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Anybody else see this method of chip sealing?

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Anybody else see this method of chip sealing?

Old 08-06-19, 03:31 PM
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jeffreythree
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Anybody else see this method of chip sealing?

We have a ton of crappy chip seal around here where they don't put enough tar down to hold the stone and don't top seal so it ends up like a washboard. Now I keep running into something completely new where they cover the whole road with our usual gravel road surface and then return to chip seal that gravel later. I have run into it on 3 roads so far this summer, and one where I watched them laying it down. Almost like an oiled dirt road, but with stone on top. These are the northern edge of the DFW suburbs (Denton County), not way out in the boonies. I have hardly ridden anything other than my Jamis Renegade not knowing what road surfaces I will find, and the end result is something between paved and gravel but worse than both since the treacherous loose stone never seems to go away.

Last edited by jeffreythree; 08-06-19 at 03:39 PM.
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Old 08-06-19, 05:01 PM
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I am no stranger to bad roads, but our roads are totally different. Chip seal would not work in a place with the temperature extremes we get here when one day it can be many degrees above freezing with water pooling and then the temperature can plummet to 20 or more degrees below freezing in the space of a couple of hours. Chip seal roads would disintegrate every winter. Our roads are mainly paved with asphalt with varying degrees of preparation and quality of materials. Sometimes there is a combination of good road prep combined with poor road surfacing. This can result after a very few years in a condition I refer to as "faux pave". Riding on it feels like riding cobblestones without the visual allure. Our cycling club has a variable list for local rides, depending on which municipalities have done recent road work. Our current rides follow routes we favoured about 15 years ago. Even with the poor standards that Quebec roads are built to, a similar standard of construction in Texas would last many times as long, but it would cost more in taxes.
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Old 08-06-19, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by jeffreythree View Post
Now I keep running into something completely new where they cover the whole road with our usual gravel road surface and then return to chip seal that gravel later.
So it's loose gravel, covered with chip-and-seal?

That doesn't seem very sturdy, but I guess it's better than just loose gravel.

According to this site:
For low-volume gravel roads that do not warrant paving, chip sealing is a cost-effective procedure that prevents water from penetrating the road surface, improves skid resistance and suppresses road dust.
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Old 08-06-19, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
Chip seal would not work in a place with the temperature extremes we get here
Your weather isn't very different than my weather. And they eventually chip seal almost every road around here.

https://www.weatherbase.com/compare....7&second=72617
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Old 08-06-19, 07:20 PM
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Yep, Hwy 75 in western MN has stretches of it on the shoulders. If I wanted to design a road shoulder surface to devour tires and flesh, I could have done no better.
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Old 08-06-19, 07:26 PM
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At one time we had some street resurfacing that appeared to be some form of tar/oil/asphaltish crap, that was covered with a heavy layer of chipped rock. After several days of vehicles packing down some of the rock, the City swept up the remainder. From what I recall, there were numerous complaints of cracked windshields, then the practice seemed to fade away.
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Old 08-06-19, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
So it's loose gravel, covered with chip-and-seal?

That doesn't seem very sturdy, but I guess it's better than just loose gravel.

According to this site:

For low-volume gravel roads that do not warrant paving, chip sealing is a cost-effective procedure that prevents water from penetrating the road surface, improves skid resistance and suppresses road dust.
Yep, same gravel I find on all the regular gravel roads around here. Usually crushed limestone that settle out to packed dirt with varying amounts of golf ball sized chunks loose on top. I could only imagine it being a temporary fix on roads to rough to just chip seal without the budget to fix completely.
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Old 08-07-19, 12:12 AM
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I have done the Bike Ride Across Georgia (BRAG) four times. There are stretches of rural road where they seem to lay out the chip and seal but rather than rolling it to some semblance of road, they wait for passing cars and trucks to tamp it down. Some of it can be very interesting to ride on.
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Old 08-07-19, 03:34 AM
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Originally Posted by jeffreythree View Post
We have a ton of crappy chip seal around here where they don't put enough tar down to hold the stone and don't top seal so it ends up like a washboard. Now I keep running into something completely new where they cover the whole road with our usual gravel road surface and then return to chip seal that gravel later. I have run into it on 3 roads so far this summer, and one where I watched them laying it down. Almost like an oiled dirt road, but with stone on top. These are the northern edge of the DFW suburbs (Denton County), not way out in the boonies. I have hardly ridden anything other than my Jamis Renegade not knowing what road surfaces I will find, and the end result is something between paved and gravel but worse than both since the treacherous loose stone never seems to go away.
What your describing is pretty much standard practice in Australia. There actually is some method in the madness. Smooth bitumen is nice yet its somewhat brittle and suffers greatly from water washing out the base and causing pot holes if the foundation isn't absolutely packed down hard. A bit of tar with chips on top is a flexible surface that will pack down over time and not suffer as much from pot holes. The best road possible will start as just a chip seal road that after 6-12 months of packing down, is then and only then covered with a nice smooth bitumen surface.
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Old 08-07-19, 05:28 AM
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Originally Posted by MAK View Post
I have done the Bike Ride Across Georgia (BRAG) four times. There are stretches of rural road where they seem to lay out the chip and seal but rather than rolling it to some semblance of road, they wait for passing cars and trucks to tamp it down. Some of it can be very interesting to ride on.
Yes, the New Mexico dept. of highways would chip seal this way.

