ODOT patches roads

by: HOLLY M. GILL - An ODOT crew works to prepare the southbound lane of U.S. Highway 97 (Fourth Street) for asphalt to fill in ruts last week. The repair project is expected to be completed this week.Oregon Department of Transportation crews from Madras and Prineville are continuing to repair rutting on the north- and southbound lanes of U.S. Highway 97 in Madras.

According to Pat Creedican, of Bend, district manager of ODOT, "It's a patching job to try and fill in the bad spots where it's starting to rut pretty badly."

"What they're finding is there's not much base under the road," he said. "Normally, you'd expect to find more gravel under there, but there's a lot of dirt in it that's migrated up over the years," he said.

Creedican explained that crews use a grinder, make a slot in the asphalt and fill it with new asphalt. "That type of patch is almost permanent," he said. "It should last as long as the rest of the road."

Richard Foltz, maintenance manager for Prineville and Madras, who is overseeing the work, expects the project to be finished this week.

"With the amount of truck traffic Madras has, it's a lot of wear and tear on the road," he noted.

The crews are trying to get the roads repaired before a private contractor starts work on an inlay striping project, which will extend from Gumwood Lane, about five miles north of town, through Madras, and south to Juniper Butte.

"It's supposed to start at end of month," said Foltz, adding that the work will likely be done at night.

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