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And the wilderness gets a little less wild

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#11 Ace!


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Posted 03 May 2019 - 05:28 PM

Ace, I work for a local government and know that we only use chip seal on already paved roads to extend the life of the road as you say. But I don't work on those projects, so have a question. It seems a chip seal over a dirt road would be extremely thin and unable to stand up to much traffic without the asphalt base. I would think it would just be broken up into oily gravel itself in a very short period defeating the purpose. Is this not the case?


It is (very) thin.  That's why (in my opinion) I wouldn't consider it a paved surface.  It is a thin layer of liquid binder (liquid asphalt) with very small "chips" (which you probably already know  :)  ); however, even that thin layer can last ten years or so.  It will certainly depend on the base (rock) as all roads do, storm water management (nothing kills a road like water) and contour and traffic patterns. The chip seal creates a harder surface than the gravel road, and that greatly reduces water intrusion (increased life, reduced maintenance) and increases traction (increased safety and reduced maintenance).   We've had really good luck with gravel roads that are well maintained.  We added rock to the base and chip sealed them to reduce our annual costs greatly.

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#12 Stray Dog

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Posted 03 May 2019 - 05:50 PM

I live on a road that was gravel and was chip sealed eleven years ago.  The road is still in good condition and is much superior to what existed before.  It gets quite a bit of traffic as there are about 40 homes located just above my place.  Locals have been surprised (pleasantly) over how the road has turned out.  The county does another increment of chip seal annually and usually it is over gravel surfaced roads.

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#13 roverjohn


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Posted 10 May 2019 - 06:05 PM

I just read this and I'm a little confused. It sounds like Burr trail/rd was all paved/sealed except for a 7 mile stretch. Was that stretch truly wild or was it just not paved. By the looks of that picture it's 30' wide but maybe they did grade work too. My property here is off a dirt road that get an occasional chip seal. You can tell when it needs resealing because huge clouds of dust get kicked up every time a car passes at 60 mph or so. Depending on the wind direction anything within about 1/4 mile at least gets covered with dust that was road five minutes earlier. I understand the 4WD guys want their space away from the 2WD folks but huge clouds of dust are hardly 'wild' when they are kicked up by some guy in a Raptor checking their suspension travel limits. On my road after the seal it looks black but within a fairly short time it's dirt colored again just way less dusty.

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