Oil, stone chips harm Harts Run Road surface
Hampton Township officials are aware of possible problems with the recent tar-and-stone chip treatment of PennDOT-maintained Harts Run Road. "We have a very good working relationship with PennDOT and they did that work," said Christopher Lochner, township manager. "We will contact them and review it with them."Since the road was covered in early July with a liquid oil emulsion and stone chips, a section of Harts Run Road — located on a curved grade between Middle Road and Saxonburg Boulevard — has been transformed into a pair of shiny black tracks with some missing chunks of surface. "We're getting a number of complaints because they (residents) think that the township did it," said Victor Son, Hampton Council president. A vendor hired by PennDOT performed the work. "We're looking into it," said PennDOT spokesman Jim Struzzi. Lochner suspects a problem with the oil mixture used to coat the road. "They probably ran into an emulsion problem and it didn't adhere," he said. "If they feel they had a bad batch, I'd be surprised if they didn't correct it immediately." Such oil-and-stone-chip treatments, although unpopular with many motorists, "can extend the life of a road five to 10 years," Lochner said. During such road treatments, crews first apply a layer of tar-like, liquid emulsion that seeps into cracks and provides a sticky base for a second layer of aggregate — stone chips — that gradually work their way into the underlying pavement. Son, president of Hampton council, said a handful of residents questioned him at the township's Fourth of July celebration about the recent application of oil and stones to Harts Run Road. "With oil costs going up, we've all had to reduce the amount of roads we can repave," Son said. "So you look for alternative ways to preserve roads."Such treatments can set the stage, however, for dangerous driving conditions, according to Hampton Police Chief Dan Connolly."There are two safety issues that can develop when the tar and chips are improperly applied, or there is a problem with the quality of the tar," Connolly said. "The first issue is a result of excessive, loose chips or gravel." Connolly said. "Limestone chips seem to work better than fine gravel, which has a tendency to 'roll.' "The loose material builds up on berm, roadway centers and intersections, causing vehicles to skid," Connolly said. "This is an extremely dangerous situation for motorcycles."The second issue is the failure of the tar, or liquid asphalt, to allow the stone material to adhere properly, and thus provide the necessary traction surface on the contact portion of the roadway," Connolly said. "This is extremely dangerous when the road surface becomes wet, particularly on hills and curves. "
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Photo Gallery: Testing airplanes at North Hills High School
- Hampton High dance event doubles fundraising goal
- Photo Gallery: St. Teresa of Avila School’s talent show
- Photo Gallery: North Hills High School senior prom
- Shaler Area incumbent out following primary voting
- Shaler Area preliminary budget shows $1.7M shortfall
- Shaler Area Elementary students transform classroom into inflatable lunar colony
- Retailer, Ross Park Mall owner form partnership
- Northway developer seeks variance requests without knowing tenants, buildings
- Jeter Backyard Theater effort helps foster children
- Housing proposal denied