A "slurry" road surface.  This is pavement?

A “slurry” road surface. This is pavement?

The Richmond “slurry” company that screwed up its first attempt to resurface parts of U.S. 221 north of Floyd is back at work this week to, we are told, fix the problems.

Those who know a thing or two about putting down a decent coating of pavement say there really isn’t much that Slurry Paving can do to fix the mess it created with what they admit was a bad mixture of “latex” slurry mix that left ruts, rough surfaces and holes on the road.

Complaints started coming in about long lines waiting to pass whatever the company is doing to “fix” the mess.

Patching crews spent the first day or two patching holes where reflectors were supposed to be in the center line. A the northern tip of the project, signs still warm motorists of “rough road” ahead.

Eventually the “latex” surfaced road will run from Christianburg Pike north on U.S. 221 to Roger Road.  Then a section of actual asphalt will run from Roger Road to Bethlehem Church Road at the Little River Bridge.

Veterans of road repair projects say “slurry” is, at best, a problematic road surfacing compound with little reliability and creates more future costs than more traditional asphalt.  It costs less at first but, they say, “you get what you pay for and it isn’t much.”

The Virginia Department of Transportation, however, is looking for ways to stretch road repair dollars so it can satisfy the more expensive paving demands on places like Northern Virginia and Tidewater.

Complaints how are coming in on poor road surfaces on the U.S. 58 project to turn the road into four lanes from Meadows of Dan towards Hillsville.

Road experts say the slurry road surface on U.S. 221 will be rough and drivers can expect more road noise from traffic and far more wear on tires.

So the project will cost those who actually use the road more dollars for tire replacement and vehicle maintenance.