SUFFOLK-- A new, cost-saving paving method by the Department of Transportation is running into its first problem here in Hampton Roads.

The new method is called cold-in-place paving and uses recycled asphalt on our roadways.

VDOT takes old asphalt that's already been laid down on a road, mixes it with an agent, and lays it back down.

The technique is supposed to be a more permanent and cost-effective approach to fixing bad roads and potholes.

They're using the technology for the first time on Route 17 in Isle of Wight and Suffolk.

Last week, crews were rushed to Route 17 after the road started to crumble, causing significant traffic delays near the James River Bridge.

VDOT says it's a growing concern and they're looking into the issue, but drivers question why they're trying out this new method on a major thoroughfare.

'You'd think they would have taken the technology and used it on a smaller strip and see how it holds up,' said Carrollton resident Tom Pruitt.

Drivers worry there could be bigger issues down the line with a number of projects planned across the state using the same technology.

A Department spokesperson told 13News that they are reviewing the plan with contractors.


Crews performing work on the Route 17 paving project, ongoing since May, installed an emergency closure for safety last Thursday. A section of asphalt that was installed overnight on Wednesday night for the project began to fail Thursday afternoon and became unsafe for vehicular traffic to drive on, needing immediate repair. The lane was immediately shut down until a temporary patch could be made to the failing section of roadway. The lane was reopened at 7:15 p.m.

Currently, the paving is being conducted during off-peak hours on Route 17 in Isle of Wight County. A final layer of pavement has yet to be installed over top of the base layers, being applied during this phase of construction. This is an experimental process that is being continually adjusted and is being developed to minimize asphalt waste and extend the service life of the highway. The contractor's work is constantly under review for quality control to ensure its product meets or exceeds VDOT's standards. The project is scheduled for completion in June 2013.

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