The Department of Transportation and Public Facilities has started a reimbursement program for drivers whose vehicles were gunked up by asphalt along Badger Road during a construction project in August.
“This is a totally unique thing that we haven’t ever seen before and we’re not exactly sure why it happened, but here we are, and that’s why we decided to start this reimbursement program,” said Caitlyn Frye, department spokeswoman.
Frye explained that, as part of the construction project, the asphalt from the old road was ground up to use as a base layer for the new road. As Badger Road gets a good deal of traffic and some locations are impossible to reroute to form other roads, Frye said traffic was kept flowing as much as possible in the area.
“It appears to be just the little ground up pieces of asphalt that ended up sticking to people’s vehicles,” she said.
While the department is not certain what the residue is that caused the asphalt to stick to vehicles, Frye said there have been no reported problems from anyone coming into contact with it. The issue people have encountered is how firmly it sticks to vehicles.
“A lot of people are finding out that their cars have this stuff on it after they go through a car wash and it still looks dirty,” Frye said.
About 400 people signed up for the department's email list, according to Frye, so they anticipate the vehicles that will need cleaning number somewhere in the hundreds.
The department partnered with HC Contractors Inc. through a program with Northern Adjusters in order to provide people with cost-reimbursed vehicle cleanings.
“We hope that people will contact Northern Adjusters whether or not they have already gotten their vehicles cleaned,” Frye said. “They’re a good place to start, so no matter what you’ve done so far, we’re recommending that you call them moving forward.”
Contact staff writer Kyrie Long at 459-7510. Follow her on Twitter at: twitter.com/FDNMlocal