Drivers should expect delays along some Cowlitz County roads next week as public works crews undertake chip sealing, paint striping and pavement overlay projects.

Starting Monday, county crews will chip seal several roadways in the Cougar and Yale areas and paint lines on several roads near Castle Rock, Toutle, Silver Lake and Longview. Projects in these areas are expected to last through July 19, but they will resume in other locations until July 22.

The chip sealing process applies a thin layer of oil and specific rock chips to the surface of the road. Excess rocks that did not bond to the oil surface will be swept off the roadway about a week after application, according to a county news release.

Road striping applies paint to the street to add or refresh road markings. Paint striping trucks may move slowly, and drivers that encounter the lead buffer truck should wait until the last vehicle in the group passes before entering the roadway.

Drivers behind or traveling opposite of the painting crews should not cross the paint lines. Washington law forbids driving across freshly applied markings.

Drivers exiting the roadway should do so slowly at a 90 degree angle, according to the release. Paint drying times depend on the weather, but it generally takes about five minutes for the lines to set.

The county is also contracting with Lakeside Industries to pave several roads, including Fall Creek Road, Stella Road and Germany Creek Road, among others, as part of its 2019 countywide pavement overlay project.

As roads are paved, crews will close one lane. Flaggers will be present near the closures, and drivers should expect delays of up to 15 minutes between 7 a.m. an 6 p.m. in active work zones, according to the release.

A complete list of roads affected by the chip sealing, paint striping and paving operations next week is attached to this story. The county next week will release an updated schedule for projects continuing on July 22.

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