Contractors for the Texas Department of Transportation are scheduled to perform seal coat maintenance operations on major roadways in Brownwood and Early beginning Saturday, July 30. To many, this is routine work to preserve the integrity of a roadway, but to Brown County drivers, this is an impending crisis. Commutes will be slower, and the only roads out of town will be full of heavy equipment, condemning residents of the Micropolitan Statistical Area to stay at home over the weekend. On a positive note, this may keep residents of Coleman out of the area for a few days.
On Saturday and Sunday, July 30-31, crews will be seal coating US 67/84/377 (known locally as “The street where Taco Bell is” and “Oh shit, we’re in Early now”). As part of this project, a small portion of US 183 will also be seal coated from Brownwood International Airport to just north of Heartland Mall. Business at Heartland Mall will not be affected, as there is none.
Early next week, the crews will move to Austin Avenue (FM 2524) in Brownwood to seal coat that roadway between Avenue K and Magnolia St. “Why, why would they do this to us? They just now finally finished Austin Avenue” stated Muriel Pierce, 93. “If a single speck of oil gets on my pearl white Buick, there will be hell to pay!”
Motorists should anticipate people driving like utter jackasses during these operations. Drivers are encouraged to reduce speeds and be watchful for construction personnel in the area, but TxDOT knows better. Therefore, Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) officers will be in the area eager to get out of thier nice air conditioned cars to stand on molten tarmac while you explain what was so friggin important that you had to pass an entire work convoy for.
The seal coating operation is a standard roadway maintenance procedure (except in the State of Oklahoma) that consists of placing a layer of oil on top of the existing pavement surface, followed by a layer of gravel. The gravel, along with sundry roadside debris, is then rolled into place with heavy machinery to create a new driving surface. This process helps to prolong the life of the roadway by filling in any existing cracks in the pavement.