‘Seal’ Season in Texas?

Many State Highways Under Repair

By Teresa Holloway

Messenger Reporter

ANDERSON COUNTY – It’s ‘seal’ season on Texas state highways, and motorists have noticed several miles of road throughout the county that are missing something important – lines and reflectors.

The situation is well in hand, however, according to TxDOT spokesperson Rhonda Oaks. Oaks explained, “This roadwork is what we call ‘seal coating’ and we began that season about two weeks ago.”

“This work is a yearly process that we do throughout our nine county district in various locations,” she said. “Our roads are seal coated on rotation every two years. This process enhances the surface of the roadway and creates a surface that is more unlikely to hold water.”

With tire rutting from heavy truck traffic becoming increasingly noticeable, especially when it rains, the new toppings are a timely safety investment.

The process takes place in stages. First, the seal coating, then painting the lines and reflectors and is performed by crews working on a rotational basis, according to TxDOT.

The seal coating process takes about two days to complete per area, then the crew moves to the next location. When the locations have all been sealed, work will begin on marking the highway.

“The state funds this safety project completely, no local government monies are involved,” Oaks said.

While work is ongoing, whether there is a crew present or not, TxDOT urges motorists to use caution through the areas.

Night driving in the unmarked roadways may present hazards to the unwary, as well, especially on unlighted areas such as SH 287/19 just north of Grapeland.

Use caution at night, don’t outrun the vehicle’s headlight illuminated area and use common sense in judging speeds comparative to visibility, law enforcement officials said.

Painting the lines and adding center reflectors is scheduled to begin soon, meaning work crews and flaggers will be back on location at ‘sealed’ sites. With the addition of school traffic beginning Aug. 22, some slow-downs may occur on major county travel arteries – plan ahead, don’t rush.

“We urge motorists to be alert and aware of our crews working and obey all safety measures, signage or flaggers who may be working through the area,” Oaks urged.

terholloway@hotmail.com