What is Sealcoating and Why Are We Doing it on BC Highways?

Sealcoating up close

Sealcoating on Highway 16 near Burns Lake

No, we aren’t making jackets for cold little seals, although that is a nice thought – isn’t it?

Sealcoating is actually a common type of road resurfacing done on BC highways. It involves the application of a special mixture to the road that protects the road base from additional wear and tear. So it’s kind of like a little jacket, but for roads. When it’s applied over existing pavement, sealcoating is a really cost-effective way of resurfacing that extends the life of the road by sealing out moisture. It also provides a skid-resistant, anti-glare surface during wet weather and, because it hardens the surface of gravel roads, it provides a dust-free driving surface. That’s a lot of good things coming from one type of treatment, don’t you think? We do too.

There are five or six steps in the sealcoating process:

  1. If required, we patch or seal cracks to prepare the road surface prior to sealing.
  2. A mixture of asphalt combined with water is then sprayed on the road surface. The water in this mixture starts to evaporate immediately.
  3. Immediately after spraying the asphalt-water mixture, a layer of gravel is spread over the surface.
  4. Next, the gravel is compacted and embedded into the asphalt with rollers. In some cases, sand is applied to assist in the consolidation and curing process. Despite the high-pressure rollers, some gravel will not become embedded in the asphalt.
  5. The surface is allowed to cure for up to two days while the water continues to evaporate.  Hot, dry summer days help speed this process, which is why we typically try to sealcoat during the summer months. Traffic can pass over this surface at reduced speeds during the curing process.
  6. Finally, the sealcoated surface is swept to eliminate any loose gravel. This may take several sweepings.
Sealcoating on the move

Sealcoating on Highway 16 near Burns Lake

From the time gravel is compacted on the road to the time when the excess is swept away, traffic must be kept to maximum of 50km/h. Travelling at higher speeds can cause gravel to break loose from a fresh seal coat, creating the risk of flying rock which may crack or break a windshield. To keep you and your vehicle safe, we use 24 hour pilot cars to keep the traffic speed down while the asphalt-gravel mixture solidifies. This can cause a bit of delay, which we know can be frustrating, especially if you are eager to get to the cabin or lake, but we appreciate your patience as we work to build an even better road to get you there.

Do you have any questions about sealcoating that we didn’t answer here? Let us know in the comments below or connect with us on Twitter or Facebook and we will try to get you an answer.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

55 Responses to What is Sealcoating and Why Are We Doing it on BC Highways?

  1. Brian on October 3, 2019 at 6:17 pm

    Hi. Does anyone resident of BC like sealcoat? Read a lot of negative comments on here. It is terrible. Has anyone at TranBC tried riding a motorcycle on this stuff? It’s not very comfortable. Feels like the road is grabbing my front tire and not in a good way. How is this safe? You guys just resurfaced the Hedley area where I own property. There didn’t seem to be anything wrong with the surface before and now it’s awful. If nobody likes this stuff why do you keep doing it? It’s going to end up costing more when enough people take action and we have to repave it. Very disappointed. Thumbs down.

    • tranbceditor on October 8, 2019 at 3:20 pm

      Hello Brian – thanks for your comment.

      The costs of re-paving a highway can be very expensive – making seal coating an important maintenance application in pavement preservation – it’s a great way to economically extend the service life of BC highways. Using seal coating applications can extend the life of the pavement by about 5 years.

      Even though it may appear that there is nothing wrong with the highway, there are often actually surface deficiencies that, if left untreated, will result in water penetration which, in turn will result in pot holes and alligator cracking of the surface. By seal coating a distressed paved highway, we seal the asphalt imperfections from harmful water intrusion and provide a uniform (and ultimately) highly skid resistant surface.

      During the construction phase of the seal coating process, loose aggregate and dust are created, and we provide notice to motorists of the construction work and ask that motorists be patient while travelling through our work zones as the benefits of the end results are significant.

      We have used this treatment on many highways in the Southern Interior Region – Hwy 33 Beaverdell to Rock Creek (summer 2015); Hwy 23 Shelter Bay to Revelstoke (summer 2016); Hwy 6 Angel Falls to Gold Pan Café (summer 2017); Hwy 3 Kootenay Pass to Summit Cr (summer 2018).

