Project enhanced after newspaper’s appeal

       An appeal from the Westside Pioneer resulted in a potentially stronger chipseal surface on three major streets in the Midland area this week.
       A final bonding agent called “fogseal” is now being applied to 21st , 26th and Broadway streets, according to officials with the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (RTA).
       “The fogseal really locks it in,” said Tom Francese, a City Streets program supervisor. “It will do a lot of good on all of those roadways. It has two purposes - to lock in any loose aggregate and to improve aesthetics. You can't see a difference between chipseal and a regular road.”
       The added expense will come to about $2,000, according to John Tracy, a city RTA program management consultant. The city agreed to the change order because of some flexibility in program costs and the recognition that 21st, 26th and Broadway are streets where vehicles may go faster than 35 miles per hour, he said. It is not known whether this policy will continue on chipseal projects elsewhere in town.
       The Washington State Department of Transporta-tion website states that at speeds greater than 35 mph, rocks are more likely to be knocked loose and thrown from tires and possibly break a windshield or “injure pedestrians, bicycle riders or motorcyclists.”
       A-1 Chipseal Company, typically uses fogseal on all its jobs, but the city has been leaving that step out as an economy measure on some streets in this, its first year contracting with A-1. In the Midland area, the city originally planned not to fogseal any of the streets.
       Tracy spoke less highly of fogseal than Francese. Although agreeing the application can extend the life of chipseal oil, he said a large part of its appeal is appearance. “It makes the street blacker, and people like black streets,” he said.
       But he's also keeping an open mind. By putting fogseal on some major streets but not others, the city can “compare and see if it does extend the street's life,” he said.
       Francese said he's hopeful that the fogseal will have the favorable side effect of reducing claims for damages from loose chipseal rocks. If any such damage results, people are advised to call A-1 Chipseal Company at 303-464-9267.

Westside Pioneer article