A Jefferson County man is asking for help cleaning tar off his truck after driving through a construction zone that he says was not signed or marked.
Jake Wilton says he has been waiting three days for a response from the Jefferson County Road Department and so far has heard nothing.
It’s a situation that could happen to anybody. Wilton drove into Culver on Feather Road Thursday morning. It was raining and all the roads looked black to him.
“I got just past where Feather Road turns into Iris Lane and we saw a tar truck. No signs. A three-mile stretch of road. I pulled over and sure enough, this whole thing was caked in road tar. Front to back. Tailgate. Everything.”
Removing road tar requires several time-consuming steps.
First, the vehicle must be washed. Then, solvents that dissolve the tar but not the paint are applied by hand. The vehicle must then be washed a second time and waxed.
The process can take hours.
“There was no warning. There was nothing in the mail saying ‘Hey. We are going to do this on such and such a day on your road. Drive slow.’ There was no signage to warn drivers,” Wilton said. “There’s a lot of older people who live out there who don’t necessarily know how to take care of this or don’t necessarily have the resources. It’s a pretty penny to have a detail shop take care of this for you.”
Central Oregon Daily News contacted the Jefferson County Road Department for an explanation but have not heard back.
The county road department website shows 20-lane miles of chip seal projects on roads around Culver. We went out for a look, but four days after the incident that left Jake Wilton’s truck covered in tar, the new chip seal had cured.
“We were told we would be put in touch with someone regarding the matter as well as a resolution to this issue. They have not responded,” Wilton said.
Chip seal is a preventative maintenance treatment that extends the life of roads and provides improved traction. It can make a mess of a vehicle’s paint and undercarriage if driven on before the oil and gravel cure and the excess material is swept away.