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Maintained roads are safe roads

Updated: 06/13/2019

Each summer, the city seals pavement cracks, repaints lines and crosswalks and sealcoats streets and parking lots as part of its annual street maintenance program. The ongoing maintenance is necessary to extend the life of streets. The two most noticeable projects are crack sealing and sealcoating.

Crews seal street cracksCrack sealing

Think of this like caulking around your bathtub or windows. Crack sealing keeps water and dirt from getting into cracks and joints in the pavement. When water gets in between pavement and freezes it breaks chunks loose and causes potholes.

Contractors grind out existing cracks, sweep and blow out debris, fill the cracks with melted rubber and then cover with biodegradable single-ply roll paper to protect traffic from the melted rubber until it dries. Use caution driving along filled cracks with bicycles, scooters and motorcycles.

Crack sealing is one of the most cost-effective asphalt maintenance products with a cost of about 44 cents per linear foot.

Machine spraying hot liquid on roadSealcoating

Think of this like waxing your car, staining your deck or painting your house. Sealcoating keeps pavement from drying out and deteriorating and extends the life of the pavement.

Contractors spray the sealcoat oil on pavement, spread eighth inch granite chips and then roll to pack the rock into the oil. Avoid driving on the oil; it’s OK to drive on as soon as the rock chips are down.

Sealcoating can cost from 37 cents to just over $2 per square yard.

Both crack sealing and sealcoating are important ways the city protects its roadways. The city maintains a street rating system that looks at the age and condition of all city streets. Each year, the city identifies which streets will receive maintenance as part of its five-year Capital Improvement Plan. Crack seals and sealcoats (also known as chip sealing) are often the first steps in extending the life of a street and will be done multiple times in a road's average 40-year life span.

  1. Updated: 06/13/2019