VDOT asleep at the wheel on U.S. 221

The rut-laced and decaying "slurry seal" on U.S. 221 north of Floyd.
The rut-laced and decaying “slurry seal” on U.S. 221 north of Floyd.

The Virginia Department of Transportation tells us they will fix the erratic, sloppy and rutted slurry repairs on U.S. 221 that run from the just north of Dollar General just outside the town line to Ray’s Restaurant.

And, they claim, a new surface will go down further north to at least Ingram’s General Store.

They better hurry because the flimsy topping applied by Slurry Paving is coming to pieces, with new holes and problems every day.

The County Board of Supervisors wants answers on the shoddy work and hope to get some at their meeting on Tuesday.

But highway department engineers, current and retired, tell us privately that they don’t expect real fixes because the don’t feel VDOT is being honest about its ability to actually repair the road or fix the problems from the rapidly-deteriorating surface.

They find it incredible that VDOT is using a rough “slurry” covering that is not really pavement but is a tar and sand mix that eats through tires and leaves ruts and rapidly-developing potholes.

Complaints about problems with “slurry” paving methods have arisen throughout the nation where it has been tried and, in most cases, abandoned.

It causes more problems than it fixes.

“Slurry was a bad idea when it surfaced several years ago and it hasn’t got any better,” says one former state department of transportation official who asks that his name not be used. “It is cheap and is exactly what we are paying for in nearly every situation.”

U.S. 221 is the county’s primary highway. It deserve primary attention to fix the road.  So far, it is not getting it.

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