Jul 05

[ARCHIVED] Pavement Preservation: Chip Seal

The original item was published from July 5, 2019 2:00 PM to September 1, 2023 2:22 PM

Maintaining the Town of Parker’s more than 500 miles worth of roadways is a year-round task for the Engineering and Public Works Department. Methods of repair and pavement preservation vary based on road conditions and age, spanning from crack sealing to complete reconstruction. This spotlight takes a closer look at the chip seal process.

A chip seal is a two-step process in which, first, an asphalt emulsion is applied to an existing roadway. Then, a layer of crushed rock is laid over, the rock “chips” adhering and hardening with the asphalt emulsion below.

To reach proper conditions for chip seal, the air and pavement temperatures need to be at least 70 degrees. If warm enough, the process moves rather quickly, with chip seal treated roadways ready for traffic within minutes of initial application.

Once the asphalt emulsion and chips are set, a layer of fog seal to seal the road’s surface. Once the fog seal sets, stripes and other road markings can be painted and the road fully opened to traffic.

On average, chip seal streets may last six to 10 years.

Learn more about roadway maintenance in the Town of Parker at