Ada County Highway District

ACHD's Road Wizard Sunday, September 30, 2018 ACHD's Road Wizard

Cloverdale Road overpass; cul-de-sacs are not chip sealed; smooth work by ACHD

The Road Wizard Replies

Dear Road Wizard: When are they going to start repairing the overpass on Cloverdale Road? It just seems like nothing is happening.


Road Wizard:

This is the overpass that was damaged by heat from the tragic, fiery crash on Interstate 84 in June. Work is actually proceeding relatively quickly, but so far most of those efforts have been behind the scenes.

The overpass will be rebuilt, rather than repaired, and it will be wider with two additional lanes, bike lanes and wider sidewalks. The road leading up to the bridge will be improved as well.

The Idaho Transportation Department and ACHD are working together on the project and have designed the new structure. Construction plans will be ready to go out for bids in October, and visible work may begin as early as January. The hope is to open at least one lane of travel in each direction over the new bridge by June 17th, 2019.

Dear Road Wizard: : I am enjoying our newly chip sealed roads in our West Boise subdivision of Bayhill Springs. Will ACHD complete the job by chip sealing the cul-de-sacs on each street? Driving or riding my bike on these is bumpy as there are cracks and gaps and rough areas. It seems ACHD did do cul-de-sacs here the last time chip sealing was done, so I remain hopeful you will do it again.


Road Wizard:

A chip seal doesn't work well in cul-de-sacs. The pavement areas are typically too small to accommodate the large chip sealing trucks. Even trucks that could fit would tear up the chip seal because of all the sharp turning required in the circular space. The same thing would happen in those mini cul-de-sacs that are more of a half-circle shape. Street crews refer to them as "eyebrows," which is an odd enough name to make me raise my own in puzzlement.

So instead of a chip seal, cul-de-sacs typically get a "slurry seal." It is similar to a chip seal but it is meant for low-traffic areas. The application process is easier in tight locations.

A cul-de-sac may not get a slurry seal at the same time as nearby roads are chip sealed. If the cul-de-sac is new or in great shape, it doesn't need a seal. If the pavement is failing, a slurry seal won't provide much benefit. In that case, ACHD will put them in the "needs repaving" category.

There are more than 4,000 cul-de-sacs in ever-growing Ada County, and ACHD is looking into expanding their cul-de-sac maintenance program.

Dear Road Wizard: Smoooooooth! Thanks for fixing this.


Road Wizard:

Yes, those bumpy sections of Curtis Road between Anna and Grover streets are now feeling good. The road had been torn up and patched, but the repairs were sinking below street level. It may have seemed like ACHD swept the problem under the chip seal rug, but that wasn't the case.

This is not the usual order of things, as road repairs typically come before a chip seal. But there is a narrow window for chip sealing, and there wasn't time to do the repair prior to the application. So the repair was made over, not under, but works as a solution either way.

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