The Ada County Highway District starts its summer chip sealing Wednesday.

They'll be working on 550 miles of roadways across the county. The road work is sure to cause some delays.

You can expect to see crews near Five Mile Road and Edna Street in Boise Wednesday afternoon. It’s one of the first chip sealing projects to get underway in Ada County. And like any type of roadwork, it can be a bit of headache.

ACHD says chip sealing is much needed to preserve the life of our roads, and it will save taxpayers money in the long run.

Chip sealing can cause delays, it can be dusty and dirty. It can even damage your windshield.

The chip seal provides a protective coating to the road. ACHD says without it -- traffic, weather and sun would wear the roads down and they would begin to deteriorate.

"It's a very important maintenance program that extends the life of our roadways," ACHD spokeswoman Nicole DuBois. "Instead of having to do an overlay, which is quite a bit more expensive, this is preserving that roadway at a fraction of the cost to taxpayers."

ACHD divides the county into six zones for chip sealing projects. Each year, one of those zones gets the work. This year, select roads in Boise, Meridian, Eagle and Star will be treated.

Starting this week, crews will be in the areas of Fairview Avenue between Cloverdale and Five Mile roads, and Joplin Road north of Chinden Boulevard between Can-Ada and Star roads.

Crews will cover the road with asphalt, immediately followed by the chip application. After the asphalt is fully set, which takes about 5 to 10 days, the fog seal is applied and that's the final step.

"We understand it's an inconvenience to motorists,” DuBois said. “Generally, vehicles can drive on a chip seal surface within a few minutes after it’s completed, and then at the very end of the process we go back through an apply a fog seal, and so cars can generally drive on that within half hour."

During this process, ACHD asks that you pay attention to where crews are directing you and to obey the posted speed limit.

"That's going to protect your vehicle form chips flying up and potentially damaging your windshield, but it's also protecting the vehicle going the opposite direction of you," DuBois said.

ACHD expects the chip sealing to be done by early September. There will be weekly updates.

You will not be allowed to park on roads that are being treated.

No parking signs will be posted 24 to 48 hours before chip sealing begins.