Keep good roads in good condition! A Pavement Preservation Strategy that encourages timely preventive maintenance while the road is still in good condition can be the most cost-effective money saver you are able to control. Figure 1 illustrates how road conditions can deteriorate over time. Low-cost preventive maintenance techniques applied when needed can prevent this cycle of road deterioration and cut the need for costly rehabilitation at a later date. Timing is the key to success when it comes to Preventative Maintenance (PM). PM treatments should be considered long before the average road user notices the need for surface maintenance.
Fog seals and crack filling are very effective preventative maintenance applications to extend the life of paved surfaces. Figures 2 and 3 show examples of fog seals and crack seals. Spot sealing after pothole patching, base failures and utility cut repairs can save time and money.
Keep water out of the road base and sub-grade! Water is the most destructive element to a road surface, whether it’s asphalt, concrete or gravel. When water enters the base and sub-grade, roads can deteriorate rapidly with repeated traffic loadings. See Figure 4.
Make it a priority to address all drainage issues. Keep curb and gutters clean of vegetation, leaves and debris, cut high shoulders, and clean ditches, channels and waterways to enhance the flow of water and clear the roadway of water.
Regarding gravel road maintenance, it’s important to maintain a crowned road surface, a shoulder area that slopes away from the road, and a ditch. The concept is to keep water drained away from the roadway. Standing water at any place within the cross section is one of the major reasons for failure of a gravel road.
Chip seal with emulsions and crushed aggregates. Emulsions, such as CRS-2 & CRS-2P (appropriate for higher volume roads), provide a good return on investment in the form of greater performance and longevity. Softer asphalts, such as AC-5, may not harden properly, set up properly, or properly adhere to the aggregate, and bleeding can occur with these products. Emulsions are also safer in the application process due to lower operating temperatures of 150