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Thurston County, Washington

Public Works

Road maintenance truck fixing potholes

 

Seasonal Road Work

Paved roads make up the largest part of Thurston County's Transportation system. During spring and summer months, Public Works completes pavement preservation projects designed to help maintain the investment Thurston County has made in its roads.

Traffic, wet weather and sunlight slowly degrade asphalt roads. Preventative maintenance, including pavement preservation, helps extend the life of roads, minimizing costly repairs and saving taxpayers money. Pavement preservation projects usually occur in spring and summer months because roads must have time to cure in dry weather after they are treated. 

Why work on roads that are in good condition?

Managing the health of a pavement system is similar to managing the health of your teeth. Regular cleaning and maintenance help to keep them in good working order. The cost to replace roads that have fallen into disrepair is much higher than the cost to keep them in good condition.

Chip seal

Chip seal is process where roads are coated with a thin layer of liquid asphalt and gravel chips. When complete, treated roads become skid resistant and more resistant to water penetration. The life span of a road with chip seal treatment increases by about eight years when compared to roads without it. The work is usually performed on roads in good condition, in order to keep them from falling into costly disrepair.

Asphalt overlay

Asphalt overlay is a process where a road is covered with a new top layer of asphalt. When complete, new overlay can add an extra 8-15 years to the life of the road. The work is usually performed on roads in fair condition and is significantly more cost effective than road replacement.

For more information on pavement preservation, visit the US Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration by clicking here.

Vegetation & Drainage Maintenance

From Memorial Day through Labor Day, crews work to keep roads clear of growing plants and grass. Managing vegetation helps improve line-of-site for drivers and keeps roads free of debris. Crews also clean and improve the county roads drainage system during spring and summer months to help prevent flooding later in the year.

During seasonal road work, drivers can expect single lane closures, heavy loud equipment and occasional traffic delays along roads where work is happening.

Sign up for "Owner Will Maintain" program

Road Striping

Paint trucks need to drive slowly to get the right amount of paint on our roads. If you are behind a paint truck, DO NOT PASS—you risk getting paint on your car and removing the glass beads that make the paint reflective at night. If the paint looks bright, stay off the lines.

Striping info: 

  • May-Sept. +/-1,000 miles of paint applied. 
  • Main roads once a year. 
  • Local access roads every 3-4 years.

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