Drivers left with sticky mess after Hermitage road rehab mistake - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Drivers left with sticky mess after Hermitage road rehab mistake


What was supposed to be a road improvement instead left drivers in one Hermitage neighborhood with a frustrating mess and damage to their cars.

When the city wants to fix an aging road, crews often spray sealant over old asphalt. But, on a rainy day earlier this week, that chemical didn't stay where it belonged. Instead, it ended up all over dozens of cars and left some drivers wondering what to do next.

"This is my baby. I worked really hard for her. I wax her once a month. I wash her even more often," said car owner Alisa Neal.

Soap and elbow grease could not help Neal fix the damage done to her car on North New Hope Road. When rain fell Tuesday, it sent watered-down sealant into a travel lane.

Only when that sealant dried could drivers see the full, sticky extent of the damage.

"I really didn't notice it until yesterday. And I was like, 'What the crap is this?'" Neal said.

The filth means affected car owners face possibly an expensive clean-up and quite a headache.

The contractor's insurance will foot the bill for the fix. And, so far, the insurance has paid to clean more than 100 cars.

Phyllis McPeak had damage to her driveway.

"I would've liked to know they were going to do it. When you have to get out of your home, that was my only qualm. It was just a mess," McPeak said.

Metro Public Works watches the radar when planning work, but this time blames bad luck.

"Sometimes, we do not have control, and Mother Nature shows us who's in charge. And Mother Nature was clearly in charge on Tuesday. The rains came in earlier, but we're going to remedy the situation," said Public Works official Jenna Smith.

Some don't buy the excuse, but then again, they have the mess to fix.

"Who tries to seal in the rain?" Neal said. "I'm not happy at all."

Metro Public Works wanted to credit Councilman Steve Glover in helping to fix this mess. Owners who still have damage get that free clean-up. For more information, call 731-487-4270.

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