After careful consideration, a very thorough review of the Governor’s recent order and his four phased requirements, and heavily weighing all internal and external options, the Ada County Highway District has come to the very difficult decision to forego the chip sealing operation in Zone 2 South for this year.
The operation was postponed for a multitude of reasons. In accordance with the Governor’s order and CDC/Central Health recommendations, ACHD was limited to mission-essential functions in late March. Chip sealing does not fall under the mission-essential category. Preparation for the chip seal operation begins well in advance of the actual operation (approximately six to eight weeks), so as crews prepare to come back in mid-May, they would not be able to start chip sealing until late July/early August-- a start which simply doesn’t provide our crews enough time to complete the operation and assure a quality product for Ada County.
Adding to a detrimentally reduced season, as COVID-19 has impacted many industries, ACHD cannot guarantee that vendors will be able to provide needed and/or quality material for the project.
Finally, the chip seal operation involves many people and partner agencies to successfully and safely execute this complex maintenance operation and ACHD cannot fully ensure the proper safety precautions relating to COVID-19 can be met as outlined by the Governor, CDC, and Central District Health’s requirement and recommendations.
ACHD maintenance crews will instead focus on maintenance projects that have been deferred, sidewalk and concrete safety repairs, and other tasks as they come up. The ACHD Development and Technical Services division will address safety items to include reflective pavement markers, schools, and crosswalks.
Funds that were earmarked for the chip seal operation will be used for these additional maintenance projects. Chip sealing in Zone 2 South will be rescheduled for next year along with Zone 3.
As the county has continued to see unprecedented growth and more roads are added to the miles of roadway ACHD maintains, the chip seal program continues to be a key strategic maintenance operation in effectively and efficiently maintaining and extending the life cycle of Ada County’s infrastructure for all users.
Ada County boasts some of the best pavement condition indexes in the Northwest*—all due to this aggressive maintenance program.
*Verified biannually through NCE, a third-party engineering firm.