Wednesday, July 18, 2018     Volume: 19, Issue: 19

Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on September 12th, 2017, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 18, Issue 28 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 18, Issue 28

Santa Maria road work will cause delays through October


A series of road construction projects in Santa Maria is slated for the coming weeks, and because much of the work will be done on busy streets, local drivers will need to practice patience.

The city’s annual street maintenance chip sealing program began on Sept. 11, and this year’s affected roads include West Cook Street, South College Drive, Miller Street, Alvin Avenue, and East Donovan Road. Other smaller streets will be resurfaced as well, according to a Santa Maria Public Works Department press release, and traffic delays are expected until the end of September.

Senior Civil Engineer Eric Riddiough said that while none of the affected roads will be closed completely, drivers can expect delays due to temporary lane closures on roads with regularly high volumes of traffic.

“There will be inconveniences to drivers,” Riddiough said.

The chip sealing process starts with the removal of existing road markings, according to the release. A thin layer of asphalt oil is then poured over the street and covered by a chip rock that protects pavement and extends its life. Riddiough said the chip rock’s surface is then coated in fog seal, which is sprayed onto the road. Finally, traffic stripes and markings are returned to the road.

Roughly 175,000 square yards of chip seal will be applied to 6.5 centerline miles of roadway, according to the release.

Riddiough said chip sealing is the preferred method of surface treatment used on traffic-heavy roads. Slurry seal—a similar treatment that uses a smaller rock—will be applied to several residential areas later in the month. That project, Riddiough said, will last until mid-October and affect the Westgate Neighborhood and North Depot Street between West Alvin Avenue and West Fesler Street. Many of those roads will be fully closed.

Riddiough said the projects will cost $500,000 each—paid for by gas taxes—and the affected roads were selected through the city’s pavement management program. The program catalogs the surface treatments and conditions of all roads in Santa Maria, which helps employees decide what roads need treatment.

Riddiough said most roads are treated every six or seven years.

While construction is expected to move quickly, the release stated that parking will not be allowed in the affected areas. Construction notices with dates and times of prohibited parking will be posted along the streets scheduled for treatment.

“No one likes construction and it’s always an inconvenience, but the city of Santa Maria has done a good job of keeping up with annual roadway maintenance,” Riddiough said. “If we didn’t do it on an annual basis we’d get behind and the roads wouldn’t be in as good of shape as they are.”

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