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Snohomish to Improve Nearly 47 Miles of County Roads

Freds Rivertown Alehouse
Published:2020-06-18 County
Snohomish to Improve Nearly 47 Miles of County Roads    Print Snohomish Times    
Snohomish to Improve Nearly 47 Miles of County Roads

Paving and Chip Sealing doesn’t just preserve road surfaces, helping the infrastructure to last longer and saving millions of dollars in taxes. It also decreases the wear and tear on all the vehicles that use the surface, saving residents time and money over the long term. 

Each year, Snohomish County Public Works evaluates its roads to develop a multi-year plan to preserve and maintain county roads in the most cost-effective way. This year, the county will pave approximately

8.8 miles of road with asphalt. It will also pre-level and/or chip seal approximately 38 miles of road as part of its Chip Seal Program.

“These projects are important as they help to ensure we don’t end up with larger, more costly road replacement projects in the future,” Public Works Director Kelly Snyder said. “They are also about maintaining the safety of our roads. Well maintained roads are safer roads.” 

Public Works Road Maintenance crews and construction contractors will be practicing COVID-19 prevention protocols during these projects. Please provide crews six feet for social distancing.


Paving Program

This year’s paving work began in May and will continue to September. Sidewalk ramps will also be upgraded to meet current Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements, where necessary. The Paving Program focuses on preserving pavement while it is still in fair condition by placing a new layer of asphalt over the existing one. A typical paved road has a serviceable life of 15-30 years depending upon location, traffic volumes, weather, and truck or heavy vehicle usage. The work will be completed by paving contractors and county crews.


Chip Seal Program

Pre-leveling work began in May, while chip sealing work will begin in July. Snohomish County Road Maintenance crews began pre-leveling work near Arlington on May 26. Crews will transition to laying chip seals at the end of July following the same pattern as pre-leveling. Chip sealing is expected to be completed by September. 

As part of the pre-level work, crews will patch potholes and improve uneven or failing pavement prior to completing the chip seal work. Chip sealing extends the life of the road surface for an additional seven to 10 years, saving the county money.

Once the chips are pressed into place by rollers, the road is re-opened to traffic. A temporary speed limit of 20 miles per hour will be in effect for the week following the chip seal placement. Adherence to this

temporary speed limit will minimize the likelihood of loose, flying chips causing damage to a vehicle’s body or windshield. Crews will return within a week to sweep up any loose chips and, if needed, replace pavement striping.

Both chip seal and paving work are weather dependent and all preliminary schedules are subject to change.

Work is scheduled for the following unincorporated areas of Snohomish County:


County area

Number of road locations

Total Road Miles










Granite Falls



Lake Stevens/Machias






Mill Creek









Sultan/Sky Valley






South County




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