Rushville Republican

October 23, 2012

Voiles: More “Road Rage”

Dear Editor:

Norm Voiles
Rushville Republican

RUSHVILLE — I’ve received a lot of response to my recent Letter to the Editor concerning the repaving of highways using the chip-seal method. All have been highly critical of the process.

In that letter, I stated that I had written to the Department of Transportation, but had not yet received a reply. On Sept. 21, I did receive a reply, to-wit:

“Mr. Voiles,

Thank you for your concerns regarding the condition of the recently repaved area SE of Rushville on US Hwy 52. We recognize the issues and plan to be on site Monday, Sept. 24 to begin rectifying the situation.

Judi Hull

Customer Service

INDOT-Greenfield District

1-855-463-6848

eastcentralin@indot.in.gov“

This rather odd and apologetic response indicates to me that, sans complaints, INDOT had considered the US 52 “repav(ing)” to be complete and nothing further would have been done. This, even though the road surface had been “ground off” leaving that familiar diamond design with apparently just some liquid tar poured over it.

One week after receiving the response from Ms. Hull, a brief story appeared in the Rushville Republican which contained the following information:

“...at 8 a.m. Monday (a week later than previously announced), ...crews will start laying a special application of liquid asphalt and #11 limestone aggregate, found to be an optimum combination of stone size and application rate, covering surface defects in the travel lanes with a satisfactory surface for wintertime driving.”

“Motorists are advised to drive slowly around freshly applied liquid asphalt and the UPSIZED (my caps) aggregate. The asphalt can splatter onto tires and vehicle finishes. Loose stone can damage cars and windows.”

I’d like to cite here comments made to me by readers, but space limitations prevent that. Those comments are from insurance agents, residents along the highways, and general road users. Write me and I’ll send them to you via e-mail.

The work now being belatedly done on US Hwy 52 will utilize “upsized aggregate” suitable for “wintertime” driving. I take these to be code words meaning a surface that is noisier, rougher and guaranteed to wear your tires out sooner.

Conclusion: INDOT presumably saves money, but you pay more while at the same time enduring the ugliness, noise and excessive tire wear incurred by the dreadful chip-seal method of resurfacing our highways.

Best regards,

Norm Voiles

normvoiles@frontier.com; resident of Rush County; native of Decatur County.