Once again, the state is planning to use an unpopular process to preserve a key route in southern Johnson County, but this time they have a plan to keep the rocks down.
In the past, when the state has used a process called chip and seal on State Road 252, multiple drivers complained that rocks were flying in the days after the work was done, denting cars and damaging windows.
Next week, that work is planned again, but this time the state is using different materials and keeping the road closed for much of the work.
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Chip sealing is a cost effective method to extend the life of a road, as the price can be nearly as low as 10 percent of other pavement preservation methods, according to the Indiana Department of Transportation. The process begins with a layer of liquid asphalt, followed by a layer of crushed stone and another light layer of asphalt.
In the past, crushed gravel has been used on State Road 252. This time, the state will use crushed lime- stone, which is softer and adheres to the asphalt better, Indiana Department of Transportation spokesman Harry Maginity said.
Work will begin Monday and continue for much of that week.
The road will be closed the first two days while the initial asphalt and crushed limestone layer is placed. Once that is done, workers will sweep away the extra rock before a final layer of asphalt is put down. Whether lanes will be closed and how traffic will be directed after the first two days hasn’t been determined yet, Maginity said. Homeowners along State Road 252 will still have access to their properties, he said.
Motorists have complained when the work was done in the past.
In 2010, when the process was used on State Road 252, between U.S. 31 and State Road 135, the state received multiple complaints and requests to pay for damaged vehicles, including at least nine Nineveh-Hensley-Jackson school buses with windshields that were chipped or cracked.
And in 2013, the state was forced to redo a section of State Road 252 east of Edinburgh, between I-65 and Flat Rock, because the chip seal mix wasn’t wasn’t adhering to the road properly.
Since then, the state has adjusted the mixture of materials it uses, which means fewer rocks flying, Maginity said.
The work was originally planned for this week, but was pushed back due to concerns about the weather forecast, Maginity said.