      While we understand that this isn’t the most popular resurfacing method; it is a key tool in our pavement preservation toolbox and one that we will continue to use in specific cases. Over a relatively short period of time the road will become smoother and in most cases the public will not be able to differentiate between the seal coated portions and conventional paved.

      We hope that this helps answer some of your questions about sealcoating. If you have any other questions or concerns, we would be happy to help answer them. Thanks again for reaching out to us here. Safe travels.

  2. Stve on September 16, 2019 at 3:10 pm

    We just got home from a trip to Hedley and they were seal coating between Hedley and Princeton. The silty mess covering our truck I can deal with, what we are not going to be responsible for are the tar specks which cover the entire lower half of our white truck which do not wash off. Would like a recommendation as what our next move should be.

    • tranbceditor on September 17, 2019 at 2:04 pm

      Good afternoon Stve and thank you for connecting with us here regarding your concern.

      We shared your comment with our local area staff and they let us know that after the recent initial completion of seal coating between Hedley and Princeton heavy rains prevented the seal coat from curing, resulting in the emulsion not fully setting. This could have speckled vehicles when rocks kicked up during travel. The contractor is fully responsible for any emulsion deposits and/or rock damage caused as a result and any vehicle claims caused from the seal coating should be directed to OK Industries: https://www.islandpaving.com/divisions

      Again, we thank you for bringing this to our attention.

      • T Manchulenko on September 18, 2019 at 7:29 pm

        I too like the last poster have just returned through the Hedley project. Traveling West on the 15th of Sept, pilot car rolling through basically oil coated gravel with a long line of vehicles ranging from transport trucks to motorcycles. All at speeds from 60-90 kmh. At least it was one way traffic. Returning on Sept 18th now east bound, through the pouring rain, middle of the day, NO pilot car, NO cautionary road signs, suggesting reduced speeds, NO workers, NO equipment, NO new road markings, old ones barley visible, and gravel in places completely covering the roadways. Two way traffic with no control through kilometers of poor roadway resulting in a cracked windshield, pitted paint on my trailer and frustration knowing that my tax dollars are paying for this poorly executed and monitored project. Surely there must be a better solution to what ever it is this project was expected to accomplish. I would be all in favor of a complete road overhaul rather than the mess this project is. And my damage? THis is somehow my responsibility? I would look forward to your response.

        on the entire stretch of the seal coating project.

        • tranbceditor on September 19, 2019 at 11:31 am

          Hello T – thanks for your comment.

          As you are aware from reading the previous comment, after the recent initial completion of seal coating between Hedley and Princeton heavy rains prevented the seal coat from curing, resulting in the emulsion not fully setting. This could have speckled vehicles when rocks kicked up during travel. The contractor is fully responsible for any emulsion deposits and/or rock damage caused as a result and any vehicle claims caused from the seal coating should be directed to OK Industries: https://www.islandpaving.com/divisions

          Again, we thank you for bringing this to our attention.

  3. John Dickinson on September 8, 2019 at 8:40 pm

    I agree with may of the comments above. The surface after seal coating is awful – rough, noisy and will wear tires much more quickly. I travelled in both directions on Highway 3 in the last few days and a) the pilot vehicles were NOT travelling slowly – how does 80 kph fit with your policy? b) the amount of loose gravel was appalling. I examined my car at the completion of the journey and I have discolouration of the lower mouldings, chips galore and a major deterioration in the under body areas. This is a poorly thought out and badly executed program that will cost drivers dearly.

    • tranbceditor on September 10, 2019 at 9:26 am

      We shared your comment with our local area staff and they let us know that after the recent initial completion of the Sunday Summit (Area) seal coat on September 6th, the contractor released the 24 hour traffic control for motorists to resume at normal speeds. Heavy rains came on September 8th and 9th loosening some of the fresh sealcoat aggregate which has accumulated mainly on the lane lines and shoulder areas. Loose aggregate on the lane lines and roadway will cause vehicle damage with traffic travelling at 100 Km/h. The contractor has been alerted to the situation and has investigated the site to report that they will organize further cleanup in the next few days.

