Harrisburg woman's car covered in crack sealant from Highway 11

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LINCOLN COUNTY, S.D. (KSFY) - On Monday, the South Dakota Department of Transportation closed nine miles of Highway 11 after crack sealant applied to the roadway in 2016 came loose and began sticking to cars due to the heat.

Mother and daughter Lori and Shaina Singer were on their way to Iowa Monday evening when they drove right through the part of the road that had to be closed. That's when they said, they realized something was wrong.

"Like big clumps -- it was really noisy you could hear it-- you could see it flying up," said Shaina Singer. "You could hear it all within the body of the car."

"[It] pretty much took control of her car and it was like, she let go of the wheel for a little bit and was just going off the road wobbling off the road," said Lori Singer.

It was a scary scene for the pair and for the many other drivers around them, because Highway 11 doesn't have a breakdown lane.

"There was no place to pull off for probably a couple miles and when we did find a place to pull off everybody was pulling off and getting out of their car checking under the body of their car," said Shaina.

Eventually they did find a stretch to pull off the road and see what was going on -- when they did -- they weren't alone.

"It was probably like, an inch thick on the tires when we pulled over," said Lori. "This lady in front of us -- she had an elderly person in the vehicle with her -- and she called her husband immediately.

"He just said to go slowly and most of it should come off, which it did, but you could still hear it," Lori explained. "We went all the way down to Iowa and we came back last night and you could still hear it coming off when we came back."

On Tuesday, it was still stuck to Shaina's 2016 Subaru, she called the dealership she purchased it from to get it looked at it, while Lori tried to figure out who was in charge of the road they were on. Eventually, she landed at the South Dakota DOT.

Lori said everyone she spoke to was extremely helpful and nice, but she and Shaina both agree -- this never should've happened.

"It is upsetting because it's your tax dollars at work and it's like, 'what are you doing to the roads that this should happen?'" Lori said. "I mean somebody messed up something somewhere and I hope that they get to the bottom of it."

And Shaina said the DOT should've had the road blocked off sooner.

"The road should've been blocked off because they have experience with that, they should know that because of the heat it wouldn't stick or I don't know what the problem was but something definitely wasn't right," she said.

Shaina took her car to the dealership Tuesday. When she arrived they had cleared some of sealant off the car, but had completely missed what was stuck in the wheel wells. They told her it would cost about $372 to clean.

Lori said when she spoke to the DOT they directed her to a form to fill out to put in a claim and submit receipts for any work done to the car and said that the work related to the crack sealant would be covered.

Travis Dressen of the DOT said they're working to hand-patch the parts of the road where the sealant is coming loose -- which is time-consuming, but, "necessary to ensure the safety," of drivers traveling on Highway 11.

The road is not expected to reopen Tuesday night, but Dressen said they should have an update on Wednesday morning.



 
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