In addition to the road construction on Highway 75 south of Ketchum, a seal-coating project is scheduled to begin in July on the highway south of Bellevue. Travelers between the Magic Valley and the Wood River Valley will also encounter seal coating work on Highway 75 north of Shoshone.
The Idaho Transportation Department announced in a press release that the “construction season is well underway” and seal-coating projects are scheduled to begin this week in various locations throughout south-central Idaho.
The work is expected to last from July 7-12 on an eight-mile section of newly constructed road immediately north of Shoshone, said ITD spokesman Nathan Jerke. Once that work is finished, seal coating will likely begin on Highway 75 south of Bellevue between mileposts 107 and 111.
Jerke said both projects will be done by Emery Inc. of Filer, under a $780,000 contract that also involves seal-coating work on U.S. Highway 30 and state Highway 24.
According to an ITD press release, on two-lane sections of highway, the roadway during seal coating work will be reduced to one lane with a pilot car guiding motorists through the work zone. In areas of four lanes or more, there will be alternating lane closures with flaggers controlling traffic in the work areas.
ITD advised that in all seal-coating areas, 35 mph speed limit restrictions will be in place during road work.
“Observing posted speed limits and increasing following distance will reduce the risk of windshield damage caused by loose gravel,” the press release states. “Drivers are urged to use caution in all areas of seal coating.”
Seal coating consists of applying a layer of asphalt followed by a cover coat of gravel. The highway is then rolled and traffic is allowed on the roadway to help pack the surface before the sweeping away of excess gravel.
ITD reported that seal coating can add several years of service to a roadway by preserving the integrity of asphalt and serving as a barrier to water and cracking. The surface also improves winter safety by adding roughness for traction on snow and ice.