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This is part of the City’s Pavement Preservation Program. Pavement Preservation is a comprehensive effort that makes repairs and applies a new driving surface to a street at regular, periodic intervals instead of allowing a street to completely fail, or fall apart before any work is performed on it. A pavement preservation program actually saves money over the long term. It is much more costly to completely reconstruct a street. It is multiple times more expensive than what a pavement preservation treatment costs. In order for a pavement preservation treatment to work properly (lasting its full expected service life), it must be applied to a street that is in good condition.
A chip seal basically “glues” a layer of small diameter rocks, or chips, onto the surface of the street. This process is a pavement preservation technique that provides a new surface to the street. Please see the City’s Youtube Channel for a video explaining the chip seal process.
With a chip seal, once the rocks, or chips are placed on the surface, it can be driven on. Because it is a fresh application, some care must be taken. Please drive slowly – at or below the 20 mph speed limit on residential streets. Also, please avoid sudden stops, sudden accelerations, and sharp turning while sitting still. Any movement forward or backward, even very slow movement, while turning the wheels is recommended to help protect the fresh surface.
When a chip seal is first applied there are excess rocks, or chips, on the surface. These excess chips are necessary to help protect the oil layer until the oil cures. After the oil cures, usually just a few days, the contractor will come back into the area and sweep off the excess chips. This will smooth out the new surface and remove the appearance and feel of a “gravel road.”