OCRC 'The Road' Newsletter | June 2021

The Road Newsletter Header 2020-1

June 2021 | Volume 11 | Issue 6 | Bookmark and Share

Winter savings means extra work this summer


A lighter than anticipated 2020-21 winter has resulted in some additional investment being made this year in the county road system.

The Ottawa County Road Commission budgeted a combined $2.95 million for winter maintenance this year on local and primary roads, and as of the end of May, about $2.171 million was spent on winter operations on primary and local roads.

These savings -- in addition to favorable asphalt prices -- means more planned road improvements are able to take place this summer.

In Grand Haven/Robinson townships, we will be adding 2 miles to our resurfacing project on Fillmore Street. This project was originally planned to stretch 2 miles from U.S. 31 to 136th Ave., however due to winter maintenance savings and favorable asphalt prices, the project will now stretch 4 miles from U.S. 31 to 120th Ave. 

The OCRC had planned to resurface the 2 mile stretch of Fillmore St. between 136th Ave. and 120th Ave. in 2022, and the stretch between U.S. 31 and 136th Ave. this year.

In Holland Township, we were able to move work on 104th Ave. between James and Quincy streets forward from 2023 to this year. This 2-mile project consists of milling and resurfacing the existing pavement, and adding 2-foot paved shoulders.

OCRC seal coat surfacing program begins soon

Seal Coat Surfacing Process

The Ottawa County Road Commission will once again be conducting its seal coat (chip seal) program starting this month.

This year's program is budgeted at over $1.4 million and will be focused on 52.26 miles of streets in Allendale, Olive and Robinson townships.

The 2021 program is tentatively scheduled to begin on Monday, June 14, in Allendale, however all dates and schedules are weather dependent and subject to change.

A chip seal is an application of a binder in the form of an emulsion or hot spray and an application of an aggregate. Chip seals protect, preserve and extend pavement life, resulting in a pavement that is better to drive on, look at, and will cost less to maintain in the long run.

A chip seal will not increase the strength of existing pavement; however, it will prolong the life of the pavement by providing a protective coating.

Chip sealing is a three-stage process: After the surface has been prepared by patching areas that are cracked or loose, a thin layer of emulsion or tack oil is applied. Then, a layer of aggregate is applied by a truck with a chip spreader. The third and final operation is several passes from a roller to compact the aggregate.

The road is usually opened to traffic after sweeping or may be opened to slow-moving traffic immediately.

The OCRC typically returns several weeks later to perform the second step in the chip seal process: applying a fog seal atop the newly chip sealed road.

A complete list of roads to be treated can be found here.

Road Terms Defined: Pavement Surface Evaluation and Rating System (PASER)

PASER Ratings Defined

Paved roads are rated using the Pavement Surface Evaluation and Rating System

Roads are rated on a 1 to 10 scale, and the information is entered into RoadSoft, the asset inventory software program supported by the Center for Technology and Training at Michigan Technological University.

This inventory allows OCRC to not only monitor the changing conditions of a particular road, but also gauge the performance of surface treatments and other improvements. This helps the organization to schedule appropriate road improvements, which generally fall within one of three categories: Routine Maintenance, Preventative Maintenance, and Structural Improvements.

Routine Maintenance: Roads with PASER rating of 8-10, involves day-to-day protective activities that are regularly scheduled, such as street-sweeping, drainage clearing, shoulder gravel grading, and sealing cracks to prevent standing water and water penetration.

Preventative Maintenance: Roads with PASER rating of 4-7, are planned cost-effective
treatments to an existing roadway system that preserves pavement, delays future deterioration, and maintains or improves the functional condition of the system without significantly
increasing its structural capacity. Treatments include: seal coat surfacing (chip seal), cape
seal surfacing, & resurfacing.

Structural Improvements: Roads with PASER rating of 1- 4, include work identified as
resurfacing, rehabilitation, and reconstruction, all of which address the structural integrity
of a road.

LGROW plans Spring Forum events this month

LGROW Spring Forum

Join LGROW and its partners, including the Ottawa County Road Commission, this year for 11 days of learning, helping, and exploring the Lower Grand River Watershed.

Instead of LGROW's usual half-day in-seat programing, they've decided to extend it and spread it out over the entire Lower Grand River Watershed.

LGROW plans to host both in person and virtual events every day beginning June 10, concluding June 20.

Events will include (but are not limited to) paddle trips, rain barrel workshops, green infrastructure tours, and virtual workshops and presentations.

For more information about these events, visit LGROW's Spring Forum website.