I'll admit it - I had the same question when I recently saw orange cones and work crews on the newly-resurfaced Arlington Avenue:  Why does it look like the county is working on a road that they just made a year ago.  The signs along the roadway talk about "fresh oil" and "chip sealing" - but offer little to no information about what is really going on.

A recent explanation from Jim Foldesi - the Public Works Director for St. Louis County gives sense to the whole operation.  According to Foldesi, Chip Sealing is a process that can add up to 10 to 15 years of extra lifespan to an asphalt roadway.  Minnesota started performing the measure to it's highways in the late 1990's.  Many other states have been using it for a long time.

Foldesi's explanation also explains why the work is performed a year-or-so after the initial roadway is paved.  Apparently you can't seal the asphalt right away.