Rain apparently caused a freshly laid mix of chip seal to stick to the undercarriages of cars and trucks traveling on Judd Road last week. Police received reports of damage to a '98 Ford Explorer, a 2003 F350 Ford Pickup, a garbage truck, a 2003 Cadillac and a 2008 GMC Sierra — with all of the incidents occurring on Oct. 19.
Public Works Dir. Doug Arndt said the road was chip sealed last Wednesday and was fine until the weather intervened.
"After two inches of rain the oil and stone mix began to loosen and the oil, in the form of tar, began to track onto vehicle tires," Arndt said Friday. "The road was immediately closed and has remained closed to through traffic to allow the mix to thoroughly cure."
"The road itself is in good condition and just needs to be swept to remove all the excess stone and sand, which could happen next week — weather permitting," he added. "We would have had the road open today except for the fact that we are assisting the contractor on Route 25 to get prepared for the severe weather next week."
Arndt said the plan is to have Judd Road open for traffic on Saturday afternoon and throughout the weekend.
He said less than 10 vehicles were tarred and that the town is making arrangements for their cars to be cleaned at a car wash.
One commenter on Patch had asked why Judd Road was chip sealed after having just been paved.
Arndt said, "Judd was done with a recycling process. It's a porous process, so it requires a second process to seal it up — which is the chip seal."
In a recycling process, a machine tears up old asphalt, rejuvenates the material with a liquid asphalt product and lays it back into place, according to Arndt.