State apologizes for pop-up rocks damaging vehicles on State Road 67
There's concern that a stretch of road in central Indiana could be dangerous to your car.
Windshields are getting cracked and drivers are getting upset. One man who regularly drives State Road 67 between Mooresville and Martinsville sustained damaged to to two vehicles' windshields.
Signs in the area warn of loose gravel on what some at INDOT itself even call "popcorn road."
"There's just little pebbles that just fly up. They crack. They hit pretty hard. A lot of busted windshields, I'm not the only one," said Steven Goode of Mooresville, during a break from hunting.
He's talking about the pelts of gravel popping up from State Road 67. But what's popping up is adding up. He showed 13 Investigates his second damaged windshield.
"Starts out as a itty-bitty little crack and eventually it will pressurize and go from one side to the other side," he explained demonstrating how the crack spreads. "It's going to set me back $200."
IU student Lindsay Yeager snapped a picture of her cracked windshield. Her family is one of many asking the Indiana Department of Transportation, "What is going on?"
"I just apologize to the motoring public for the inconvenience and the cost that they're going through right now. This is not the usual outcome," said Harry Maginity of INDOT.
Problems began on INDOT's "chip seal" project almost immediately. Like the limestone used on a neighboring road project, the river rock gravel used on 67 is supposed to add extra levels of safety protection to prevent potholes and help save the state money. INDOT chose the gravel for SR-67 because of the higher volume of traffic.
"High traffic count means we have to use a harder material," Maginity said. "For every dollar we invest today in a chip seal, studies have shown anything between $6 and $14 worth of savings."
"Hopefully they get it fixed as quick as possible and the rocks will stop flying up," said Goode, who's had more than his share of cracked windshields.
Even the State said it has to figure out a better path around the pelting problem. Crews are now sweeping the road for the third time hoping the popping gravel will diminish within the next few days.
"I think they're going to be looking at all sides of it. Did we put enough material down? Did we roll it enough? Did we get the wrong material? We certainly do not want to put the motoring public out," Maginity told 13 Investigates.
While INDOT said the worst is behind them, the agency still recommends that everyone on State Road 67 drive 35 miles-per-hour.
If you have suffered damage to your vehicle after driving along this stretch of road, you can file a TORT claim with the Indiana Attorney General's Office. Just be sure you have all the supporting documentation. You can also call (317) 232-6350 for more information.