Pavement Preservation Programs


Traffic, wet weather and sunlight slowly degrade asphalt roads. Preventative maintenance, including pavement preservation, helps extend the life of roads, minimizing costly repairs and saving taxpayers money.

Pavement preservation projects usually occur in spring and summer months because roads must have time to cure in dry weather after they are treated.


 Common Preservation Techniques

Chip Seal

A process where roads are coated with a thin layer of liquid asphalt and gravel chips. When complete, treated roads become skid resistant and more resistant to water penetration. The life span of a road with chipseal treatment increases by about eight years when compared to roads without it. The work is usually performed on roads in good condition, in order to keep them from falling into costly disrepair.

In 2019, Thurston County will be focusing on chipsealing roads in the Northwestern portion of Thurston County including areas of Steamboat Island, Summit Lake, Cooper Point and parts of Delphi Rd.

2019 Chip Seal roads    2019 Chip Seal FAQ 


Learn more about chip seal on our contractor's website 


Asphalt Overlay

A process where a road is covered with a new top layer of asphalt. When complete, new overlay can add an extra 8-15 years to the life of the road. The work is usually performed on roads in fair condition and is significantly more cost effective than road replacement.

Roads scheduled for overlay Summer 2019 include:

  • Bald Hill Rd SE, from Yelm City Limits to Vail Rd Intersection
  • Vail Rd SE, from north of 138th Ave SE to north of Rocking S Ln SE



 Why work on roads that are in good condition?

Managing the health of a pavement system is similar to managing the health of your teeth. Regular cleaning and maintenance help to keep them in good working order. The cost to replace roads that have fallen into disrepair is much higher than the cost to keep them in good condition.

*Cost estimates provided by Thurston County Construction Engineering, April 2019.

For more information on pavement preservation, visit the US Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration by clicking here.