The street division of the Public Works Department repairs and maintains the City’s roadways providing street patching, utility patching, shoulder mowing and grading, alley maintenance, tree and vegetation maintenance, street cleaning, letter control, snow and ice removal, as well as signage replacement and repair. This department also manages the chip seal program offered through Thurston County, resurfacing approximately 1-3 miles of street surface per year. We have established a pavement management program, assessing and rating the condition of the City’s streets, helping prioritize street and sidewalk repair.
CHIP SEAL PROGRAM
Chip seals are economical surface treatments designed to protect and prolong the lives of pavements. An application of asphalt emulsion is sprayed on the pavement, followed by a single layer application of aggregate (uniformly sized chips). The new surface treatment is then rolled to seat the aggregate, and swept to remove any loose chips. Chip seals can be used to protect new pavements, to increase skid resistance, and to prolong the life of pavement that is structurally sound but is beginning to age and may have some surface distress. It is extremely durable and will have a long life at a relatively low cost.
The City of Yelm Public Works department prepares the streets for chip seal and removes the excess chip seal once the work is complete.
The need for road markings of all types is becoming increasingly important in controlling the position of moving traffic into orderly lanes, and in showing the road user where they can and cannot be on the highway. White and yellow lines are still the major part of road markings and contribute to road safely. The ability of the line to reflect light from the vehicle back to the driver, i.e. retro-reflectivity, has become increasingly important, as is line durability, luminance (“brightness”) and skid resistance.
The line “paint” is a thermoplastic material and that is a mixture of a light colored silica sand, (a bulking agent), a white or yellow pigment, a resin binder, (to hold it all together), and some glass beads, (to make the lines shine in the dark by reflecting the headlight beam back to the driver).