Capital Street Pavement Management Program
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COVID-19 and Pavement Management
The city is committed to community safety and is proactively taking steps to keep the community and city staff safe. To follow social distancing guidelines, essential city staff and contractors, including pavement management staff, are reporting to work in smaller numbers and in staggered shifts. Staff will be prioritizing urgent issues during this time and non-essential repair may experience a delayed response. We appreciate your patience and look forward to continuing to serve the community. For the latest information on the city’s response to COVID-19, visit bouldercolorado.gov/coronavirus.
NEW Vision Zero Pavement Management Program Initiative
Making streets safer for bicycling is one of our community's key transportation goals and essential for achieving Vision Zero. Beginning in 2020, to help us fast-track progress toward these goals, the city intentionally paired bicycle lane improvements identified in the 2019 Low-Stress Walk and Bike Network Plan with annual street resurfacing on three key streets: Pine Street (Folsom Street to 28th Street), Table Mesa Drive (Vassar Drive to Broadway) and Folsom Street (Iris Avenue to Valmont Road).
Staff is currently evaluating potential striping enhancements for streets planned to receive pavement resurfacing work in 2021, including Folsom (Valmont to Arapahoe) and Baseline (Gregory Canyon to Broadway). Stay up-to-date on the initiative by subscribing to Vision Zero updates on Be Heard Boulder.
Pavement Management Program
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.
Pavement management typically begins with curb and gutter repair work and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant curb access ramp upgrades. Typically, this work occurs in the spring, when warm temperatures support concrete repairs. Sometimes this work takes advantage of warm weather and contractor availability and begins in mild fall and winter months.
From spring through fall, prioritized streets 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.
The 2021 Proposed Pavement Resurfacing Map is now available. You can view the map in the right-hand sidebar on this page. For information about parking or other impacts during construction, visit boulderconezones.net.
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. Description of the asphalt rejuvenation process
In response to questions from the community regarding the asphalt rejuvenation 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.