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Chip sealing helps improve roads

Idaho Falls

UPDATE: July 23, 2021: IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - the city of Idaho Falls reported, "Construction crews are ahead of schedule on this project. On Sunday, July 25, crews will resume chip sealing work on downtown roads, but the work does not require closing Memorial Drive as previously anticipated. Please reduce speed and watch for construction crews."

ORIGINAL STORY: IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - Construction crews have been paving their way to helping improve the condition of roads across Idaho Falls. Last Sunday, construction crews were working on the streets of Downtown from D Street to Broadway and from Yellowstone Avenue to Memorial Drive.

The construction only lasted a day to chip seal the roads. Chip sealing is what the Idaho Falls construction crews use to improve their roads.

Instead of paving an entirely new overlay for the road, crews use a tiny layer of liquid asphalt combined with a mix of aggregates to cover the road instead. Once the road is covered up with the mixture, it is sealed multiple times to fully put it in place.

The main reason for this is money. The overlay lasts over 20 years while chip sealing is only good for 7 years, but it is stated that using this chip sealing method is 7 times cheaper than using an entire overlay. Carry this out over many square miles of road that the city uses and Idaho Falls gets to save more tax dollars.

The concern for this process involves the chips breaking car windshields. Even though the chips are sealed in an extensive process, sometimes they are dragged up by tires straight into the windshield right behind it. Since this is a problem, the city of Idaho Falls asks its drivers to drive more slowly over newly chip sealed roads. Idaho Falls also only completes chip sealing for roads that are less traveled on such as neighborhood roads.

Idaho Falls is working on chip sealing Memorial Drive from Broadway to the roundabout this coming Sunday, July 25.

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Evan Thomason

Evan is the weekend meteorologist and reporter.


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