Maine ends use of road sealant type believed to create slick surface

Recent investigations determined the overuse of the sealant may have played a part in recent crashes

December 03, 2019
pavement crack sealing; fog sealant

The Maine DOT is halting the use of fog sealant on state roads after an investigation determined that the slick road surface—presumed to be a result of the sealant's use—was a factor in a recent near-fatal crash in the town of Rome.

The agency temporarily stopped using the product in October after local news outlets reported on dangers associated with its use, according to a report from the Portland Press Herald.

Fog sealant is a diluted asphalt that creates a kind of fog when applied, and is used to extend the life of pavement by sealing cracks.

According to News Center Maine, the fog sealant was first applied to the stretch of road in question in June 2019 across 3 lane-miles. At the time, Maine DOT moved to discontinue the use of the product after the agency received complaints about the road conditions as well as multiple reports of accidents on Route 225 since the material was applied.

A Maine DOT spokesman told the Herald that enough questions remain regarding the effectiveness and safety of the fog sealant to put the program on hold. Engineers with the department recently found that Route 225 had been treated with too much of the fog sealant, creating a glassy surface—a condition of the roadway believed to have resulted in an accident where a truck rolled over and the driver was nearly killed.

The excessive sealant used on Route 225 as well as on other areas in question has been removed, according to reports. Moving forward, the department says it will look to other alternatives to treat cracked pavement.

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SOURCE: Portland Press Herald / News Center Maine

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