More Street Repair Information (crack seal work)
As a former Public Works Director I admit that I have a bias for the work of our Public Service Department so I am always happy to share updates on street work, like crack seal, that is scheduled to begin this month.
The thing is, infrastructure problems can be tough, the work is demanding, money is tight, schedules are often unrealistic, weather conditions are usually bad and gratitude is rare when it comes to patching potholes, fixing leaks and unclogging drains but these are the very reasons that government was created in the first place.
I try to remind people that we build and repair sewer and water lines because before we did more people died from dysentery than anything else. I remind people that when roads aren’t safe, more mothers and children will die in car accidents. And when storms rage, homebound grandmothers need help and Public Service makes sure it gets there.
To prove my point, I did a little homework and in 1888 James Vincent Bryce visited America from Great Britain to study how local governments worked. He traveled all over America and wrote about what he saw and one of his observations was that cities emerged for police protection, road building and sanitation.
“Making and repairing roads and bridges. These prime necessities of rural life are provided for by the township, county, or state, according to the class to which a road or bridge belongs. That the roads of America are proverbially ill-built and ill-kept is due partly to the climate, with its alternations of severe frost, occasional torrential rains (in the Middle and Southern states), and long droughts; partly to the hasty habits of the people, who are too busy with other things, and too eager to use their capital in private enterprises to be willing to spend freely on highways; partly also to the thinness of population, which is, except in a few manufacturing districts, much less dense than in Western Europe. In many districts railways have come before roads, so roads have been the less used and cared for.”
Here in Kent we honor our American heritage and offer street maintenance programs like crack seal (reveiw a crack seal powerpoint presentation) which is described below:
Project Start Date: 08/14/06
Anticipated Completion Date: Unknown overall project completion date at this time. The work should tentatively be completed by August 31, 2006, based on weather.
Street Name From To
Admore Drive 600’ South of Hollister Drive Roy Marsh Drive
Catlin Court Hollister Drive North End Cul-de-Sac
Elno Street South Francis Street Longmere Drive
Emich Drive Marilyn Street Munroe Falls-Kent Road
Fieldstone Drive Hollister Drive Fairchild Avenue
Franklin Avenue S.R. 261 West Elm Street
Hollister Drive Fieldstone Drive Admore Drive
Lower Drive Emich Drive East End Cul-de-Sac
Marilyn Street Emich Drive Emich Drive
North Willow Street East Main Street Crain Avenue
Overholt Road Cherry Street Mogadore Road
River Bend Boulevard North Mantua Street River Edge Drive
River Edge Drive River Bend Boulevard North Dead End
River Park Drive River Bend Boulevard North End Cul-de-Sac
River Trail Drive River Bend Boulevard River Edge Drive
Roy Marsh Drive West End Cul-de-Sac High Ridge Lane
Shady Lakes Drive Sunset Way Boulevard East End Cul-de-Sac
Why Crack Seal?
Maintenance departments are under siege trying to keep up with pavement cracks and pothole repairs. Prevention is much cheaper than repair. Research shows that active crack sealing programs are cost effective in extending the life of pavement as opposed to the cost of extensive pavement repairs for streets left unsealed. Traditionally, crack sealing has been low on the priority list, both in terms of funding and time allotments. However, an effective crack sealing program is the single best weapon against pavement failure.
Cracking is caused either by thermal stresses or from fatigue due to repeated traffic loading (concrete streets have control joints or saw joints to allow for expansion and contraction). The vast majority of potholes and pavement failures can be traced to water entering the base and sub-grade through joints that have not been crack sealed in both concrete and asphalt. In most pavements, the base, sub-base or sub-grade consists of a material that loses its load-carrying capacity when wet. Water enters through the cracks and traffic works and overloads the weakened areas allowing more and more water to enter. This can cause potholes to develop rapidly and more severe pavement failures if left unsealed.
While ideal times to crack seal are in the spring and fall of the year, since the cooler temperatures cause the pavement cracks to be open wider, the department has been using a sealing process that allows us to crack seal throughout most of the summer.
We have been sealing with a band-aid method using a sealant that is a mixture of polypropylene fibers and liquid asphalt. As long as temperatures are not so hot that the material will not set up properly (approximately 85 degrees and up) and would cause tracking when traffic drives through it, we are able to seal.