Seal Coat Project Turns Sticky For Southwest Amarillo Streets

LeRoy Smith
LeRoy Smith
City Street Superintendent Chris Mitchell
City Street Superintendent Chris Mitchell

by Megan Moore
NewsChannel 10

Amarillo, TX -  Street equipment problems have led to a big headache for residents in the southwest part of Amarillo.

The city calls it asphalt bleeding and happens when gravel and liquid asphalt do not meld together properly.

Seal coat work is a pretty routine project for the city; it is done every year.  In the area we are talking about, the problem is confined to SW 36th street to 46th street.

Well, this time, an equipment problem has created this mess.

City Street Superintendent Chris Mitchell says, "you want to have the asphalt on the surface. You want it on the existing paving surface and have rock on top of that. The rock keeps the cars out of the oil and the oil is used to bind the rock to the old surface.

But Mitchell says when it gets really hot like it has been lately, the asphalt expands and the liquid comes up to the surface.  Then, it gets on cars which then track it on other roads.

Residents say they get the sticky, tar-like substance on their vehicles, which is not easily cleaned off.

LeRoy Smith has lived in this area with his wife for years.  But since this problem started months ago, his wife has had to alter her routine.  Smith says, "she's aware of it so she comes in another way that's not as heavily traveled as this street."

It all happened within ten blocks where an equipment problem has liquid asphalt coming to the surface of the road when it gets really hot.

Smith says "we all pay taxes. If this is the end result, there's something wrong. Something needs to be done."

Because of that overall attitude, the city is trying something that should work in the heat.

Mitchell says, "if we can get a smaller aggregate on that extra asphalt and try to get it compacted with extra asphalt and stick, that will help correct the problem."

Mitchell says people should see that correction within two weeks.