Matt Phelps Fay Lim
Communications Specialist II Communications Supervisor
2021 Paving and Chip Seal programs preserve county roads and save tax dollars
EVERETT, Wash., May 26, 2021 – All roads incur damage over time. Whether from snow and ice, the weight of vehicles grinding their tires into the pavement or a natural breakdown during decades of use, roads can begin to crumble. However, Snohomish County plans out the maintenance and preservation of its more than 1,600 miles of roads in order to maintain a smooth and safe ride for drivers. This year, Snohomish County Public Works is improving 87.5 miles of county roads during its annual road resurfacing programs.
“Each year, the county evaluates its roads to develop a multi-year plan to preserve and maintain county roads in the most cost-effective way,” Snohomish County Engineer and Public Works Deputy Director Doug McCormick said. “This year, we will pave approximately 6.7 miles of road with asphalt through our Paving Program and pre-level and/or chip seal approximately 80.8 miles of road as part of our Chip Seal Program.”
As part of the pre-level work, crews will patch potholes and improve uneven or failing pavement prior to completing the chip seal work. Chip sealing extends the life of the road surface for an additional seven to 10 years, saving the county money as the cost is about one-third of asphalt overlay.
This year’s paving work will take place between May and October. Where applicable, sidewalk ramps will be upgraded to meet current Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements. The Paving Program focuses on preserving pavement while it is still in fair condition by placing a new layer of asphalt over the existing one. A typical paved road has a serviceable life of 15-30 years depending upon location, traffic volumes, weather, and truck or heavy vehicle usage. The work will be completed by paving contractors and county crews.
Chip Seal Program
Pre-leveling work began in April, while chip sealing work will begin in July. Snohomish County Road Maintenance crews began pre-leveling work in the southeast areas of the county and are working their way north and west. In July, crews will transition to applying chip seals following the same pattern as pre-leveling. Chip sealing is expected to be completed by late September.
Once the chips are pressed into place by rollers, the road is re-opened to traffic. A temporary speed limit of 20 miles per hour will be in effect for the week following the chip seal placement. Adherence to this temporary speed limit will minimize the likelihood of loose, flying chips causing damage to a vehicle’s body or windshield and allow the chips to bind to the asphalt. Crews will return within a week to sweep up any loose chips and replace pavement striping.
Both chip seal and paving are weather-dependent work and all preliminary schedules are subject to change.
Work is scheduled for the following unincorporated areas of Snohomish County:
Number of road locations
Total Road Miles
Echo Lake Area
For more information about the Paving Program or Chip Seal Program and maps of the identified roads, visit www.snohomishcountywa.gov/resurfacing.
About Snohomish County Public Works
Snohomish County Public Works is responsible for approximately 1,600 miles of county roads, more than 200 bridges and manages about 200 traffic control signals. The department also processes nearly 600,000 tons of garbage per year. Its mission is to focus on safety and mobility while practicing fiscal responsibility and preserving the environment. Public Works has won numerous state and national honors for its work and is the largest department within Snohomish County government with approximately 500 employees plus seasonal staff. Its main office is located at 3000 Rockefeller Ave., Everett, WA 98201. Visit www.snohomishcountywa.gov/PublicWorks for more information about Snohomish County Public Works.