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City of Seattle
Ed Murray, Mayor

SUBJECT: SDOT to Begin Chip Sealing Streets July 8

7/6/2009  4:30:00 PM
Sue Romero  (206) 684-8548

SDOT to Begin Chip Sealing Streets July 8

SEATTLE-Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) crews will reseal approximately 17 lane miles of residential streets this summer on certain streets in the North Olympic Hills neighborhood (area bounded on the north by NE 145th Street, on the south by NE 135th Street, on the west by I-5, and on the east by Lake City Way NE) with a process called chip sealing. Weather permitting, the crews plan to begin on Wednesday, July 8, and to complete the work by Friday, July 17, 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 North Olympic Hills neighborhood were last chip sealed in 1998.

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 help SDOT do the work as quickly as possible and to avoid not treating a spot where any vehicle is parked. 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 6:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, with traffic restrictions in effect during this time. 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 $12 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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