Chip sealing season is in full swing on Chelan County roads. 

Chip sealing is a treatment which extends the life of the roadway, but is far less expensive than repaving. It involves applying a coat of liquid asphalt to the road, which is topped with gravel. 

Chelan County spokesperson Jill FitzSimmons says crews will be moving into more heavily populated areas starting Monday. 

"They're going to be in the lower Monitor area," said FitzSimmons. "They're going to start on lower Monitor Road, Shelby Court, Downs Road, Sands Dive, those types of areas." 

The county maintains roads in unincorporated areas which includes populated towns such as Monitor, Malaga and Manson. Sunnyslope, Pehastin and Dryden are also unincorporated towns in the county. 

FitzSimmons says residents can expect to see crews in Sunnyslope next week. 

"That is a very residential area," FitzSimmons said. "And we are asking people to remember to get their cars and RVs off the roads beginning next week in the Sunnyslope area because the chip sealing crew will be coming by." 

Drivers should expect delays of up to 20 minutes during chip-sealing when there’ll be one-lane, flagger-controlled traffic.  Motorists are advised to find alternate routes when crews are in their area. A pilot car will be used in some cases. 

The public can keep up on the location of crews during the chip-sealing season by following Chelan County Public Works on Facebook.  

General traffic flow also helps further compress the gravel into the underlying oil.  

There’s a budget of about $1.7 million for chip sealing in the county this summer, which includes some pre-level work on roads that will be chip sealed next summer.  

The 534 miles of Chelan County roads are surveyed and scored every two years, which allows the county to determine when to rehabilitate a road at the time of least lifecycle cost.  

Chip sealing, when all the steps are completed, is effective for seven to 10 years. 

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