Parts of 82nd street in South Lubbock are covered in gravel because of recent road construction. This has caused problems for many motorists who have chipped the paint on their cars and have cracked windshields as a result.
"We've seen an increase, not drastic, but certainly the work happening on 82nd Street, there's so much traffic that everybody utilizes that street. It's very hard on paint and windshields," said Steven Tisdale, the Owner of Collision King. "I think glass has a mind of its own. You can have a small impact that's going to break the glass and you can have a large impact sometimes that doesn't even scar it, but sure enough we've seen an increase. It just depends on the speed and temperature a lot of different factors."
Drivers we spoke with had mixed opinions.
"I think it's an improvement from how the road conditions were before they started on it. Any time you have road construction it's bothersome and a pain sometimes but the end result will be worth it I think," said Lubbock resident Kali Newman. "I have good insurance. They cover dings in a window so I'm not worried about it."
"The good part about it is that the roads are fixed, the bad part about it is that I'm worried about the paint chips - like if you look on your hood, front bumper, paint chips are bad because of the gravel," said Kevin Omukwe.
But why has the city chosen this type of repair method?
"What we do now is a new process. It's called a cape seal. What we do is put a layer of asphalt and then put the rock on it to blot it. Basically that's all the rock does is make where it won't track. Once they're finished with that, they sweep every night to get rid of the excess gravel as much as possible," said Keith Smith. Smith is the Director of Public Works for the City of Lubbock.
"We have a lot of cracking," Smith said. "If you ever noticed on 82nd Street, the base material for that is an old-style material that's a caliche with asphalt in it. It cracks about every 30 feet across the street. The cape seal is a process that hopefully bridges those cracks and (will) not let them open back up."
Smith understands the frustration construction causes drivers but says it's something that has to be done.
"What we try to do is the most efficient, effective process that we can and minimize the amount of problems that we have to the public. Any time you're doing road maintenance you're going to be disruptive. It's inevitable, so we recognize that and try to do the best we can," he said. "They should be finished this Thursday with the cape seal and then I think Thursday night they start doing the micro seal on top of that. It will probably be another three to four weeks."
As for who is liable for the chipped paint and windshields, Smith says it's not the City of Lubbock.
"The contractor, I think, would be liable for that if there's loose rock on the street that gets picked up. If they need to the citizens can call me and I can direct them where to go and see if we can get them taken care of. Usually the contractors have insurance for that sort of thing."
If you have any questions, you can contact Smith at 775-2335.
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