MoDOT contractor installs 2-foot shoulders on Mo. 19

By: 
Dave Marner

Extending shoulders on Highway 28 by two feet and a follow-up application of chip-and-seal material is continuing this month as part of a $2.8 million roadway improvement project in Gasconade County.

Chester Bross out of the Hannibal area is the contractor on the project. Bross personnel late last week completed the installation of an asphalt strip two-feet wide on each side of Highway 19 between Owensville and Drake at U.S. 50.

The project currently in progress includes the section of Highway 100 from Route N near Morrison back east to the junction with Highway 19 in Hermann and the eastern end of 19 in Hermann east to the Gasconade and Franklin County line. The section of Highway 28 without the wider shoulders from U.S. 63 to Interstate 44 is also included in the current project.

Although area motorists will audibly groan when they read this, MoDOT’s contractor will be applying a chip-and-seal mixture over the entire roadway in a process Preston Kramer, a Central District engineer for MoDOT, said is vital to seal up the surface and help preserve it until funds are available for a complete asphalt overlay.

“We were happy to add the shoulders, the two-foot widening we added, onto the chip-and-seal job,” said Kramer. “This will help us preserve the asphalt. Chip-and-seal sometimes doubles the life of the pavement.”

Kramer said MoDOT’s conctractor is using the “Iron Mountain trap rock” from the Arcadia, Mo., region which works so well for this application. The small chips are worked into the sealant and then the excess is swept off.

This project was part of the 2018-22 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) and is being completed as scheduled this season.

MoDOT issued a notice this week that work on the Highway 19 stretch from the overpass to U.S. 50 would be in progress this week. The announcement also stated the work on Highway 100 from N to 19 was also scheduled the week of July 16.

The notice for both work zones states: “Motorists should expect to encounter loose gravel on the road surface for several days after the seal coat is complete. At that time, crews will sweep the roadway. Motorists should expect delays and lower their speeds through the area. One lane will be open, and crews will flag traffic through the work area.”

Kramer said once the work is completed between Drake and Old Highway 19 near the R-2 School District’s campus, all of Highway 19 from the Missouri River bridge in Hermann to Edgar Ferry near Salem will have a two-foot wide shoulder.

“We’ve been pushing it to complete the corridor on 19,” said Kramer. “The numbers seriously reflect a decrease in run-off accidents with the wider shoulders.”

Kramer said MoDOT next wants to add the extended shoulders onto all of Highways 28 and 89 to improve safety on those roadways.