Different Type of Road Construction in Region 8

January 10, 2007 -- Posted at 6:16 p.m. CST

JONESBORO, AR -- Motorists who travel on U.S. Highway 351 in Craighead and Greene counties are experiencing a little bump in the road.

The Arkansas State Highway Department is doing repair work on the road using a process that many haven't seen before.

"I've been traveling 351 ever since they started the repair," said Don Beal.

Beal is like many in Region 8, traveling along the busy highway.

"What we've done is a sand seal where we put liquid asphalt down and we need to blot that.  In this case we've used sand to do that," said Joe Barnett of the Arkansas Highway Department.

The sand works as a barrier between the oil on the road and your car protecting your paint job.

The road crews are now finished, but the dirt on the road is still there.

"We realize that there's an inconvenience for the traveling public in areas like this because the sand is on the roadway.  When it's dry it's dusty and when it's wet it's muddy and you can't see the lines as well as you'd like," said Barnett.

When there's road construction you need to drive a little bit slower than you normally would.  You also want to keep a good distance from other vehicles.

"Our first preference would be to resurface the road with hot-mix, which is a lot better material but it's also a lot more expensive," said Barnett.

The sand and seal is a lot cheaper way to fix the road than other methods usually used by highway departments.

Another method used is called "chip and seal" which involves laying a layer of white chat rock over the layer of liquid asphalt.

The sand should only be on the road for a couple more days because rain is expected in Region 8 on Friday.