Several cars damaged after driving on Tyler's west loop - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Several cars damaged after driving on Tyler's west loop

TxDOT contract crews have their hands full after early morning storms washed out newly laid seal coat on Tyler's west loop.

TxDOT contractors have been doing nighttime roadwork on W. Loop 323 between Spur 364 and 31 Chandler Highway for the past several weeks, and with only a slight chance of rain overnight, crews began work on a seal coat operation.

When the storms hit early Friday morning the gravel that was put down didn't have enough time to settle and was quickly washed up, creating a messy situation for morning commuters, with loose gravel being hurled up onto vehicles.

TxDOT's Larry Krantz tells KLTV the seal coat will have to be completely redone after crews clean up the loose gravel that has been left behind from the storms.

He says crews are in place and ready to start the clean up process whenever the rain moves out of the area. Krantz hopes the rain will move out before the noon rush hour, so those crews can get to work removing the loose gravel and other debris.

Once all the rain is out of the forecast, TxDOT contract crews will start the remedial work to redo the seal coat on the W. Loop, hopefully by Monday or Tuesday. This work will have to be done during the day to ensure this situation not happening again. However, TxDOT crews will take into consideration school being back in session and heavier traffic during drive time, and try to do the work during less traveled times of the day.

Press release from TxDOT:

Crews from Texas Department of Transportation contractor Big Creek Construction are sill performing clean-up operations on Tyler's WSW Loop 323 between SH 155 and West Front Street, which has Loop 323 down to one northbound lane in that area.

A stray thunderstorm early this morning delivered heavy rainfall on freshly-shot seal coat, washing it away before it had a chance to cure, causing the rock to come loose.

"Rain in particular has been very difficult to predict this summer," said TxDOT spokesman Larry Krantz. "The contractor came to work with a clear radar and low percentage of rain last night, only to see this happen a few hours later. They have responded quickly, have swept the Loop thoroughly, and are beginning to make temporary repairs so all lanes of the Loop can re-open."

Motorists whose vehicles were damaged by this incident should contact Carol Stone with Big Creek Construction at (979) 200-9379.

Meanwhile, Krantz added, motorists should be thinking about alternate routes for their evening commute since the temporary repairs may be in progress into the night.

"Our main goal is to get everything back open and up to proper safety standards," Krantz said. "But we won't be sacrificing safety for speed."

Looking ahead, Big Creek Construction says it is planning to re-apply the seal coat during daylight operations when the weather allows, which will likely be early next week. That will mean additional lane closures, but only for one day while the work is in progress.

"We're hoping to have this done by Monday or Tuesday, but we've just been reminded, Mother Nature is in control of things for the moment," Krantz said. "We're going to be absolutely sure we have the conditions we need before go."

Crews have also been instructed not to begin setting lane closures before 9 a.m.

After the daytime work is completed, crews will resume nighttime operations, which call for work to be done between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m. Sunday-Thursday.

"There will obviously be some inconvenience involved in correcting this," Krantz said. "To minimize that, we're asking folks to seek an alternate route of they can."


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