      Any vehicle claims caused from the seal coating should be directed to OK Industries: https://www.islandpaving.com/divisions

  4. Marianne Dekker on August 12, 2019 at 7:27 pm

    How can you do seal coating on a gravel road. The road in front of my house was a paved road but it fell apart and now they took all the pavement out and filled it with just loads of gravel. They said they are preparing it for seal coating. It’s a road in a subdivision outside a town called Houston.

    • tranbceditor on August 13, 2019 at 11:11 am

      Hi Marianne – thanks for connecting with us here. Do you know if the road is under our jurisdiction, or the municipality of Houston? If it does belong to us, we encourage you to connect with local area staff to get more information on the plan for seal coating. Here’s the contact info for our closest office:
      Bulkley-Stikine District
      Bag 5000, 3726 Alfred Avenue
      Smithers, BC V0J 2N0
      250 847-7403

  5. Allan Reid on August 12, 2019 at 8:35 am

    Great that you reply to any question asked. I see there is no question regard WHERE sealcoat is to be used. Is there any criteria for an urban or semi-urban setting? All data seems to point to use on HIGHWAYS not urban roadways. Is there a site where we can see where and how the “road repair” strategy is determined?

    • tranbceditor on August 12, 2019 at 11:27 am

      Hello Allan,

      As the ministry responsible for provincial highways (and a selection of other roads which fall outside municipal jurisdiction) we focus primarily on numbered highways.
      If you know the municipality having jurisdiction for a specific road, we encourage you to contact them directly regarding their strategy. If you would like more information on a specific stretch of road under our jurisdiction, we can share local district office contact information with you, and you are more than welcome to contact our staff directly with a question.

  6. lyle zaksauskas on July 29, 2019 at 9:48 pm

    If a thicker coat of tar were to be used, when the rocks were dumped on top of it they would compress further into the tar allowing a smoother surface. I didn’t think that the tar was as thick as the tar in the pictures. The temperature for the day has a large bearing on the surface as well as if the tar cools to quickly the rocks don’t compress as deeply leaving a very rough surface. I can see the advantages but I also see a surface that is now hard to walk, push a baby buggy on and ride a bike. The surface has to be hard on the vehicle tires as compared to a smooth ashpault surface. Due to the roughness of the surface the vehicle noises created by the tires almost gives you the impression the vehicle is going to enter your home. Personally I think it is a cost saving gesture in a less dense automobile invironment. Do the larger centres as Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon, Kamloops get the same treatment.

    • tranbceditor on August 2, 2019 at 10:20 am

      Hi Lyle. Thanks for your comment and question. Yes, larger centres receive seal coating on many on their side roads.

  7. keith on June 26, 2019 at 10:10 am

    I agree it’s much cheaper than repaving, making your budget look much better. I do wonder why to date no one has published a true cost. By true cost I am talking about a combined cost of window repair and replacement and premature rust due to chipped paint? I do know that you do not pay any of that cost; even ICBC does not admit the true cost of seal coating as the consumer simply pays both the deductible and the high premiums as costs go up.

    In the end as a taxpayer, I am not convinced by the artificial costs vs real costs, as to the true cost to consumers.

    • tranbceditor on June 27, 2019 at 4:36 pm

      Hi Keith,

      Thank you for your comment. We can certainly understand your concern, unfortunately we are truly unable to give you a combined cost of damages to vehicles from aggregate used in sealcoating. Have you asked ICBC for more comprehensive information directly?

  8. Road Construction Machinery on August 16, 2018 at 1:40 am

    Hello, I see that you are very intimate to reply to each commenter, road safety is important, but with the staff of your responsible person, the road you are responsible for must be safe!

  9. Ivy Baker on August 8, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    This is some really good information about how a seal coating works on a highway. I didn’t realize that a seal coating has water in it. I didn’t realize that the water evaporates when it hits the ground. I wonder if that makes it easy to spread it on the road.

