The National Weather Service forecast is calling for high temperatures starting Sunday, which means Washington County Department of Land Use & Transportation Operations and Maintenance crews are preparing to sand roads to address slippery conditions caused by “bleeding.”

“Bleeding” is the shiny, oily-looking film of asphalt binder that appears on some chip sealed road surfaces during prolonged periods of high temperatures – typically 95 degrees or above. The likelihood of bleeding depends on a road’s exposure to direct sunlight, the level of radiant heat the asphalt holds after sunset and the percentage of oil in the road surface. Heavy truck traffic, which draws more oil to the surface, can also be a factor. Crews are applying sand and fine aggregate to reduce the impact of bleeding on roads likely to be impacted.

“Bleeding can contribute to a reduction in skid resistance and, to a lesser degree, affect road surface visibility," said Brian Irish, Asset/Pavement Manager. “Travelers don’t usually expect slippery conditions during dry, summer weather. But when temperatures are high and roads appear oily or sound 'tacky,' travelers should use caution.”

To report hazardous road conditions during normal business hours (8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday) call 503-846-ROAD (846-7623), e-mail or submit an online service request. Outside of normal business hours, call Washington County non-emergency at 503-629-0111.