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Nampa Streets Division aims to maintain roads despite inconveniences

Posted at 8:07 AM, Jun 19, 2024

NAMPA, Idaho — Chip sealing is a yearly reality for valley drivers bringing loose gravel, road closures, and travel inconveniences. The Nampa Streets Division says it's a reality of maintenance to extend the life of streets by 20-30 years.

  • The ingredients, just hot oil, gravel, and a fog seal, costs 33¢ per square foot.
  • Rebuilding a road cashes in at $8 a square foot.
  • 20 mile per hour speed limits not only keeps road crews safe, it keeps drivers safe from loose gravel and broken windshields.

(Below is the transcript from the broadcast story)

School is out, the weather is turning hot, and yearly chip sealing has begun: a sure sign of summer.

"A road always has to be maintained. And eventually the road has to be rebuilt or it has to be chip sealed," said Nampa Streets Divison maintenance lead Steve Overweg.

The ingredients, just hot oil, gravel, and a fog seal, costs 33¢ per square foot. Far cheaper than rebuilding a road which cashes in at $8 a square foot.

"So that allows us to do more roadway per year. And we divide that into seven zones. And so in those seven zones, we rotate them out every year," Overweg explained.

While drivers are more concerned with snow and ice on the roads, these choreographed city workers begin the summer project process. Without regular maintenance, Nampa roads would last about 20 years but chip sealing allows a road to be up to 50 years old when properly maintained.

Chip sealing can be a frustrating process for drivers through town, but safety of the Nampa Streets Division and drivers is top priority, beginning with a 20 mile an hour speed limit.

"It doesn't allow that rock to kick up off the people's tires. It also allows you more time to stop because it is loose gravel. So your stopping time is greatly reduced, and so we put those 20 mile an hour signs up for peoples' safety," Overweg added.