ENTERPRISE, Ore — Motorists traveling on the section of OR Highway 82 between Enterprise and Joseph may notice some extra snow left on the roadway after it is plowed by Oregon Department of Transportation maintenance crews. Because the highway between these two communities received a $2 million pavement upgrade this summer, including a chip seal, we will avoid scraping plow blades down to the pavement as it will damage the new surface. Special risers called shoes will be attached to the plows to keep them about an inch off the highway. You will need to slow down and pay extra attention in this area and all highways where snow or ice are present.

“We recognize the importance of winter plowing operations, but also recognize the importance of protecting a significant infrastructure investment that will have a long term benefit for Wallowa County,” said Enterprise Transportation Maintenance Manager Craig Romine.

The chip seal consisted of rock chips pressed into a layer of oil and water mixed together, called an emulsion. It can take several months for the water to evaporate and the oil to harden, which means the surface between Enterprise and Joseph is prone to damage by plow blades. We won’t be plowing all the way to the pavement, but we will be using sanding rock and deicer to help improve traction as needed.

“We know that having that layer of snow left on the highway could make driving conditions more challenging, but a damaged road would result in other hazards, plus costly repairs and lengthy traffic impacts,” Romine said.

Other highway sections will be plowed as normal this winter. We’ll resume standard plowing operations next season between Enterprise and Joseph when the chip seal has fully cured and bonded to the pavement.

“Please be patient with your fellow motorists and our crews who will be working day and night this winter to help keep you safe,” Romine said.

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