Ada County Highway District crews will begin chip seal projects this week along selected streets in Boise, Meridian, Eagle, and Star.
Chip sealing helps extend the life of the road by helping to seal and protect it from weather and wear, officials said.
“Residents and businesses will receive notices five to ten days before the actual work begins,” said ACHD spokesperson Nicole DuBois. “This notice will inform them of the intended time frame for work to begin -- though all work is weather dependent.”
In the designated chip seal areas, “No Parking” signs will be placed on the sidewalks next to the street 24 to 48 hours in advance of chip sealing beginning, she added.
Once the procedure begins, motorists will be prohibited from parking on the street. Parked vehicles that remain on the street will be moved to a nearby street unaffected by the maintenance.
“ACHD has divided the county into six rotational chip seal zones, with one area receiving work annually. The process begins in early spring, when ACHD crews begin to prep the selected roads by sweeping them, crack sealing them, and cleaning the roads of debris. Trees are also pruned to help chip seal equipment navigate the roadways more easily. These preparations ready the road for the actual chip seal application,” DuBois explained.
First, an asphalt distributor truck covers each lane with liquid asphalt. This is followed by a chip spreader, which applies the chips. Next, a rubber-tire roller sets the chips into the fresh oil. This orients the chips to produce a tighter driving surface.
Once the asphalt has fully set (5-10 days later), a sweeper truck will remove the excess rocks. “The final step, the fog seal, is a second application of oil that controls loose rocks and dust, and provides a fresh surface for pavement markings. The road can be driven on by motorists approximately 15 minutes after the initial chip seal or fog seal has been placed,” DuBois stated.
Motorists need to be cautious when driving through a chip seal zone, especially staying within the posted speed limits to help prevent oil and chips from damaging vehicles.
This year, the Ada County Highway District will chip seal and fog seal approximately 550 lane miles of roadway. Crews expect to wrap up the first part of September.