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Ark-La-Tex In Depth: Night Work - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Ark-La-Tex In Depth: Night Work

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Streets, roads and highways are our lifelines to get to where we need to go. Usually no problem until you see orange cones indicating road construction. Resurfacing roadways is a challenge to both the driver and the road crews.

You have heard the old expression if you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen. Well when it comes to road construction the extreme heat of summertime weather may cause problems. When temperatures climb into the upper 90s there is just no way escape the heat when you work outdoors. And the concrete slabs on east 70th Street only turn up the heat factor and it's toll on a road worker.

Susan Stratton of the Dept. of Transportation and Development states "We have two projects that are going on East 70th street. We have a widening and a resurfacing project that's taking place from Line Avenue to Fern Avenue. And also from Fern Avenue to Bert Kouns we have a concrete replacement that is happening."

People can overheat from toiling in the sun . Temperatures cool off after sunset plus the idea of working at night is safer due to less traffic. Crews remove what is bad roadway and replace it with newly poured concrete all in an effort to make the ride smooth for cars and other vehicles.

Some of the construction on east 70th is done to avoid the heat of the day and also at times when there may be less traffic.

Stratton furthers states "As far as keeping our workers safe that's always important. By making sure they have enough water and staying out of the heat. We also want to encourage motorist that are going by our workers that are out there doing their job to just be cognizant and slow down and keep them safe as well."

The life span of a heavily traveled road can vary. Partly dependent on the pounding of tires on the surface but also the blazing sunshine which can cause the road surface to heat up and expand.  And not all concrete is created equal. When temperatures are very hot during the day workers may have to place ice in the mix to keep the material from setting-up or curing too quickly.

Vince Tate is a spokesman for Texas Industries in Shreveport and tells KTBS "The heat this time of year is a big concern. It causes a lot of problems for us and for our customers. We can utilize ice which can replace the mixing water. Some facilities have chillers they can use to cool the water. There are chemical-add features that can be used to slow the set time of the concrete."

Tate echoes the idea of pouring cement at night "We do a lot of work at night. A lot of customers start at mid night two o'clock four o'clock in the morning. That's because they are trying to beat the heat."

Susan Stratton goes on to say the work is going well. "The first project the widening project from Line Avenue to Fern Avenue is expected to complete around April of next year. The concrete replacement project from Fern Avenue to Bert Kouns is expected to wrap up around mid August.  And for more information click on the DOTD website where you can report a road or highway problem. Drive safely

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