DES MOINES, Iowa — You may have been wondering what was up with all the construction and tar strips on I-235 lately. According to an Iowa DOT engineer, it’s just routine maintenance.

From around downtown Des Moines to the West Mixmaster, you’ll see new tar strips zig-zagging across the road.

Tony Gustafson, DOT District One Engineer, said these tar strips are to repair cracks that have occurred in the pavement and are routine maintenance that is done all over the state.

The tar strips are made up of an asphalt emulsion that seals cracks to prevent debris and water from entering the pavement. This treatment extends the life of the pavement, which also delays the need to resurface the entire road, Gustafson said.

The project is nearly done, all that’s left to do is repaint the pavement marks. Gustafson said drivers can expect I-235 to have the tar strips for around another five years before the road will need to be resurfaced.