Road Surface Maintenance

General Overview

Pavement maintenance is a vital process in the city’s street management program. The City of Fruit Heights has recently implemented a road evaluation process where each road gets evaluated every three years. The evaluation identifies road surface deficiencies and establishes the residual surface life (RSL). The city has a policy to maintain streets at an average RSL of 15 years, according to GASB 34 requirements. The evaluation and RSL components define the type and timing of street improvements, including surface rejuvenation, patching, and replacement.

Road Repair Projects

In the past, residents have inquired about these improvements, including why the repairs were done and how the roads are improved, etc. Here are the full details about how the City prioritizes road projects, including general information about maintenance applications:

How does the city prioritize road projects?

  1. The city has a road maintenance schedule, created to maximize the design life of the roads within Fruit Heights. This plan calls for various road projects to be completed, based on age, type, traffic, etc. This schedule was created and customized for our city by IWORQ Management Systems to provide a method of budgeting funds for ongoing projects.
  2. Pavement maintenance is a vital process in the city's street management program. We rely on professional expertise, when considering various street projects. We look for the most cost effective, practical, and durable method of surface rejuvenation.
  3. Typically, there are four major categories for road repair: crack seal, chip/surry seal, asphalt overlay, and road reconstruction. All methods are implemented as advised by professionals to extend the life of our streets.
  4. The current methods for road maintenance are those that are advised and approved for the climate and conditions in our area. All cities in our area use the same applications. These are tested treatments, which yield a positive roadway lifespan result.
  5. The city continually investigates and evaluates new types of surface rejuvenation procedures. As new, more successful processes are available, the city reviews those options.

Chip Seal Projects

One of the most common surface rejuvenation techniques is a chip seal. It is a very cost-effective (although not cheap) and durable method of surface rejuvenation, typically extending the life of streets up to five to seven years. All cities in our area, including Centerville, Farmington, Kaysville, and Layton undergo chip seal projects each year. An optional fog seal (an asphalt emulsion put over the chips) greatly increases the chip adherence to the roadway surface and decreases the amount of chip waste, which is why Fruit Heights selected this application. Some cities, however, choose not to use the fog seal layer in their projects. Chip seal projects have proven effective in our climate and resist winter wear and possible damage from snow plow vehicles, which is one reason so many cities in our area choose this type of surface treatment.

Although the appearance of the chips may be initially unappealing, the fog seal layer returns the surface color to black like other surface rejuvenations. These projects take time to embed the chips into the existing pavement and surface tar. It is recommended to complete chip projects during the early summer, so the heat of the summer months can set the chips. The roadway surface becomes progressively smoother over several months following the application. From the perspective of durability and functionality, chip projects are hard to beat.
The city plans to investigate other types of surface rejuvenation options. In the past, other types of treatments were met with less than stellar results. However, some companies have reported changes and improvements in their products that have produced more durable outcomes.

This summer the city will investigate several different applications, including a Type II and Type III slurry seal, which consists of an emulsion tar with a slightly smaller aggregate size than the chip seal. In addition, a portion of the city’s recent chip seal project will receive a cap seal, a Type II slurry, which is placed over the chip surface and can extend the life of the pavement up to 12 years.

The city will continue regularly monitor the surface rejuvenation projects to establish a baseline on the performance of these materials during the remaining summer and upcoming winter months. If specific test sections prove effective both in cost and durability, the city will employ those options in future roadway rejuvenation projects.