As Thurston County's population continues to grow, the wear and tear on the roads also increases. Chip seal is a cost effective solution to this problem, with a life span ranging from six to twelve years.
Chip seal is a key part of the county's preventive maintenance program to maximize the service life of our roads. It helps to protect, preserve and extend pavement life. The end result is a pavement better to drive on, look at and will cost less in the long run.
Today's technically advanced chip seals are economical surface treatments designed to protect and prolong the life of pavements (6-12 yrs). In a single chip seal, an asphalt binder is sprayed onto the pavement, then immediately covered by a single layer of uniformly sized aggregate. The new chip sealed surface is then rolled to seal the aggregate to the oil, swept, fog-sealed, striped and ready for traffic. A chip seal is a perfect tool for pavement preventive maintenance. Chip seal provides a quick, reliable and economical surface treatment that will seal out the damaging effect of water, help to increase skid resistance, improve aesthetics and delineation and provide a new wearing surface to protect the pavement for years to come.
PHASE ONE CHIP SEAL PREP WORK:
In the early spring months, county crews will be out sealing cracks in the roads and paving some small areas that have sunk or deteriorated over the winter. This preparation helps to ensure the longevity of the road at a minimal cost. Crews and mowers will be out cutting back the shoulder vegetation and trimming the trees that hang over the road. Gravel roads that have been selected for chip seal upgrade will be bladed frequently, widening the road surface and clearing the rock off the road surface. Stop bars and rail road crossings will be ground off the road to allow for the chip seal to adhere properly. All roads will be swept prior to the application and door hangers and fliers will be given to notify residents of the upcoming events. The proposed dates of when we will be in your area are dependent on many things, weather, rock, oil, etc, so please be patient!
PHASE TWO APPLICATION:Occurring in the months of July & August, chip seal will be applied to local roads. Roads WILL NOT be closed, however there will be temporary delays in the flow of traffic due to the machinery, trucks and workers on the road. 1/2 to 3/8 inch rock will be applied over a thin coat of oil to the road. Rollers will roll over the new section repeatedly and within ten minutes the new surface is safe to drive on. Gravel roads will receive two lifts of chip seal the first year and one the second year.
PHASE THREE FOG SEAL:
One to three weeks after the application of the chip seal, fog seal will be applied to the road. Fog seal helps to seal in the new road, keep the rocks and dust down and give it a new eye appeasing black surface. This is shot on the road one lane at a time and takes up to an hour to dry so travel time will be temporarily slowed. After fog seal is completed the road will be re striped and the chip seal process is complete.
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
Q: Why do some areas get an asphalt overlay, and others get chip seal?
A: Chip seal is for roads that are in generally good condition. It is applied as a wearing course to prolong the life of the road. Asphalt is used when the road needs a better surface, because of minor to major surface defects.
Q: How long before we can drive on it?
A: Generally, you can drive on the road as soon as the rollers make the last pass. There is loose gravel, so you will need to go slow. Speeds below 25 MPH are recommended.
Q: Will the oil get on my car?
A: No. As long as you drive at the speed advised, oil should not get on your vehicle. Small spots can be removed by rubbing with a small amount of a citrus based cleaner on a rag.
Q: What is the reason you have a gravel road upgraded?
A: As we eliminate gravel roads it reduces costs in hours and the rock used in maintaining the roads. Upgrading the road also helps to decrease fugitive dust & reduces the potential of erosion.