  10. Art on June 27, 2017 at 3:29 pm

    We the tax payer are fed up with the seal coating on bc highway just because you want to
    Get a bigger paycheque
    No more you have the equipment use it

    • tranbceditor on June 28, 2017 at 11:23 am

      Hi Art,
      Thanks for your comment. While it would be great to pave all BC roads, all of the time, the truth is not all roads need repaving and seal-coating often does the trick. Paving is also much more expensive and time consuming than paving and because our budget is fixed, we have to prioritize paving work across the province in a fiscally responsible way. That said, is there a particular area which you have concerns about? We would be happy to share your concern with a local area manager for review.

  11. Richard Kovach on June 15, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    I came upon an accident last week on the Alaska Hwy, in which a motorcycle tourist lost control & DIED as a result, on a freshly seal coated road that did not have the excess pea gravel swept off but left for the traveling public to beat off themselves. This irresponsible practice goes on every year & as far as I can see is only a cost saving exercise used instead of using packers & sweeping immediately leaving a road surface that isn’t deadly treacherous for motorcycles. Highways in Alaska are seal coated as well but the process is completed in a day with packers & sweepers savings lives, windshields & completely avoidable accidents.

    • tranbceditor on June 16, 2017 at 12:54 pm

      Hello Richard,

      Thank you for connecting with us here to share your concern. We forwarded your comment directly to the road area manager responsible for the BC portion of the Alaska Highway. He told us that he had not had any fatalities on his portion of the road in over a year and connected with his Public Works Canada counterpart to confirm if there had been any fatalities or sealcoating on the federal section of the highway. Public Works Canada is looking into your comment further and will get back to us. We did find a report of a fatality on the Yukon section of the highway, perhaps this is what you were referring to? If this is the case, that stretch of the road is outside of our jurisdiction and you might want to connect directly with the Yukon government to voice your concern directly.

      To address your concerns with sealcoating, our area manager confirmed what we have stated in this blog. Fresh coated sites are signed up with warning signs warning about loose material and dust. Pneumatic rollers are used to compact the seal and once it has cured it is swept before applying the next layer of seal or before opening the site back up to full speed traffic. Slower traffic is required to enhance site safety due to the risk of loose materials, dust (reduced visibility), worker safety and to prevent fresh placed material from breaking out of the bond while curing.

      On the other hand, if only cracks in the pavement are sealed using crack seal or spray patching, the operation will change based on what type of crack seal is done.

      Most crack seal operations are highly mobile work sites and will not necessarily require compaction of the seal. The blend is applied as a topical protector and the traffic will work it into the crack. Once the underlying emulsion is cured into the crack, the blend cover will be swept off in over the following days. Warning signs of the hazards are still left in place.

      In a spray patch operation a different type of oil and materials are used in the process and will require a small packer to pack the oil-chip mix in for ride smoothness and extend the life of the spray patch. The big difference is sealing of the crack vs. seal and topical covering of the crack. We assume that is what you have observed.

      We hope that this helps. Let us know if you have any other questions or concerns. Safe travels.

  12. Wee Will See on August 26, 2016 at 6:59 am

    So the real problem with this coating … Increased loose rocks tacking out your windshield , Increased noise pollution to residents within a kilometer of a hyway ,Increased gas consumption due to increased rolling resistance , Decreased life of tires (driving on gravel does chew them up quickly … In Alberta it was Dubbed Klein pavement, another Conservative failure ..

  13. Sylvain Hebert on June 18, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    Just drove from Revelstoke to Shelter Bay on Hwy 23 S. Sealcoating in progress. Very disappointed as I bicycle on this road along with many others. Sealcoated roads are rough for road bikes and take away the pleasure of riding in a big way. Too bad, this was one of Revelstoke road bike riders prime destination. A notice from MoT would have been appreciated before the start of the work.
    Also, we missed the ferry at shelter bay by 5 minutes this afternoon due to the pilot car driver not starting the held up traffic in time. We were 10km away from the ferry (arrived there with about 30mins to spare), we were told that it should take 17 mins or so to make it to the ferry. Why the pilot car driver didn’t start us up with a few minutes to spare is beyond me… A lot of people were upset. Come on, it’s not rocket science! There’s only one ferry per hour, get the traffic being held up to the ferry with a few minutes to spare instead of a few minutes after it’s left the dock. I get the sense that these workers don’t really care… Or else they’re as dumb as a sack of nail.

