Closed lane and detour signs seem to be cropping up in Palmdale and Lancaster, as various streets get resurfaced.
Though the work is much-needed, it’s causing delays for travelers, as well as back-ups — especially on the Rancho Vista off-ramp, headed north on the 14. Cars can be seen backed up onto the freeway, waiting to turn left or right onto Rancho Vista.
It’s only going to get worse, according to a report in the Aug. 5 edition of the Antelope Valley Press. The project will be approximately two months in Palmdale, which means drivers need to be more cautious than ever when getting behind the wheel. There are other vehicles to watch out for, especially those making sudden stops — not to mention the road crews that are working diligently to resurface the streets.
One has to wonder, though, how long will the improvements last? The AV Press report stated the resurfacing will be done with cape seal, “a mixture of fine rocks and an oil-based slurry seal to provide a smooth surface a little less than a half-inch thick.”
That’s great for the short-term but what will that do for the streets that have potholes? Is this cape seal being used to repair those, too? And if so, will it be effective?
According to a report on the Cornell University website, cape seal is used for heavy traffic areas and to address minor cracking.
“As with any surface treatment large cracks and potholes must be addressed prior to its application,” the report says. “According to the National Park Service, cape seals can extend the life of a pavement 6 to 8 years; polymer modified Cape Seals may extend pavement life up to 10 years in ideal situations.”
The report further states that cape seals are usually used on rural and urban highways and residential neighborhoods and should be considered when a slurry or micro-surfacing will not adequately address the distresses found on a roadway.
Let’s hope this fixes the problematic roads for a while. It seems like an awful lot of inconvenience for a fix that could last anywhere from six to 10 years, then presumably will have to be redone again. But anything worth having is likely going to cause some inconvenience and take some time.
In the meantime, if you are traveling any of the roads being resurfaced, either find an alternate route or leave with enough time to get where you are going, without putting yourself or anyone else in danger by speeding or driving carelessly.
And most important of all, watch out for the road crews. They are usually very visible in their bright vests and hard hats, but inattention behind the wheel can be a killer.