Road tar roadway

Despite an incident that caused cars to drive through tar on U.S. Highway 71 near Maryville, the Missouri Department of Transportation is sticking with the contractor for the project. A spokesperson for MoDOT believes the issue is at least temporarily solved.

The Missouri Department of Transportation is sticking with a contractor involved in two separate incidents where oil failed to set on the roadway causing damage to vehicles.

According to Mary Miller, district construction and materials engineer for MoDOT, the contractor involved in both incidents is “Vance Brothers.” She said the company has been a good resource for MoDOT in the past, and that the issue was likely weather related.

“We were putting down a scrub seal,” Miller said. “We have used it before, and we’ve laid hundreds of miles so far.”

Vance Brothers is continuing to work on U.S. Highway 71 near Maryville close to where one of the tar incidents occurred between Icon Road and Grand Junction. That incident caused the Nodaway County Sheriff’s Department to announce the road was briefly closed.

Miller said the other incident occurred near Albany, Missouri.

“At that time (in Albany) they’d been laying the scrub seal all day long and it was an absolute damn downpour,” Miller said. “So it reactivated the oil and got on everyone’s tires.”

After that issue, Miller said the decision was made to be careful using that particular scrub seal when rain was in the forecast.

“Up in Maryville we saw there was rain in the forecast that Thursday, so we didn’t lay any scrub seal that day,” she said. “But we did lay some down the day before, Wednesday.”

Unfortunately, it did rain a significant amount on Thursday, causing the oil to reactivate once again.

“We had tried to avoid the issue by just not using the scrub seal when rain wasn’t in the forecast,” Miller said.

MoDOT will not incur any costs because of damage or delays, Miller said. Anyone who has a claim should contact the Vance Brothers’ insurance company, Travelers Insurance, using claim number #FJB528. The Nodaway County Sheriff’s Department has also said they can be contacted for help with a claim.

Miller said MoDOT has also switched to a more “rapid set” oil which they hope will eliminate the issue in the future.

Matt Hoffmann can be reached


Follow him on Twitter: @NpNowHoffmann.