    • tranbceditor on June 22, 2016 at 1:21 pm

      Hello Sylvain,

      Thank you for connecting with us and sharing your concerns about the recent sealcoat work on Hwy 23S.

      We spoke with the local area manager who informed us that the project manager responsible for the seal coating in question emailed the Revelstoke Cycling Association this past winter, advising them of the planned work. We adjusted the treatment to accommodate for cyclists as best we could, knowing this to be a popular cycling route. Seal coating prevents deterioration of the road surface and in this case gives the road an additional 5-10 years of service.

      Regarding the traffic delay, the work zone does require single lane alternating traffic, and the use of pilot vehicles. The wait may have been due to clearing oncoming traffic and/or positioning of construction equipment. The crews are well aware of the ferry schedule and have been asked to give traffic heading to the ferry priority. This instance may have been an anomaly. As indicated on DriveBC and several message signs on H23 and the TCH, delays of 20 minutes are to be expected. We hope this helps. Please feel free to contact us if you have any other questions. Safe travels!

  14. Meagan on March 17, 2016 at 8:19 am

    This is great information about sealcoating. It can provide many years of use before having to completely repaving the road. I am so glad you broke down the process what happens the materials used. Thanks for sharing!

    • tranbceditor on March 17, 2016 at 9:19 am

      Thanks Meagan. Glad you found it useful.

  15. Aaron Stephens on February 19, 2016 at 8:12 pm

    I’ve always wondered why pilot cars throttle traffic flow. It seems really important to keep everyone safe, so I’m glad they are there. I’ve been late due to road construction; however, the next time it happens, I’ll remember how it’s keeping windshields and drivers safe.

  16. Nash Rich on February 16, 2016 at 11:25 am

    Thanks for this post, I didn’t know what sealcoating was before I read this. So they probably don’t do this on ordinary roads, just the big ones? The road by my house was redone one summer and I didn’t really know what they were doing some of the times, but I wasn’t watching them very much.

  17. Travis Thompson on November 3, 2015 at 11:39 am

    I was under the impression that sealcoating literally puts another coat on the road with some kind of special seal. Your article mentions that it’s just an asphalt-water mix, with gravel on top? I’m assuming the steamrollers are to get the gravel into the asphalt, and making the mix stick.

    • tranbceditor on November 5, 2015 at 9:53 am

      Hi Travis,

      The road is “sealed” with the asphalt emulsion (AC/water blended). It fills and seals all the cracking and flaws in the road. It is sprayed on warm and hardens by the water evaporating over the next few days. The aggregate is the protective running surface. The aggregate is embedded in the emulsion around 60% to 75% to hold it in place and keep it from pulling out. The skill and “trick” is to get the embedment just right to keep the surface from looking flushed (little too much emulsion) or having it ravel because there is not enough emulsion. The embedment can be initially achieved using a rubber tire roller and then traffic is allowed to drive slowly over the loose aggregate surface to assist in the process. After a day the excess aggregate is removed by sweeping.

      Steamrollers (powered by steam) were discontinued in about the 1930s. Sealcoating does not use steel drum rollers. Rubber tire rollers are used to embed the aggregate because of the “kneading” action.

      Hope that this helps! Thank you for connecting with us here.

  18. Jason on September 23, 2015 at 2:43 am

    I agree that it is important to set up a good foundation of highways to make sure it will last through harsh winter conditions.

  19. Arlene on August 18, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    Awful!!! This sealcoating is a horrible surface. On the Kispiox Valley Road it is applied and left, left for weeks, not days and is no pilot car is used after it has been put down. I really dislike this surface as it cost me a new vehicle when some idiot decided to pass me and collided into me twice! Not to mention that the flying debre that causes chips on my paint/windows and oil on my vehicle. Now the value of my vehicle has depreciated and I am stuck with a damaged vehicle. I do not like this surface and there is no alternate route!

    • tranbceditor on August 20, 2015 at 11:20 am

      Hi Arlene,

      Thanks for connecting with us here and sharing your concerns. We have shared your comment forward with the area office.