It created 2 large gravel piles where there once had been a shoulder, then 4 valleys where the car tires had compacted the chip, then 3 mounds in the middle of the lanes and road. As a cyclist your choice was to ride in the valley and hope no cars came up behind you. Perhaps the roller guy called in sick, for a week ?
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Old 08-07-19, 08:09 AM
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They do that here in central mn as well. Worse though, for bicyclists is when they do the same to fill pot holes. You get this lump of fresh pea sized gravel which vehicle travel is supposed to tamp down. The problem is it becomes a pot-hump. If the road is pretty damaged these follow in tight succession and can force a bicyclist to follow a track the bicyclist wasn't intending to follow.

But then I have to wonder, is my rose colored memory of the roads I grew up riding better than things actually were, or did I just accept things as they were without thinking about them too much?
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Old 08-07-19, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by cb400bill View Post
Your weather isn't very different than my weather. And they eventually chip seal almost every road around here.

https://www.weatherbase.com/compare.php3?first=82537&second=72617
Temperatures are a bit more extreme in winter here, not unusual to get rain in January followed by -20C temperatures within a day. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Januar...ican_ice_storm Average temperatures don't tell the whole story. Also, compare the Montreal metropolitan population which if you include the adjacent cities of Laval and Longueuil is pushing the 4 million mark. Chip seal would never work here

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Old 08-08-19, 05:36 AM
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Yup, same stuff in most rural areas around Fort Worth. It's just some sort of bitumen resin stuff mixed with regular gravel. Very coarse until heavy motor vehicle traffic packs it down.

Even in cities and suburbs it's sometimes weeks or months before the finish the job. On the west side of town, Camp Bowie Blvd, Chapin and Williams roads were all torn up for more than a month this spring and early summer, ground down to the substructure leaving a rough corrugated surface that was brutal on road bikes. And there were no alternative routes that didn't involve riding 10 miles out of the way to get around that mess.

I've switched to less expensive and less delicate tires -- Continental Ultra Sport II have been fine and cost only about $10-$15 each -- and ride the wheel tracks whenever possible. It's not bad on my hybrids with 700x40 and larger tires.

I won't buy another standard road bike. Pointless with the direction infrastructure is going here. My next drop bar bike will be a gravel or endurance type bike, something that takes at least 700x28 tires and preferably larger.
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Old 08-08-19, 06:04 AM
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We have few roads with a version of chip seal, but it's rolled to pretty smooth surface. It stays that way unless there's a lot of truck traffic (logging trucks, generally) in which case it ends up getting slightly gravelly on top. But when that has happened they come back within a few months and repair the surface. It's not bad at all and it's only done on roads that were formally dirt and sand.
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Old 08-08-19, 06:14 AM
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Here they seem to do about 1/4" or 3/18" stones sprayed with tar and and rolled down to pack it. Slightly rougher than normal paving, but not bad once things settle.

I wish they would do a final layer of sand to soak up the remaining tar, but it seems to lose its stickiness after a few weeks as is.
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Old 08-08-19, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by AnthonyG View Post
What your describing is pretty much standard practice in Australia. There actually is some method in the madness. Smooth bitumen is nice yet its somewhat brittle and suffers greatly from water washing out the base and causing pot holes if the foundation isn't absolutely packed down hard. A bit of tar with chips on top is a flexible surface that will pack down over time and not suffer as much from pot holes. The best road possible will start as just a chip seal road that after 6-12 months of packing down, is then and only then covered with a nice smooth bitumen surface.
And in New Zealand. Although here is it is probably done for reasons of cost: with a low population base to fund all the infrastucture requirements cheaper solutions must be found. It is horrible when fresh and by the time it has become lovely to ride on they tend to redo teh chip seal.
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