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City of Seattle
Ed Murray, Mayor

SUBJECT: SDOT to Begin Chip Sealing Streets July 8

7/3/2008  12:45:00 PM
Sue Romero  (206) 684-8548

SDOT to Begin Chip Sealing Streets July 8

SEATTLE--Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) crews will reseal approximately 39 lane miles of residential streets this summer in the Cedar Park/Mathews Beach areas, and Columbia City area (near Martin Luther King, Jr. Way South and west of Rainier Avenue South, from S Alaska Street to S Graham Street ) with a process called chip sealing. Weather permitting, the crews plan to begin on July 8, and to complete the work within three weeks, not including final sweeping. The work requires warm, dry conditions.

Renewing the chip-seal surface preserves the condition of the streets, creating a highly skid-resistant surface that prevents water from penetrating the roadway subsurface, thereby limiting damage such as potholes. Approximately 25 percent of Seattle’s residential streets have chip-sealed surfaces. Preparation began this spring when crews repaired cracks and other roadway damage in the streets scheduled for resurfacing.

Chip sealing is cost effective and fast; crews can resurface up to several miles of roadway in a day's time. SDOT has been chip sealing streets since 1967, converting dirt and gravel non-arterial streets to chip seal in order to cut down on dust and other pollution and improve air quality. Chip-seal surfaces are typically renewed approximately every ten years. Streets in the Cedar Park and North Mathews Beach neighborhoods were last chip sealed in 1998. Streets in the Columbia City neighborhood were last sealed in 1994-resealing has been delayed by Link Light Rail construction.

Notices of upcoming work in the form of door hangers have been distributed to area residents and businesses. “No Parking” signs will be placed on streets up to 24 hours in advance. Residents should park out of the area to be resurfaced to prevent the chance of any chip-seal residue getting on their vehicles, and to help SDOT do the work as quickly as possible. Because the chip-seal process involves the application of a fast-drying emulsion into which chipped rocks are compacted, the new surface can be driven on almost immediately. Motorists are asked to limit their speed to ten miles per hour for the first few days following the resurfacing to allow for the rocks to set. Mechanical street sweepers will remove the loose rock within several days following the chip-seal operation. (Sweeping might be postponed during extremely hot weather.)

Typical work hours will be 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, with traffic restrictions in place from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Some inconvenience can be expected; however, SDOT will make every effort to minimize disruptions. More information is available about this work on SDOT’s website at Also, for more information or to provide comments, the public may contact Susan Almachar of SDOT at 206-396-3556.

The Seattle Department of Transportation builds, maintains and operates Seattle's $8 billion transportation infrastructure. To further Mayor Nickels’ goal to get Seattle moving, the department manages short- and long-term investments in streets, bridges, pavement and trees, that better connect the city with the region.

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Seattle Department of Transportation

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