ENTERPRISE — Drivers on Eastern Oregon highways that were chip-sealed last summer should expect a thicker layer of snow on those routes, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) said.

To avoid scraping away the chip seal layer, ODOT snowplow drivers will use a metal plate, called a shoe, to keep the plow blade about 1 inch above the road surface.

Chip sealing can take more than six months to fully harden, according to ODOT.

Snowplow drivers will spread gravel and de-icing liquid in some places as well.

Sections of highway that were chip-sealed last summer include:

• Highway 7 (Sumpter-Whitney), from Milepost 9.5 (Baker-Grant County line) to Milepost 35.5, near Mason Dam.

• Highway 410 (Sumpter), from Highway 7 junction to Milepost 3.7, just beyond Sumpter.

• Highway 3, from the top of Buford Grade north of Enterprise, to Milepost 38.

• Highway 82 from Minam to Wallowa, Milepost 33.7 to 46.3.

• Highway 26 from John Day to Prairie City, Milepost 162.6 to 175.

U.S. 395-C John Day-Burns Highway: John Day to Canyon City, milepost .03C to 2.3C.

• U.S. 395-C John Day-Burns Highway: Starr Ridge to Harney Co. line, milepost 15.5C to 40.3C.

Chip seals consist of rock chips pressed into a layer of oil and water mixed together, called an emulsion. This treatment is a cost-effective way to protect and extend the life of the road surface.

Most other highways will be plowed as close to the road surface as possible based on our highway maintenance level of service guidelines.

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