    • tranbceditor on September 1, 2015 at 3:26 pm

      Hi Arlene, to further follow up.
      Our ministry and our contractors try our best to complete seal coating projects in a timely, efficient and safe manner and we apologize if you’ve had a negative experience during this construction project. The District Operations Manager Bryan Crosby spoke with our contractor regarding the Kispiox Road and they have informed him that works were completed on Wednesday the 19th and final sweeping is starting. Similar to crack-sealing, seal coating requires a few days of curing before sweeping can occur.

      Our contractor follows ministry guidelines for traffic control that stipulates a 50km/h zone is established for seal coat projects and appropriate signage is in place to notify motorists. While we cannot promise a completely dust free condition during construction, this speed zone is designed to reduce traffic speed to a level that mitigates dust and flying gravel. It’s very unfortunate to hear that you were passed by vehicles in this zone and that these vehicles were exceeding the posted speed limit. If you see this again, I encourage you to notify the contractor on site, the district or contact the RCMP. If you feel your vehicle has sustained damage as a direct result of this project, you may file a claim with our claims department. http://www.th.gov.bc.ca/mot_org/const_maint/claims_unit/claims_unit.htm

      Seal Coating is a very effective method that allows us to maintain more kilometers of hard surface roads in a time of limited budgets. Without this sort of maintenance, the asphalt will deteriorate much faster. Often we will use seal coating as a method to hard surface gravel residential roads, thus offering residents the benefits of a dust free driving surface. These are often very low-volume roads that would otherwise never receive any sort of hard surface. Within the Bulkley Stikine District, we have several examples of completed seal coat projects that offer a quality driving surface, such as Highway 37A from Meziadin Junction to Stewart and numerous side roads in the Smithers area.

  20. John Pfeifer on August 18, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    Remaining gravel seems to be a problem after seal coating, better gravel removal when the process has cured may be the answer.

    • tranbceditor on August 19, 2015 at 11:10 am

      Thanks for your comment John, we will share this forward on your behalf.

  21. Dave Gunn on July 17, 2015 at 5:24 pm

    I live on East Sooke Rd and two days ago we had a paved road now we have a gravel road, 6.5 Km of gravel road. This surface is not very good for motorcycles and worse for bicycles. Is there a plan to pave the road properly in the near future? In the mean time I’m putting our bikes away.

    Dave Gunn
    6805 East Sooke Rd

    • tranbceditor on July 21, 2015 at 4:02 pm

      Hi Dave,

      We have sent your question forward to the area office. Stay tuned for more information.

    • tranbceditor on July 23, 2015 at 9:06 am

      Hi Dave,

      Thanks for the enquiry. Although the existing road surface now has a lot of loose aggregate, hence your comment of it being a gravel road, this aggregate will be broomed aside in the coming days. The road surface underwent a rehab process called sealcoating. Here’s a link to more information on what sealcoating is and why we do it: http://tranbc.ca/2015/05/14/what-is-sealcoating-and-why-are-we-doing-it-on-bc-highways/#sthash.tYxTpZwb.dpbs. The first stage of that process is placing aggregate over fresh asphalt oils and over a period of a couple days that aggregate bonds together and to the road surface. After that bonding period, the remaining loose aggregate is swepped from the surface. A local example of what the end product will look like is available on Kemp Lake Road just west of Sooke. Hope this helps!

  22. Tyler on June 26, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    Very disappointed with the seal coating. I drive each way on that road all year round every 6 days. Eight months of the year I ride my motorcycle the new road surface will make it much more dangerous with the loose gravel then ever before. I now ride over to Osoyoos instead of highway 33 as I am sure after one attempt on hwy 33 most motorcyclists will.

    • tranbceditor on June 29, 2015 at 9:23 am

      Hi Tyler,
      Thanks for your comments. I’ve shared them with the local district around Highway 33.

    • tranbceditor on July 2, 2015 at 9:34 am

      Hi Tyler, once the seal coat has completely cured and has been fully swept there is no reason for motorcyclists to avoid Highway 33. It is still a paved highway although the ride will not be as smooth. In fact, in wet weather a seal coated road provides a highly skid resistant surface.

