Chelan County is looking for summer traffic flaggers to work with road crews during the summer construction season. 

County spokesperson Jill FitzSimmons says they're hoping to have a flagger for each of the county's five road districts. 

"We would like to have someone in every road district," said FitzSimmons. "But this is because we're doing our chip sealing program over the summer. The crews will be busy, and we really rely on those flaggers to get people through the work zone safely." 

In addition to chip sealing, county road flaggers will be used for major projects this summer, including the complete rebuild of a section of Chumstick Highway - a quarter mile stretch between Sunitsch Canyon and Clark Canyon Road. 

FitzSimmons says flaggers will need one piece of certification before they can start working. 

“We do ask that people have their flagging cards,” FitzSimmons said. “And that’s something that you get through, I believe it’s a one-day program. You can look at Wenatchee Valley College to do that, or Big Bend Community College.” 

FitzSimmons says the pay has increased this year to be competitive with the job market.  

Salary range is $23.43 per hour up to $26.93 per hour based on qualifications and experience. Benefits include Washington State Sick Leave and the Washington State Retirement System. 

The work is also seasonal, with the window of employment for road flaggers stretching from April 15 to mid-October. Deadline to apply is March 30. 

Anybody applying for the traffic flagger position is required to have a high school diploma or general education degree, and be at least 18-years-old.

The specific crew handling the chip sealing program is the preservation crew. Its location and which road it’s working on at any given time during the summer will be posted on Facebook.

What is Chip Sealing?

Chip sealing involves adding a special protective surface to an existing pavement for the purpose of filling and sealing cracks and preserving the life of roadways. 

Gravel is compacted and embedded into the asphalt by rubber-tired rollers. But even with the high-pressure rolling, some gravel will not become embedded in the asphalt. 

A new chip-seal surface can require up to two days to cure properly. Hot, dry weather helps speed up this process in which all of the remaining water in the emulsion evaporates and the asphalt hardens. Traffic can pass over this surface at reduced speeds during the curing process. 

From the time the gravel is placed on the road to when the excess is swept away, the speed limit is 35 mph in Washington State. At that speed, vehicles should not be damaged by flying rocks. 

Chipseals are typically used on rural roads carrying lower traffic volumes. 

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