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: 


Chip and Seal on US 36 North of Boulder

I got back from vacation and went out on my usual ride north on 36 to discover the dreaded Chip and Seal. Lots of "chips" flying when the trucks go by, and I would not recommend riding this section to Left Hand Canyon for a long while. I wrote and email to Boulder County Commissioner Will Toor (a cyclsist and sits on the transportation board, so he knows what's up here). If you are like me and don't want to see perfectly good roads used by thousands of cyclists and many events covered with Chip and Seal, then send him and email and let him know what you think at I suggested asphalt paving the shoulder/bike lane. His term is up in 2012, so perhaps we need more cyclist-freindly county commissioners.

chip seal on 36

Regarding the work on 36, I like the comment from "CARS AND GRAMMAR" , he says (paraphrasing ) "Believe it or not, as a motorist and a cyclist, I do often think that cyclists can be their own worst enemies. I don't blow through stop signs and red lights on my motorcycle, and it has two wheels, why would I do that on my bike? I don't drive in the shoulder while in my car, why would I ride my bike in the lane of traffic when there's a perfectly wide shoulder? "

My husband worked on theHwy 36 project. You would not believe the abuse those guys have to take from cyclist and people in cars. I'm embarrassed for you people who yell at the workers and just make a fool out of yourselves. Are you going to YELL at the people at the mall or another place of work for inconveniencing you for some selfish reason ? The hubby said that the week or so before the HWY 36 project started, there was a bike race on the weekend.. He and his fellow CDOT workers had to clean up the huge mess left by the participants. There were old tire tubes, water bottles and trash left on the sides of the road. Way to be green gang! So if you want to bitch about where your tax dollars are going, you can thank the CDOT workers for cleaning up your mess. And as someone else mentioned, they could just ignore the roads for a couple more years and then you'll really be bitching and yelling and whining louder.
Anyone bitching about road work should just apprecicate what you have or leave. Move to some dirt road community that doesn't maintain them so you'll have a legitimate gripe about the road conditions.

"He and his fellow CDOT

"He and his fellow CDOT workers had to clean up the huge mess left by the participants. There were old tire tubes, water bottles and trash left on the sides of the road."

If true this is totally irresponsible behavior on the promoter's part--CDOT should send them a bill.

Chip and Seal on the best cycling roads in Boulder

Well, there goes Olde Stage road, probably the first section of Lee Hill too. Next I'm sure it will be all the way up the canyon to Ward and Jamestown. I urge cyclists who are against chip and seal on our best cycling routes in Boulder County to send an email to Will Toor and the other county commissioners at, we can vote them out of office in 2012 and put a cyclist in there (there are 3 commissioner spots).

Chip-Seal Virtually Unridable Today (Aug 15)

I rode the SPAN the Rockies charity ride today, part of which traversed Rt 36 from Neva Rd to Lefthand Canyon Rd.

The chip seal is appalling. The road is virtually unridable due to the constant and substantial vibration the new rough surface creates. I could not actually sit down for the whole length of the chip-seal.

Moreover, it is really dangerous - there is loose gravel in random spots, and it is almost indistinguishable from the solid surface. It is going to be very easy to spin out into traffic on the loose gravel. That is not even considering the large piles of loose gravel that completely block the shoulder in a couple of places, forcing cyclists into the 65 (+) mph traffic that is typically rocketing past.

With no cars driving on the shoulder to compress it and smooth it out, I cannot see that this will get better any time soon. How the hell can Gerstle say that it will be better for cyclists in 4 weeks? What does he think is going to smooth out the shoulders? Unless the county plans to send out steamrollers, it seems to me that Gerstle is just spinning a load of BS to placate a justifiably angry mob.

This is an absolute travesty, and an appalling waste of my tax dollars to boot, on roads that simply did not need any 'fixing' - at least not yet.

I hope this turns into a serious election issue. I will certainly join any effort to make it one.

Chip Seal on US 36

I would like to add to the annoymous comments of the person whose husband works on, and all other personnnel who work on Highway 36 and the many roads in the surrounding area. I know for a fact that SAFETY is an issue
for alot of these men and women. Not only are there not enough funds alotted by the city and state government, safety issues are not enforced strongly in the department itself for fear of "making waves" that will only force cutbacks in already low salaries and personnel.
The men and women who work on our highways PUT THEIR LIVES ON THE LINE every day. To suffer the verbal abuse and written complaints by drivers and bikers is insulting to anyone of intelligence. Try to think outside of your own lives for a change...and show some resprect for the men and women who are work in every kind of inclimate weather without the assurance that they are even protected from drivers who are running late to work and bikers who whine for a smoother road so they can win a race. The highways are built for automobiles...I agree with annoymous, go find a nice smooth dirt road away from the main highways for your hobby and CLEAN UP YOUR OWN MESS. Your arrogance is mind boggling. As for the drivers who are so disrespectful and abusive....try to look at the other side of the coin for a change. SLOW DOWN. Show some respect for the people who are trying to keep the roads safe on which to drive and KEEP THEM SAFE AS WELL. Thanks for your consideration.