Talk to Ten: Road Surface Concerns in Marblehead

Some residents in Marblehead, Massachusetts, were not pleased after what they called a "perfectly paved road" was chip-sealed.

Puritan Road was paved about five years ago, but the street and several others were chip sealed as part of the pavement program. The program is designed to try new solutions to fix roads and help keep them in good condition.

"Not only are we trying to renovate and rebuild roads, but we are being proactive with our road management before our roads become deteriorated," said town administrator Jason Silva.

"We had a good road before this started, so first of all, why did they do it?" said Nancy Clay. "I'm waiting for them to fix this."

According to the National Center of Pavement Preservation, chip-sealing has some benefits: it protects against future cracks in the roads, it's quick, it's a quarter of the cost milling and overlaying, and more and more northeastern cities are using it.

"It's disappointing," said Clay.

People are not satisfied with the explanation of why the city chose it. They say the road didn't need to be fixed, and that loose rocks are now all over people's yards and damaging their cars. They added that it smells, and their kids can't play in the roads in fear they will get hurt.

Town officials heard their complaints and they are listening.

"Based on the community reaction to it, I don't anticipate using chip seal again," said Silva. "What we are really focused on now is working with the neighborhood to address their concern."

A meeting is scheduled Tuesday with the town administrator and the contractor to look at their options for fixing this. It seems like some sort of seal on top could be the solution.

Contact Us