Micro Surfacing can have Big Results for City Roads

New technology will extend road life.

The City of Cold Lake is rolling out a new technology to extend the life of its roadways. For the first time in the City of Cold Lake, a process known as micro surfacing will be used on stretches of road to extend the time before which major resurfacing is required.

 

“We are implementing this program to see if this technology will work to our satisfaction in Cold Lake,” Chief Administrative Officer, Kevin Nagoya, said. “Ultimately, our intention is to save tax payers’ money on maintenance by finding cost-effective ways to maintain and extend the lifecycle of our roads before major overhauls are needed. This process shows promise, and can extend the life of a roadway by up to 10 years.”

 

The micro surfacing project will take place in addition to the annual Street Improvement Program. The Street Improvement Program adds a new lift of asphalt to roads that are becoming degraded, or reconstructs roads that are beginning to fail.

 

Micro surfacing, on the other hand, will add a thin layer of a polymer-modified asphalt to a road’s surface before it meets the criteria needed to be a part of the Street Improvement Program. This will extend the period of time before which more intensive resurfacing or even reconstruction needs to take place.

 

“Both of these programs are intended to work together to allow maintenance crews to make greater headway with the condition of our roads,” Nagoya said. “Our crews have worked hard and made excellent progress over the years, and this is another tool to increase our effectiveness and efficiency in road maintenance.”

 

Suitable areas for the first application of micro surfacing technology were selected with RoadMatrix, a pavement management program implemented in 2016. The program is also used to determine which streets require rehabilitation or reconstruction under the Street Improvement Program and which sidewalks require replacement, sealing, or grinding under the annual Sidewalk Repair Program.

The final decision on stretches of road for micro surfacing also took into account a variety of road conditions, as well as different traffic conditions so that staff can monitor the micro paving’s performance in both high-traffic and low-traffic areas.

 

The project will cover roughly 30,000 square metres of road surface and staff will monitor the technology’s resiliency in Cold Lake over the years. Included in the 2017 Micro Surfacing Pilot Project are:

 

  • Highway 55 West from the western city limit to just west of 28 Street.
  • Highway 28 from 43 Avenue to 34 Avenue.
  • Approximately 650 metres of Veterans’ Drive, west of 57 Street.
  • 51 Avenue from 49 Street to 47 Street.