MINNEAPOLIS - If you grew up in the sticks, the city streets might be grinding you into nostalgia right now.
Several Minneapolis streets are getting seal coated. It's a process that makes for smooth sailing in the long run, but a dusty mess in the short run.
Some of the biggest impact is being felt by patio diners just off of 35th and Bryant Avenue South at Gigi's Cafe.
"It's smoky, we get a lot of complaints, but not a whole lot we can do about it, so you just kind of hope it will end soon," Gigi's server Jamie Giles said Thursday.
Using seal coat basically turns an urban street into a gravel road for several days. For the city, the method is a cheaper way to make busy streets live longer.
Liquid asphalt is laid down and then stone chips are dumped on top in the process.
Seal coat is intended to prevent weathering of the pavement and fill in cracks and potholes. The intention is good, but the direct effect is not so good.
"It's awful, we are losing money by the bucket load," Giles said.
Giles said dining among the gravel fog and the deafening noise is not on anyone's summer bucket list.
While there is plenty of patio seating on seal coat routes, you will probably need to bring your own goggles and ear plugs, she added.
The process will be complete in about seven days after the cement chips are laid down. That's when sweepers come through to the clean up the excess debris.
Those excess chips are cleaned and reused.
(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)