Sealing unusual cracking causes delays on U.S. 77

Staff writer

Residents traveling along U.S. 77 can expect small delays weekdays from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. over the next few weeks as they travel between Burns and Marion.

Crews are working to seal cracks that have formed on the asphalt roadway. Repairs are causing delays ranging from 5 to 10 minutes or more.

Kansas Department of Transportation engineer Joe Palic said the maintenance was routine and should be finished around July 4, weather permitting.

“It’s just crack sealing,” he said. “It’s a process we do every year to seal cracks that have formed on the surface that allow water to get into the foundation of the roadway and can cause major damage.”

While it is a yearly procedure, Palic said, the roadway, which was resurfaced last year, is cracking more frequently than most.

“We’re not sure why this one cracked so much because it is more than usual,” he said. “I think the cold temperatures we experienced this winter had something to do with it.”

Many elements from weather to traffic can cause a roadway to crack so it’s difficult to determine what exactly caused the cracks.

Crews typically complete a mile a day, depending on the number of cracks in the section, Palic said.

Sealing should allow the roadway to last longer. Typically the lifespan of an asphalt roadway similar to U.S. 77 is 7 to 10 years, Palic said.

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