Highway 65 residents upset after INDOT Chip and Seal project damages property

Local News

Evansville, Ind. (WEHT) – The Indiana Department of Transportation is chip and sealing Highway 65 in Vanderburgh County and 11 other roads in Southwestern Indiana.

INDOT says chip and seal’s end product is better than it used to be — and is a full closure — meaning there isn’t loose gravel on the roadway.

“We live very close to the intersection of Big Cynthiana and Mesker Park Drive, so as quickly as possible we try to get off of Big Cynthiana which is State Road 65 because of the major amount of pea gravel that’s on the road causing problems for people with their windshields cracking windshields and damaging paint” says David Conaway a Highway 65 resident. 

Chip and seal is a pavement surface treatment that combines one or more layers of asphalt with one or more layers of fine gravel.

Chip and seal is typically used on rural roads carrying lower traffic volumes.

The process is cheaper than resurfacing with asphalt or concrete pavement, but not as long-lasting.

Homeowners off Indiana 65 say they are fed up with damages and the annoyance of cleaning up a mess they didn’t sign up to have.

“I’d like to have some answers- we have a major road here that goes from I-64 to Highway 66, and they’ve turned it into a gravel road people have got chipped windshields, chipped paint on their cars- you know we’re people are paying for this rock half-way up to their house” Bernie

The Indiana Department of Transportation says chip and sealing roads are cheaper on the state and that damaged windshields and chipped paint on cars isn’t as common anymore with updated resources. 

“A lot of people when they think of chip and seal they think there is loose gravel on the roads- or a cracked windshield, no, its not like that anymore, we actually do our chip and seal under a full closure” says Jason Tiller with the Indiana Department of Transportation. 

Residents on Highway 65 disagree saying the loose gravel sounds like buckshot from a riffle. Some landowners fear cutting their grass at certain times of the day because of flying debris and rocks.

One homeowner described the gravel as land missiles.

We heard from eight homeowners along Highway 65, six of them say their cars have been damaged just in the last week.

“My wife got a couple chips in her car, because she was going and the cars were coming the opposite way and through rocks on her car” says Tony.

“There’s really a lot less gravel and a lot less dust on the roads, and when we are finished we have added it to our program, to sweep those off, so really you don’t get a whole lot of loose gravel anymore” says Jason Tiller. 

Residents also say chip and sealing a major highway is short-sighted and will cost the state more in the long run.

INDOT says chip and seal is an acceptable method of repaving roads these days and the state saves six to 14 dollars for every one dollar it spends on such projects.

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(This story was originally published on June 19, 2019)

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