In yesterday’s post I mentioned the work that Portage County had planned to improve the pothole problem on Crain Avenue Bridge. I thought I’d go ahead and share a few more street maintenance items that have come across my desk this week.
1. City Crack Seal Program
As part of the City Engineer’s Office annual street evaluation the City staff have come up with a list of streets that would benefit from an application of crack seal in joints and cracks. Streets are actually a bit of an engineering marvel — they have to be rigid enough to support a loaded 18 wheeler but flexibile enough to go with the flow in the extreme weather conditions of mid-summer and mid-winter. There’s a whole science behind asphalt mixology and knowing how much liquid asphalt to mix with rounded sand and coarse gravel and angular stones — commonly referred to as the stone matrix of the mix. This is the kind of stuff that gets Civil Engineers excited but for the rest of us, we just want safe and smooth riding streets.
It turns out that water is public enemy number one for streets. It slithers into cracks and begins to wash away the fine sands in the mix, dilutes the oils and loosens the aggregate mix to the point where that critical balance between rigid and flexible pavement is thrown off. Left unchecked, thats where potholes are born.
The key then, is to plug the gaps and cracks — which is the what crack sealing is all about. It’s a dose of prevention to keep pavement rocks and oils in proper balance. Here’s the list of streets scheduled to receive crack seal in 2010:
2. County Seal Coat
Seal coat is another way to protect the asphalt surface from the elements. It works much like crack sealing except it’s a full surface application rather than a targeted application. Crack seal should not be confused with asphalt resurfacing — crack seal doesn’t really improve pavement structure or fix potholes — it just helps ensure a barrier to preserve what’s underneath. It what’s underneath is bad, it’s not going to help much, but if what’s underneath still has decent integrity, then seal coat may add a couple more years of decent service life to that street.
Cuyahoga Street Between Major’s Lane and N. Mantua Street
Gale Drive Cul-de-Sac to North end of Bridge on Sunrise Blvd.
Garth Drive Silver Meadows Blvd. to East end of street.
Longmere Drive Middlebury Rd to Haymaker Parkway.
Oak Street, West Franklin Ave. to S. Water Street
Pleasant Avenue N. Mantua Street to East end of street
-Individual Locations (Wilson, Crain, Doramor, River)
In addition, if funding is available we hope to add the following to this year’s program:
-Additional sidewalk work on Sunrise Boulevard
-Additional sidewalk work on Crain Avenue