Ada County Highway District

ACHD's Road Wizard Sunday, June 30, 2019 ACHD's Road Wizard

Gage Street is discontinuous behind the Idaho Youth Ranch warehouse; ACHD no longer gives pea gravel away; twenty-five minute wait on Cherry Lane for the chip seal crew working on Ten Mile Road

The Road Wizard Replies

Dear Road Wizard: I'm wondering why Gage Street is discontinuous behind the Idaho Youth Ranch warehouse. It's been that way for decades. At the very least it seems sidewalks and/or a bike path could be paved through there.


Road Wizard:

Gage is a short street between Curtis Road and Phillippi Street, but there is a little section where there is no pavement, only dirt, and motor vehicles can't use it to get from one side of Gage to the other. It looks like unfinished business, but the businesses to the east are the likely reason the "Gage Gap" exists in the first place.

For that reason, a roadway connection is not likely. But a paved path is a possibility someday.

Dear Road Wizard: Is there a list for the pea gravel that is left over from the chip sealing? If so, will you let me know what I need to do?


Road Wizard:

There was a time ACHD gave away swept-up chips that didn't stick to the road during the chip sealing process, but they are now reused. The rocks have to go through a re-screening process, but it's worth the effort. ACHD spends about a million dollars per year crushing the rocks.

Dear Road Wizard: I sat through a twenty-five minute wait westbound on Cherry Lane for the chip seal crew working on Ten Mile Road to go past, including an oil tanker, gravel spreader, and rollers. At the 25-minute mark, the flagger in front of us turned his sign to slow and yelled at the car in front of me to wait for the light which had out of nowhere been changed from blinking to operational. We had to wait a complete cycle prior to being able to continue. Is this type of traffic control at major intersections normal? Why wasn't this scheduled for late evening?


Road Wizard:

Being stopped in your tracks by a chip sealing operation is frustrating, but the delay is minor compared to the impact of putting fresh asphalt on deteriorated roads. Pavement projects can result in days of road or lane closures and even more congestion. A chip seal is ready for traffic right after it's applied.

But chip sealing work can't be done at night because the application process is dependent on the heat of the day. Typically, crews only hold up traffic for about 10 to 15 minutes.

However, intersections like Cherry Lane and Ten Mile take extra time because crews have to chip seal the additional areas for the turn lanes, including the radii at the corners. This usually happens at a slower rate when compared to mainline chip seal applications.

Standard procedure is for traffic signals to go to blinking-red mode as crews pass through. This allows the flaggers to safely regulate traffic flow through the intersection. Once they return to normal operation, the signals start up where they left off, which may mean waiting a whole cycle before a driver gets their turn.

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