Maintenance

Most of the roads in the County system have just evolved. Roads were built with little or no load design or drainage, and are in poor condition requiring more maintenance. A program for reclaiming these roads has been established and is accomplished as budgeting allows. Since 1994, this involved adding cement and lime to reclaimed roads, substantially increasing the strength of the finished product. Reclaiming is scheduled annually for repair to severely damaged roads. Grading of gravel roads is schedule for spring and fall, and during the winter if the weather allows. Seal Coating is scheduled for summer application of 20 to 30 miles annually. Asphalt overlays are done in the summer to strengthen existing asphalt surfaces. Asphalt pre-leveling is done prior to seal coating. Potholes are patched on an as-needed basis all year. We anticipate demands for maintenance will increase as population, vehicle volumes and loads increase, and the business community expands.

The County crew on San Juan Island maintains 73 miles of seal coated roads, 15.05 miles of County gravel roads and 8.5 miles of asphalt paved roadway on San Juan Island and 4.14 miles of gravel roadway on Stuart Island. The County crew on Orcas Island maintains 60 miles of seal coated roads, 26.57 miles of gravel roads and 2 miles of asphalt roads on Orcas Island and 3.8 miles of gravel roadway on Waldron Island. The County crew on Lopez Island maintains 55.5 miles of seal coated roads and 12.5 miles of gravel roads on Lopez Island; 11.5 miles of seal coated roads and 2.37 miles of gravel roads on Shaw Island; and 6.7 miles of gravel roadway on Decatur Island. Dust treatment is applied in the spring to heavily traveled gravel roads on San Juan, Orcas, Lopez, and Decatur Islands. The roads must be graded prior to dust treatment.

Snow is plowed and roads are sanded during and after snow storms. Sand is applied to roads during periods of ice and frost. Roads are swept after sanding for snow and ice. The roads, areas designated as bicycle paths, and intersections are swept periodically during the summer season.

Signs are replaced when vandalized. Posts are replaced when damaged. Work is performed on an as-needed basis. Sign maintenance, cleaning, and straightening is performed on an as-needed basis.
Cutting, chipping, and burning is performed during the wet season. Problem areas are identified and chipping or burning of brush and trees is selected by the supervisors. Mowing is a spring and summer task. This is started in the spring as soon as weather allows and continues throughout the summer. Brush whacking is scheduled in the spring and fall after the foliage has dropped from trees and berry bushes. Guard rails are repaired on an as-needed basis. Road kills are picked up by crews when notified by the Sheriff's Department or by private individuals. Fencing is done on an as-needed basis.

Gravel sidewalks have edges mowed periodically and the gravel surface is inspected and repaired when necessary. Special purpose paths are inspected by supervisors and are maintained on an as-needed basis.