp questioned UDOT’s statements that the project is not related to the water seepage issue despite assurances from officials. He added, “The reality is they are trying to address the problem from last year.”
“Typically I didn’t think you really saw it on that top of road with high traffic and lots of trucks. I thought it was a Band-Aid fix for whatever the problem is,” he said. “Everyone going between Park City and Kamas are going to be miserable. It just seems funny to be doing a project on a road that was just freshly paved eight months ago. I just want them to fess up and tell us why they are doing this and how it will work. We just want some assurances it won’t be a disaster driving on that road for the next three or four months.”
UDOT is expected to begin work on the chip seal when temperatures consistently exceed 60 degrees. The project is anticipated to take approximately one month to complete. Most of the work is expected to be done overnight and during off-peak hours. Rotating lane closures are expected.
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