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ACHD to use new chip seal alternative on bike lanes

A friction seal product was used on a bike lane in the Boise this summer. ACHD is calling it a huge success.

BOISE, Idaho — Last spring, the Ada County Highway District hired a Tucson, Arizona-based company to apply a friction seal product on some area roads and bike lanes. 

ACHD officials say the bike lane portion of the project was hugely successful and will be used in the future.

Asphalt Systems, Inc. used their machine on a dozen stem roads - the portion of road leading into a cul-de-sac - during the summer months.  It was supposed to provide the equivalent of a chip seal treatment but was not successful.  

The machine was not able to apply the friction seal to the curved portion of road leading into a cul-de-sac, thus the results looked uneven.

The treatment was also applied to a bike lane on Emerald Street between Cloverdale Road and Maple Grove Road. In that demo, the friction seal was able to fill in the grooves left behind from chip sealing, and create a smoother ride for cyclists.

The demonstration was presented to ACHD's Bicycle Advisory Committee, who also appreciated the treatment.

ACHD has decided to contract with Asphalt Systems, Inc. to friction seal highly-used bike lanes in chip seal zones every two years. The first treatment is set for next year.

Officials say friction sealing is much cheaper than other treatments used on area roads.

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