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City of Ashland, Oregon / Public Works / City News

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What is Chip Sealing?

Recently the Public Works Street Division, in conjunction with a contractor working for Jackson County Roads performed a chip seal process to parts of East Main Street and Scenic Road. We wanted to provide information on why we use this method and what the process entails. East Main Street and Scenic Road will go through the final phase of this process which is known as 'fog sealing'. This will help seal everything in and give it the look of a finished road surface.

Why chip seal?
  • To keep water from penetrating the road structure on paved surfaces.
  • To fill and seal cracks and raveled surfaces of old pavement.
  • To provide an anti-glare surface during wet weather and an increased reflective surface for night driving.
  • To seal the pavement surface-minimizing the effects of aging.
  • To provide a highly skid-resistant surface, particularly on wet pavements.
  • The process moves along very quickly and traffic can drive on the newly chipped road almost immediately minimizing lengthy delays.
  • The cost of chip seals is 15%-20% of the cost of pavement overlays.
  • Chip seal is expected to provide 5-10 years of wear life depending on traffic volumes before additional work is needed.
What is the process for chip sealing?
  • Streets are evaluated for their maintenance needs.
  • Crews come in and patch any of the failing areas of roadway.
  • Another crew then cleans and fills any large cracks with crack seal- a special hot applied rubberized filler.
  • Now the chip seal process begins. An emulsified mixture is applied to the road using a special spray truck
  • Immediately after spraying this liquid asphalt, a layer of crushed gravel is applied by a spreader.
  • Next, the gravel is compacted and embedded into the asphalt by rubber-tired and steel drum rollers.
  • The new chip-seal surface can require up to two days to cure properly. After it has fully cured, the loose gravel is swept off the surface and a fog seal is applied to the road surface to seal the surface and give it that finished look.
  • Once fog sealed, the paint striping, legends, and crosswalks can be replaced completing the process.

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