Road Maintenance

Three road maintenance crews are stationed in the Sequim, Port Angeles, and the Lake Creek (west end) areas. A satellite west end crew is also stationed in Clallam Bay. Three Road Supervisors oversee the activities of these crews. Each crew is responsible for maintenance of the roads in their respective areas; however, crew members and equipment are shifted to other areas as the need arises. The types of work performed by these crews includes: mowing the shoulders of the roads, cutting brush, grading gravel roads, ditch cleaning, clearing clogged culverts, installing new or replacement culverts, plowing snow, sanding icy roads, filling potholes, repairing deteriorated asphalt concrete pavement by grinding, patching and crack sealing, resurfacing paved roads, hydroseeding and small road construction projects.

Signing and striping of Clallam County roads are also performed by Clallam County maintenance workers. The size, color, wording, and placement of traffic signs, and the striping of roads (which includes button placement, fog lines, pass and turn lanes) must conform to National and State standards. Speed limits are changed through a public hearing process.

During the winter months, snow plowing and sanding become prime concerns, where mowing and road resurfacing are the major concerns during the spring and summer months. When snow plowing is necessary, the arterials (main roads) and school bus routes are plowed first. Once those roads have been plowed, the secondary access roads are then plowed. Sand is applied to give better traction to hills and curves on plowed roads, and to shaded areas on those roads which tend to remain icy.

Much of the County's roadway surface rehabilitation is done by the chip sealing process. In this process, liquid asphalt is applied to the road surface and is covered with rock chips. After rolling and a curing period (generally 3 to 4 days), the excess rock chips are removed and recycled for future use and the road is striped. The process is significantly less expensive than an asphalt overlay. It results in a surface that is very skid resistant which will last 7 to 10 years in moderate service. The county accomplishes about 45 miles of chip sealing and 10 miles of paving each year. This work is done by a crew composed of employees from each of the three road areas. This special oiling team often numbers over 20 employees. During the oiling season, only mowing and minor maintenance tasks are performed due to a lack of regular crew.

One of the main functions of the Road Department's Engineering staff is to design and inspect the reconstruction of roads as provided for by the County's Annual Construction program. All roads are designed and built to meet current standards for safety, convenience, and load capacity. Roads constructed many years ago were not constructed for the amount of traffic currently experienced. With the aid of the survey crew and the right-of-way agent, the Engineering staff strives to design the reconstruction of each road to result in better traffic management. Attempts are made to reduce the disruption to neighboring landowners. Once a road design has been approved by the County Engineer and the County Commissioners, a contractor is hired through a bidding process. All phases of the road reconstruction are inspected by county personnel for contract and design compliance.

There are also 34 bridges along county roads which are inspected annually to look for deterioration, undermining, or other potential problems.