Each year Whatcom County Public Works selects roadways for preventative maintenance known as bituminous surface treatment, or commonly known as chip sealing. Most areas are selected on a rotating 10-12 year cycle. Roadways in the eastern and central areas of Whatcom are scheduled for chip seal work this summer beginning the week of June 27th. This work is weather dependent and is subject to change.
This summer Public Works will chip seal approximately 65 miles of Whatcom County roads. This program has substantial benefits for local roadways and the drivers who use them, including:
- Improves safety and creates a highly skid-resistant surface.
- Saves money and is 80 percent cheaper than a new pavement overlay.
- Extends the life of pavement.
- Waterproofs the surface.
- Prevents potholes and seals cracks, keeping water from seeping into the roadway structure.
Tips for drivers during chip seal work:
- Use alternate routes or plan for delays.
- Slow down to 25mph in work zones.
- Avoid distractions when driving through these areas.
- The chip sealing process means there may be loose gravel on the roadway. Leave plenty of room between your vehicle and the one in front of you to avoid flying rocks.
- Avoid parking alongside affected roadways. Loose gravel or chip sealant could damage vehicles left along roadways during construction.
Citizens can learn more about Whatcom County Public Work’s chip seal program on the Public Works Chip Seal Program webpage. An updated list of what roads are scheduled for chip seal will be published weekly on the Maintenance and Operations Road Closures & Restrictions page.