NORTHFIELD, Minn. - Some upset drivers who passed through Northfield over the weekend are dealing with the aftermath of a resurfacing project that went awry.
Work was done on a section of Highway 19, but instead of bonding with the road, sealant that a contractor used bonded with vehicles.
One of them was a 2014, top of the line, $60,000 Ford F-150 Limited. It was David McGregor's dream truck.
"I couldn't believe it," McGregor said.
He quickly found out that he drove into a nightmare.
"It's tar and it's oil and it's stuck on there," McGregor said pointing at the damage.
He was driving to Northfield on Saturday when he saw a loose gravel sign on Highway 19. He said he slowed down and proceeded. He noticed what looked like a mist of dust, but it wasn't dust at all.
"It doesn't wipe off, it doesn't brush off, doesn't wash off," McGregor said.
MnDOT said that a contractor got caught off guard by a downpour. The oily resurfacing substance was supposed to bond to pea gravel, but when it was mixed with the rain it bonded instead to the vehicles driving on it, McGregor's truck included..
"I'm not sure if the storm came up quicker than anticipated or what," said Mike Dougherty, a spokesperson for Minnesota Department of Transportation. "The old lesson we learn is don't mix oil and water. It didn't mix and it wasn't able to bond."
Roughly four hours after McGregor's truck was coated, the Minnesota State Patrol closed the highway and started detouring traffic to prevent further damage. But that was too late for many.
McGregor believes hundreds of motorists suffered a similar fate. "There was traffic ahead of me, traffic coming the other way," McGregor said. "We went back down there to take some photos an hour later and there was still traffic both ways and vehicles covered with the same stuff."
Dougherty identified the contractor as Astech of St. Joseph. A spokesperson for Astech says the company is asking impacted motorists to call the main switchboard at (320-363-8500) and they will take care of your damage complaint and handle the claims.
"I'll see what they can do to fix it, but it better be absolutely back to perfect," McGregor added.