Chip Seal

An economical approach to preserving pavement in the City of Oak Harbor. Roads are reviewed on an annual basis to determine the condition and if a chip seal or pavement overlay is necessary. A schedule of work is available on the Island County website Transportation Improvement Program. 

What Is the Difference Between Chip Seal & Overlay?

The differences are in the construction method, cost, and longevity. The basic ingredients of hot mix asphalt and chip seals are the same.

Benefits of Chip Seal

  • Chip seal makes roads last longer. The City of Oak Harbor is responsible for the maintenance of 71 centerline miles of roadway.
  • It is more efficient to provide seven years (depending on traffic flow) of good pavement condition to roadways that have not fallen apart
  • Costs less than half of the cost of a conventional maintenance asphalt overlay, extending the time between overlays
  • Improves roads for the public, enhancing safety by providing skid resistance for vehicles
  • Provides an effective moisture barrier for the underlying pavement against water intrusion by sealing cracks in the pavement 

Work Schedule

The chip seal program usually starts after Memorial Day and is completed by Labor Day. The schedule may change due to weather.

What is Chip Sealing

The same basic ingredients as asphalt concrete paving, but the construction method is different.  With chip seals, a thin film of heated asphalt liquid is sprayed on the road surface, followed by the placement of small aggregates ("chips"). Chips are then rolled to orient the chips for maximum adherence to the asphalt, and excess stone is swept from the surface. 

Steps for Installing Chip Seals

See the Island County Chip Seal Fact Sheet for details.