Manette chip-sealing is a work in progress

The in basket: Dustin Butler writes, “I was curious about the quality of chip seal work Bremerton had done to Terrace Street last year.  I appears to be very poor.  The aggregate is coming loose and washes on to Trenton below when it rains.

“Roads I know the county chip-seals don’t seem to have this problem.”

The Road Warrior drove to Terrace Street after Dustin wrote and found it is one of several upper Manette streets to get the treatment, in which fine rock is laid down on road oil and vehicles driving over it set the mix. Terrace did have an unusual amount of loose gravel on the surface.

I asked also if these projects were paid for by the city’s car tab fee, administered by what’s called the Transportation Benefit District

The out basket: City Public Works Director Chal Martin replied, “Yes, this chip seal work was funded with Transportation Benefit District money as a pilot program to find an inexpensive way to extend pavement life.

“The  street segments in Manette were great candidates for this, as the asphalt was very old but the subsurface was mostly still OK.

“One of the things we wanted to see was how well the chip seal held up, especially on the steeper segments. So far I have been happy with what I am seeing.

“Some of the chips are coming loose, and we did expect that because the streets are very low traffic.  It is actually a good thing to get a lot of traffic on newly chip-sealed streets, in order to seat the aggregate into the road oil/tar mix.

“On the hilly segments, some of the gravel that was probably never quite attached is ablating off.  We knew we would need to do some sweeping, and we’ll  get that scheduled up,” he said.

“In some places, it looks like quite a bit of gravel has come loose, but we put a lot of gravel down and when I brushed that aside, everywhere I looked there was still a good chip seal base below the loose gravel.

“Although the hill on 16th/Perry looked good, 18th and Perry and 17th from Pitt to Perry were much like Terrace.

“When I was at the intersection of Terrace and Trenton,” Chal said, “a pickup truck came up Trenton, turned onto Terrace and sped up the hill, pretty much spraying gravel the whole time since he was in a bit of a hurry. So my theory about needing more vehicle passes to ’embed’ the gravel into the substrate tar material doesn’t work for those cases.

“Anyway, we’ll do some sweeping and continue to monitor.  So far, so good from my perspective,” he said.

I think the extra sweeping got done already, as there was a lot less loose gravel when I paid a second visit to that area Monday.

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