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
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
Utility inspections are performed on the five islands served
by utilities, to determine the best location for the utility, to insure that the
completed work meets specifications, and that work is complete. The utility permit
application is reviewed by a Utility Inspector prior to installation for location,
and after completion for conformance to County requirements.
Ditching is done at locations to be seal coated prior to
seal coating and in problem areas. Material is excavated or bladed onto the adjacent
roadway, picked up and loaded into trucks to be hauled off site.
Bridges under 20' are repaired as needed, they are inspected by the Engineering
Department on a scheduled basis, and random inspections are made by supervisors
to insure their integrity.
Culverts are repaired, removed, and replaced as needed. There are several replaced
each year, as most of the existing culverts have been in place many years and are
deteriorating. New culverts are placed in areas where they can solve water accumulation
Driveway permits are reviewed by supervisors prior to installation
for location, and after completion for conformance to County requirements. 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.
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
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
Docks and floats are inspected periodically by the Engineering
Department and regularly by supervisors and crew members. Tightening fasteners in
docks and floats is scheduled annually for spring and fall. Other maintenance is
done on an as-needed basis. Boat ramps are inspected and debris removed from the
ramps on an as-needed basis. This includes fabricating concrete ramp logs, transporting
and installing them. Repairs to the ramps regularly. Flood control is performed
when necessary during inclement weather.
Safety meetings are scheduled monthly at the road maintenance
shops. A quarterly meeting is attended by all Public Works designated staff safety
personnel, and semi-annual meetings with all Public Works employees are held in
the spring and fall.
Training is provided for Public Works employees. Employees are sent to various locations
to seminars that cover a variety of subjects related to the operation of the Public
Works Department. Training is also provided by professionals teaching operation
of equipment at County facilities with County equipment.