Closures will affect motorists and cyclists
August 18, 2022
  • Redwood City — The County of San Mateo will begin repairing cracked and rough pavement along a series of roads between Highways 1 and 35 (Skyline Boulevard) starting Monday, August 29.

    The project will ultimately improve road surfaces but will cause short-term delays and inconvenience to cyclists. This is the 15th year of the County’s “chip seal” road maintenance program, a proven and cost-effective method that both improves surfaces and causes less disruption to the traveling public than other treatments.

    The project involves 50 miles of County-maintained roads. Starting Monday, August 29, the work will begin on Sunshine Valley Road, then move to Higgins Canyon Road and Purisima Creek Road.

    View the schedule (subject to change due to weather and other factors).

    While work in specific areas may vary, the project generally involves:

    • Placing a layer of emulsion oil on the existing roadway.
    • Applying a layer of crushed rock on the emulsion – a process known as “chip seal” due to the small rocks, or chips, placed on the surface.
    • Sweeping the roads immediately after the chip seal is placed, then a week and again 90 days later.

    “It’s important that we continue to invest in these roads, as we have been doing for several years, to maintain the condition of these roads and minimize deterioration over time,” said Ann Stillman, director of the Department of Public Works.

    Chips seals have lower impact to the public as vehicles can be driven on them immediately after the rocks are placed and rolled. There is no cure time or prolonged roadway closures,” Stillman said. “Another reason for using a chip seal is it allows for some of the work to be completed using in-house staff resulting in additional savings to the County.”

    “Pros and Cons”
    The County understands that chip seals have both pros and cons. Cyclists have voiced concerns during a community-input process that loose chips that may remain on the roadway can pose safety hazards.

    Public Works crews will monitor the work to determine if additional street sweeping would be beneficial.

    In addition, Public Works will install signs along roads slated for maintenance. The signs will alert motorists and cyclists of the project to take extra care when utilizing the roadways.

    Signs will also list the number of the Department of Public Works Road Division to request sweeping or report issues once the project begins: 650-363-4103.

    All roads scheduled for work have previously received chip seals.

    On the “pro” side, Public Works is committed to prolonging the service life of the pavement and maintain the County’s 316 miles of roadway network in the most cost-effective manner. The current approach for many Coastside roads allows each roadway to receive a surface treatment (chip seal) approximately every 5 to 7 years.  

    Chip seals are a widely used cost-effective treatment for rural and lower traffic roads, and the last 15 years of chip seal projects have greatly improved the condition and reliability of the road network on the coast side for the County.

    Next Steps
    The project is scheduled to begin Monday, August 29, 2022, and will take approximately four weeks to complete the 50 miles of roadways.

    Project updates with a schedule of the affected roadways will be posted to the Project website at the following address:

    Tentative Work Schedule

    Week 1
    August 29 – Sunshine Valley Road
    August 30 – Higgins Canyon Road

    August 31 – Higgins Canyon Road
    September 1 – Purisima Creek Road

    September 2 – Purisima Creek Road

    Week 2
    September 5 – Labor Day – No Work
    September 6 – Miramontes Point Road and Verde Road
    September 7 – Verde Road
    September 8 – Lobitos Creek Road
    September 8 – Lobitos Creek Road

    Week 3
    September 12 – Tunitas Creek Road
    September 13 – Tunitas Creek Road
    September 14 – Stage Road
    September 15 – Stage Road
    September 16 – Bear Gulch Road

    Week 4
    September 19 – Alpine Road and Page Mill Road
    September 20 – Old La Honda Road and Bear Gulch Road
    September 21 – Old La Honda Road and Bear Gulch Road
    September 22 – Swett Road, Star Hill Road, and Native Sons of Golden West
    September 23 – Swett Road, Star Hill Road, and Native Sons of Golden West

    Media Contact

    Michelle Durand
    Chief Communications Officer