One can’t help thinking of spring with temperatures rising to the 50’s and most all of the snow from early in the month melted away. Despite the calendar’s statement of late January, actual spring may be a long way off yet.

Warm temperatures do mean, however, that the LPA may have to put an embargo in place on lake streets. All but about one mile of our streets are chip-seal. That means that the street surface has asphalt oil and chips that “seal” the surface and make it dustproof. The base that is under that seal is not cemented together by asphalt as it would be in a hot mix asphalt street or in a street made of concrete. The weight bearing base of our streets is a layer of crushed limestone.

A limestone base makes a fine weight bearing layer, except during periods when there is lots of soil moisture and particularly when the ground is thawing. Instead of rock layers supporting each other as they intermingle, there is a high amount of water in the road base and the liquid content takes away the supporting strength by allowing the rocks to move and slip past one another..

This means that heavy loads will not be adequately held up by the base and the weight of vehicles may actually break through the chip/seal surface causing costly repairs and “wrecked” roads.

So–Be aware that we may have to put on an embargo which will be a weight limit of 5 tons. A typical dually pickup (empty) weighs about 5 tons. Obviously, larger vehicles are likely too heavy to travel on LPA streets during an embargo. This may include typical UPS or FedEx delivery trucks.

Hopefully, we will be able to avoid this, colder temperatures will return, and the roads will remain in good shape.  If an embargo is put in place, it would be difficult to predict how long it will last, as it depends completely on the temperature, precipitation amount, timing, and type, wind, and other factors that are out of our control.

Whatever plans you make for deliveries of heavy items or supplies, remember you may need to be flexible if an embargo has to be put in place. Watch for the weekly ebulletin, possible emergency bulletins, this blog and the LPA website at http://www.lakepanorama.org. The LPA will try to give as much advance notice as possible. Arrangements with the local school district will be made prior to any such announcement.

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