City plans to seal roads to save on asphalt costs

December 15, 2006

HAGERSTOWN - In response to the rising cost of asphalt, plans to seal roads and fill cracks are being implemented in the City of Hagerstown.

The sealing and filling should preserve payment and extend the life of roads between overlaying, City Engineer Rodney Tissue told the City Council this week.

Asphalt, which fluctuates with the price of petroleum, cost the city $30 per ton in 2002 and was up to $55 a ton this summer, Tissue said.

"By filling these cracks ... we can extend the life before it deteriorates to where we have to spend big money on overlays," Tissue said.


He estimated it will cost the city $550,000 to overlay the streets on its 2007 list, some of which have not been overlaid since the 1960s or 1970s.

Overlaying generally lasts about 20 years, but roads begin to crack within three to four years, Tissue said.

The sealant used on roads would be similar to that used on private driveways, but it is a commercial grade, Tissue said.

The 2008 program, at an estimated cost of $350,000, would be the first to comprehensively incorporate filling cracks, sealing and paving to preserve pavement on the city's 110 miles of streets. The streets proposed for that program were chosen through software made available by the University of Maryland and field surveys, which included driving every mile of streets.

Priorities were determined based on traffic volume, roughness and overall condition.

The city wants to "not spend all our money on the worst roads. We're trying to take good roads and fair roads and keep them in good shape, preserve them, rather than letting them to deteriorate further and spending the big bucks, which is milling and paving," Tissue said.

The City Council on Tuesday will be asked to finalize the 2007 overlay list and endorse proposals for the 2008 list. Curb and sidewalk replacement notices would give property owners 12 months to do the work before 2008 paving.

Overlays planned

The City of Hagerstown's 2007 Street Overlay List:

· Northern Avenue from Fountain Head Road to Potomac Avenue

· Westside Avenue from West Franklin Street to Salem Avenue

· North Locust Street from East Washington Street to Broadway*

· East Antietam Street from South Cannon Avenue to South Cleveland Avenue

· Mitchell Avenue from Salem Avenue to North Burhans Boulevard

· Oak Hill Avenue from Prospect Avenue to Hillcrest Road*

· West Wilson Boulevard from South Potomac Street to Summit Avenue

* - Tentative

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