'Tis the season for chip sealing, a common method of road maintenance and preservation.

Chelan County Public Works is applying chip seals to a number of roadways in the area. As of this morning crews were at work in the Blewett Pass area (Ingalls Creek Rd. & Pine Ridge Dr.); that task is now complete, according to Chelan County spokeswoman Jill FitzSimmons.

Now it's on to the Leavenworth Road District - an area encompassing Wending Ln., Meadow Dr. and Lower Chiwawa River Rd., among other streets.

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"Chip sealing is when we take a coating of liquid asphalt - and gravel - and we apply it to an existing roadway," FitzSimmons says. "What that does, then - it's going to preserve the roadway for a while longer." As a resurfacing technique, chip sealing works best on rural roads where day-to-day traffic is relatively sparse.

The chip sealing process is notably expedient. It typically requires a day of work, if that. This is because, as FitzSimmons puts it, "we're not chip sealing long stretches of roadway." (The Leavenworth District, however, may take as many as three days.)

According to FitzSimmons, traffic delays are inevitable. But motorists can make life easy on themselves by cooperating with flaggers and following instructions.

"Flaggers are working to get you through as quickly as possible - and as safely as possible," FitzSimmons says. "So when you come upon our crew working, we ask that you lower your speeds and keep an eye on those flaggers."

Chip sealing season generally lasts from June to September. Click here for a list of impacted mileposts.

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