Chip Seal on US36

*** 8-15-2010 Update ***

County road chip seal projects begin Monday

Boulder County, Colo. – The Boulder County Transportation Department will apply chip seal to three county roads beginning this Monday, Aug. 16.

2010 chip seal schedule:
• Nelson Road from U.S. 36 to 75th Street, Aug. 16-20
• Olde Stage Road from Lee Hill Drive to Lefthand Canyon, Aug. 23-24
• Cherryvale Road from Baseline Road to State Highway 170, Aug. 25-26

The chip seal projects will cause minor traffic delays. Schedules are subject to change due to weather and other factors. Visit for updates.

All three roads are part of popular cycling routes. “We are aware that chipping the roads makes for a less-than-pleasant cycling experience and have made some changes to our chipping product and process this year in an attempt to improve the rideability,” Transportation Director George Gerstle said. “However, there will still be impacts and cyclists should expect poor riding conditions on these roads for the next four weeks.”

Applying chip seal to county roads is a cost-effective means of extending their life. Adding stone chips to pavement after it has sat for more than five years extends the pavement life considerably, allowing for more use of the original overlay. Additionally, the cost of chipping a road is a small fraction of the cost of new paving and chip sealing uses less oil and less material than paving.

Dan Rowland, Communications Specialist
Boulder County Commissioners’ Office

*** 8-11-2010 Update ***
I was riding this morning and of course I had to head east to avoid the chip seal on US36. It was actually a nice change. I was heading west on Nelson road and there it was just west of 75th another large sign warning of more chip seal work. Starting August 16th it looks like Nelson road will be getting a chip seal face lift. Plan accordingly.

As I was riding north on US36 yesterday just north of the Broadway / US36 intersection I saw a large road sign. It was one of those informational signs that rotates a message. It looks like US36 heading north out of Boulder will be getting chip seal treatment this coming week August 10th through the 12th. I am sure most people know what chip seal is but if you dont here you go:

Chip seal is a surface treatment for asphalt pavements that extends the life of the road by sealing out moisture and adding a new driving surface. The process involves spraying liquid asphalt on the roadway and then covering it with 3/8" diameter chips. The liquid asphalt hardens with the chips embedded in it, creating the new, sealed surface. Excess chips are swept up within 24 hours after the treatment is done.

News Item: 


Hwy 36 chip seal surface is

Hwy 36 chip seal surface is horrible! Who voted on this?? If it's such a good thing why aren't all the road covered in it? I also had my windshield chipped from the small rocks flying out from the car in front of me. Thanks for wasting my tax dollars on this and not doing a proper job sweeping up all the lose gravel. Also this wears down bike tire tread 50% faster. Bikers take lee hill to old stage to left hand, a bit of a climb but beats getting frustrated on this horrible new surface. Ride safe.

Just Kill Me

That road needs to be chip sealed like I need to gain 20 pounds. What dingbat makes these decisions with my tax money?

I will ignore for now the possibility that the contractor screws the proverbial pooch on the project like they did The Diagonal and adds a mini speed bump every 20 ft because CDOT doesn't apparently employ one person who has ever ridden a bike. Last year they drizzled tar on the shoulders of 36 to "fix" cracks without regard for my cycling. Just wait for the misery.

Then, we have the 90% likelihood that the cheapo contractor takes the crap CDOT spec and chip seals like they did 95th street south of Longmont such that the center of the shoulder where I am to ride is the edge of the chip seal so you get random bumpiness that makes cycling negatively enjoyable and negatively safe when it bounces you off the bars unless you have a death grip.

Thanks for nothing CDOT ... with my tax money.

This isn't right. Most of

This isn't right.

Most of the projects have been a very good use of money and have put people to work. Without it, I can't imagine what our economy would look like. Don't forget the people that died in Minnesota a few years ago because of the bridge collapse. ARRA has fixed a lot of potentially dangerous situations and the positive effects are difficult to measure.

This chip seal issue seems to be bugging some people here, but not a reason to berate a federal program or local government for trying to do whats best for everybody. Chip sealing is MUCH cheaper than resurfacing a road and is pretty much the standard on low volume roads in the US and pretty much every road in Australia. In Colorado, where we have a budget that divides revenue poorly (because of TABOR, etc.,) there is little money to go around. Perhaps you prefer we take MORE money away from schools so you can enjoy a nice, fresh, smooth surface to ride your carbon bike on. Or, get out there and ride and enjoy the fact that we live in a state with exceptional cycling and a government that largely promotes it.

you may still just kill me

I guess i just don't see why this is now a debate on the validity of ARRA, TABOR, and as posted in some other brilliant comment) cutting school funding. Government bloat is government bloat. Nothing we can do about it.

With all this brilliance, no one answered the question about the *name* of the person who decided to chip seal the road. Today's announcement tells me that.

Stop wasting my money

Hear hear. Doing ANYTHING to 36 was just stupid, the road was in GREAT condition. If we really just have to spend money to keep with our budget, attempt to spend it on schools, addiction recovery, women's shelters.... don't get me started. If the road actually NEEDED to be repaired, that's one thing, the fact that we are doing completely unnecessary work is just stupid. Typical govt. Great that we are employing people, but, REALLY? We're just going to make up jobs that result in zero improvement in our society? Get real. Pay attention to the real problems in our city.