Road closures planned in Bartlesville

BARTLESVILLE, Okla. — A portion of Hillcrest Drive will be closed beginning May 31 to repair a glitch that occurred with some of the material used in the road’s rehabilitation project last fall, the city of Bartlesville reported. Both lanes of the road will be closed and detours in place for the duration of the project, which is expected to take approximately two to three weeks to complete.

The repairs are necessary after the contractor on the project discovered that a substantial amount of shale was present in the top lift of the asphalt and brought it to the City’s attention.

“This became visible once traffic had been on the road for a month or so, and it was the contractor on the project, Brent Bell Construction, who notified us there might be a problem,” Siemers said. “Basically, the shale isn’t as strong as limestone, which is what the aggregate in asphalt is supposed to consist of, and it became clear that there was an issue when the shale particles started fragmenting and breaking at the surface.”

Siemers said the glitch does not pose a safety issue but rather a longevity one, and that the repairs were delayed until the end of the school year to allow reduced traffic flow around the nearby high school. He said message boards will be installed to provide notice to the public, and that motorists should see traffic control signage when the project starts.

“They will begin milling on the 31st and might be laying asphalt as early as that first week,” Siemers said. “Ideally, they will stripe the road on June 10 and get it opened back up. Of course, all of this is contingent upon weather conditions, as always.”