By Tammy Moore Teague
Travelers along Highway 96, from Mansfield to Hartford, have been met by flaggers and slowed driving conditions as crews from the Arkansas Department of Transportation work to chip and seal the road. To some, however, the progress has been unwelcome. Homeowners and drivers have battled dusty roads, flying gravel, even flat tires.
ARDOT District Maintenance Supervisor, Shane Reeves, responded to this criticism by reminding drivers of the greater good. “Progress takes time,” he assured. “If people will observe those 25 mph signs they won’t get the flying gravel and avoid busted windshields.”
Crews from Barling and Greenwood are working together to finish the project. According to Reeves, the road work is slated to be completed by Monday, pending no break downs. Work will continue from the downtown area of Mansfield to Highway 45 in Hartford. Once this initial task is completed, another crew will come back and sweep the highway’s surface.
The oil coated center line reflectors, according to Reeves, are serving a purpose. “Those tabs are set to mark the center line of the highway. These are in place for our striping crew, who will come when the job is complete, and mark the highway.” The nails hold the tabs temporarily in place while the crew finishes the road surfacing. Reeves added that the tabs are encased in plastic and although they are oil covered, the final crew will pull that covering off and remove the nails holding them down. This will leave behind a permanent reflective strip.
”We ask that the public be patient with our progress,” Reeves noted. Adding that this little bit of inconvenience will be worth the 10 plus years of benefit to drivers. Reeves concluded by cautioning drivers to “watch out for our employees and trucks.”