Drivers complain about fresh oil and chips damaging vehicles

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MAHANOY TOWNSHIP, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Taking the back roads as a short cut might take a little longer this month. Drivers are having to slow down, as they approach many “fresh oil and chips” signs. Many drivers are wondering why there seems to be more signs than ever. 

PennDot crews have been posting signs all around Schuylkill County. Engineers say it only looks like there’s more road work going on because it’s happening all at once. That’s why it’s important to take notice of the signs and slow down. 

“In the recent weeks, Schuylkill County has been bombarded by tar and chip,” said Tony Flaim, a concerned resident. 
 
PennDot crews have been working on Schuylkill County roads for about a month; addressing issues like potholes, and roads that need to be repaved or re-sealed.
 
Secondary roads, commonly in rural areas, are being fixed up with “fresh oil and chips”.
 
The seal prevents water from getting into the road, and it restores friction. But it can also be an inconvenience – and even dangerous – for drivers. 
 
“I think it’s dangerous! I see a lot of people complaining about cracked windshields and stone chips on their cars,” said Flaim. 
 
Engineers say that can happen when people drive too fast on the freshly repaired roads. High speeds can cause the oil and chips to break up — resulting in some of the stones getting loose. 
 
A paved road will last about 10 years. 
But by using oil and chips, the road can last longer before needing to be re-paved; extending its life three to five years. 
 
“So overall, it’s more cost effective,” said Ron Young, with PennDot. 
 
“My main complaint with it is why isn’t it cleaned up better,” said Flaim. 
 
Crews do an initial sweep, but some stones do get left behind. 
 
“Crews will go back again and sweep up any loose sediment that’s still on the roads or shoulders,” said Young. 
 
Engineers say crews will be in Schuylkill County for another three weeks. During that time, the excess rocks will be addressed. 
 
If your car gets damaged in one of these “oil and chip” zones, you can  file a claim at your local PennDot office. You can also go online to PennDot’s customer care center. 

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