Missoula’s Annual Chip Seal Program Begins

City of Missoula Street Division crews begin applying oil and chips to city streets on Monday, July 28, in the City’s annual Chip Seal Street Maintenance Program.

Missoula annually seals the surface of about 100 blocks of its streets using the chip seal method. The oil and chip seals the asphalt surface from weather erosion and extends the life of the pavement in the same way as painting a home. Sealing streets delays reconstruction and saves dollars and disruption for Missoula’s residents. The City initiated this annual program in 1987. In the 27 years of its street maintenance program, the City has sealed a majority of the eligible streets and has started the next phase of street preservation by returning to many of the streets sealed and protected early in the program.

The chip seal project is expected to take one week to complete. The loose chip rock will be left on the streets for an additional two to three weeks until street sweepers can clean up the chips. For the next year, the street will have a rough surface due to the rock chips and will also have some loose rock that will eventually be cleaned up. The streets benefiting from this year’s chip seal surfacing are listed below in a tentative order in which they will be completed. Weather and/or workload could change the schedule.