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Crews ‘kicked up a little dust’ while working on Rasco Road near Airways Blvd. in Southaven Friday morning. The gray stone material placed on top of applied seal coating is needed to allow the coating is cured, coating that becomes slippery during the process, requiring the stone material for traction.

Some of Southaven’s streets have become reminiscent of the trails in the “Old West” this week as the seal coating part of the city’s street improvement project is underway. 

The roadways, including Rasco Road near Southaven High School, have been covered with a gray stone material that is meant to ensure traction on top of the seal coat that was laid out. 

Snowden Lane near Snowden Grove Park was another of the streets where the stone material was laid above the seal. 

The stone, however, makes drivers feel like they’re traveling on country gravel roads, with stone pieces being kicked up and dust above the road surface as drivers passed each other. 

Mayor Darren Musselwhite touched on the process and its inconvenience to drivers in his most recent Mayor’s Report blog section of the city’s website.

“It is needed for traction temporarily (about 3-5 days), while the sealant cures,” Musselwhite wrote. “The sealant is applied with a broom finish over the entire surface of the old street to fill all of the cracks and preserve the structure of the street or road.”

The mayor went on to note that the scrub seal emulsion is slippery, requiring the need for stone material.

“After the sealant cures, a black micro seal top coat will be applied, followed by new striping, which will give us a completely resurfaced road,” Musselwhite wrote. 

Southaven officials have gone the seal coating route for streets that didn’t need a complete asphalt resurfacing. The program in the past couple of years, “provides a resurfaced road and extended lifespan for about one-third the cost of new asphalt pavement. This allows us to resurface more streets with the same amount of funding. It can only be used on sections of the roadway that have minimal deterioration, though,” Musselwhite said. 

Residents in the area had questioned when their streets were going to be finished, since work appeared to left undone after an initial start.

Musselwhite, during a recent Board of Alderman meeting, explained the crews that do the seal coating work only come up from South Mississippi at certain times of the year and the city had to work within their time frame.

Those crews are now here and are finishing up their projects in Southaven. However, for a few days at least, some “dusty trails” will face drivers, but it will be a temporary inconvenience before a better surface is left.
Bob Bakken is Staff Writer for the DeSoto Times-Tribune.