Capital Street Pavement Management Program
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The City of Boulder’s budget priorities for transportation funding are the safety and preservation of the transportation system, including maintaining all streets in a good and safe condition. The Transportation Division has established a Pavement Management Program (PMP) for Boulder’s 300-mile street system, which includes inspecting and rating all streets on a three-year interval to maintain awareness of existing conditions and guide where pavement repairs will be made in future years.
This year’s pavement management work will begin with curb and gutter repair work and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant curb access ramp upgrades.
To take advantage of the warm weather and contractor availability, curb and gutter repair began in early winter this year (2018).
From spring through fall, prioritized streets will receive different types of pavement treatments, depending on the current condition of the street. See below for more information on the types of maintenance the city uses. Depending on the street, new road striping may be completed, too.
View the map of streets to be repaved in 2018 here.
For information about parking or other impacts during construction, visit boulderconezones.net.
To learn more about the Pavement Management Program, view the program handout.
Cracks in the pavement are sealed to prevent moisture from entering the base and sub-base of a roadway, reducing pavement failures and potholes and extending the pavement life.
Asphalt rejuvenation is used on streets to restore the original pavement properties that degrade over time by oxidation and weathering. The rejuvenation process happens in three steps. During the first step, an oil based emulsion is sprayed onto the street. To minimize tracking of the emulsion onto nearby surfaces during the curing process, the second step is to apply a layer of washed sand on top of the emulsion. The final step in rejuvenation is to sweep the street to remove the sand. The city has contracted with Pavement Restoration to conduct asphalt rejuvenation within the city. A description of their process can be found here.
In response to questions from the community regarding the asphalt rejuvenatino program, staff will be providing more advanced notice and additional signage before future treatments begin. Please see these frequently asked questions for additional information about the process and product used .
Chip seal is a surface application used to prolong the life of an existing street by applying a liquid asphalt membrane binder (“seal”) and a layer of small crushed stone (“chip”) over the existing street surface. Chip seal typically extends the useful life of the existing pavement by eight to 12 years and is typically used on residential or lower-volume streets.
Streets that receive a chip seal typically require asphalt, curb and gutter repair in preparation for the actual chip seal application. The chip seal process does not significantly affect traffic but does require that parking be removed from the street while the work is being completed. The chip seal process typically takes two to three days. Typically, one to two days later, a thin layer of liquid asphalt “fog coat” is applied on top of the stone chips to provide further sealing of the pavement. The final step is sweeping the streets to remove any remaining chips that have come loose during the process.
Asphalt Resurfacing (Overlay)
The roadway is milled and then resurfaced with two inches or more of new asphalt.
Asphalt resurfacing or overlays are used on higher volume roads or lower volume streets that have deteriorated to a point that a chip seal or other pavement preservation treatments are no longer effective. The asphalt overlay provides approximately two inches of the new asphalt street surface to existing streets. An overlay typically requires some level of removing the existing surface by grinding, either along the edge or the full width of the street, depending on the condition of the street. The overlay process generally occurs in several phases. The first phase includes removal and replacement of deteriorated curbs and gutters, as well as reconstruction of selected sidewalk ramps to conform to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) criteria. The next phase includes milling of the roadway surface. The last phase includes the actual resurfacing of the road with new asphalt, combined with re-striping. The overlay process at times may include a phase to remove and patch some areas of the street that have extensive wear or damage beyond the surface of the pavement. The existing asphalt pavement and subgrade are removed from the roadway and then reconstructed with six to eight inches of new asphalt pavement.
At times, streets deteriorate to a point that requires total reconstruction of the pavement structure. Streets requiring reconstruction will typically require similar steps as an overlay, with pedestrian ramp and curb and gutter repair, but the entire pavement structure is removed, the subgrade is reconditioned and new asphalt and striping is completed.
The existing pavement and sub-grade are removed and the roadway is reconstructed with six to eight inches of new asphalt.