  23. Bruce on June 26, 2015 at 9:14 am

    Awful .
    Had to drive between Rock Creek and Kelowna two weeks ago. As soon as we got beyond the pilot car area and drove on what was suppose to be done I had gravel hitting me from the car in front and some cars going by.
    I now have a cracked windshield plus two more chips as well as chips all over the hood and fenders. The rocks are so sharp they broke right through the clear coat and the paint. Who’s going to pay for all that. Oh right ME. Thanks Seal coat ,great job. NOT

    • tranbceditor on June 26, 2015 at 11:24 am

      Hi Bruce,
      I’m sorry to hear that happened. I’ve passed along your comments/concerns to the local district.

    • tranbceditor on July 2, 2015 at 9:39 am

      Hi Bruce, we followed up with the ministry rep for the project in regards to the loose rock on Highway 33. Typically, after a seal coat has sufficiently cured, a contractor will sweep the affected area and allow pilot car controlled traffic to further consolidate the aggregate. After this process the contractor sweeps the entire pilot car controlled area once again removing some dislodged material in preparation for the application of temporary center-line marks and if the seal coat appears to be stable, the contractor will release the traffic to reduced or posted speeds. After a couple of days of unobstructed traffic some material collects on the shoulders and the contractor cleans this off as well. The amount of aggregate that comes loose after a seal coat is released to traffic at posted speed is a function of the rock embedment and overall strength of the seal coat. For this reason, the Ministry addresses all vehicle damage to the contractor’s attention in hopes that the complaint gets resolved.

      We’ve recently inspected Highway 33 and additional sweeping has been requested.

      Vehicle damage claims can be sent to: Arrowsmith Road Maintenance Ltd.: 250-652-5535

  24. Cary Granley on June 20, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    I bicycle with a few other people down highway 33 to Grand Forks every year from Kelowna. I drove it on June 25th and it felt like I was driving on gravel road the on the way from Rock Creek to Beaverdell.. I am not sure what portion of the highway was completed because it all felt the same in the speed controlled area and non speed controlled area.. rough!! My question is how will the shoulders and road be when the job is complete and will it be bicycle friendly.

    • tranbceditor on June 22, 2015 at 10:13 am

      Hi Cary,

      Thanks for the feedback. We have shared your question forward to the area manager. Stay tuned.

    • tranbceditor on June 22, 2015 at 5:11 pm

      Hello Cary,

      We spoke with the area manager who informed us that the road will be completed next week, and while it won’t be as smooth as a paved surface, it does provide a skid-resistant surface and will help the road from aging prematurely. The shoulders will be smoother but will be in generally the same condition they were in in prior to the sealcoating. The Kettle Valley Railway/ Columbia and Western Railway routes is a great alternative to the highway and has a maintained cycle path that crosses between Kelowna and Grand Forks. This route is not paved but it is a good maintained gravel route with many spectacular views and some fantastic history detailing the early days of rail transportation in the area. Here is the link: http://www.kettlevalleyrailway.ca/

      Hope that this helps!

  25. Serge Duval on June 18, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    I’ve heard a lot about seal coating being good for the life of roads. It even looks better that way! It does make the road a bit rougher at times, but I definitely think it’s worth it to extend the life of the road. After all, building a whole new roads causes a lot bigger of a delay than a seal-coating process. Thanks for the information!

  26. Keith Ryan on June 1, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    I am very sad to hear you are sealcoating the southern half of Highway 33 next week. The resulting abrasive surface will make it impossible for me to ride my motorcycle on it without shredding it’s tires. In my experience sealcoating always make a terrible road surface. It’s extremely abrasive and noisy and hard on tires. I wish you would just lay down a layer of nice smooth asphalt.

    • tranbceditor on June 2, 2015 at 4:04 pm

      Hi Keith,
      Thanks for connecting with us here and sharing your feedback. We will share it forward with the district office on your behalf.

    • liaoyuan on August 14, 2018 at 11:59 pm

      After reading the comments of the people above. I want to say that the purpose of doing this is good.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.