OCRC 'The Road' Newsletter | June 2022

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June 2022 | Volume 12 | Issue 6 | Bookmark and Share

OCRC seal coat surfacing program begins soon

Seal coat (chip seal) surfacing

The Ottawa County Road Commission will conduct its 2022 seal coat (chip seal) program this month.

This year's program is budgeted at over $1.5 million using MTF funds, and will be focused on nearly 54 miles of streets in Holland, Park and Zeeland townships.

The 2022 program is tentatively scheduled to begin on June 13 and run through July. All dates and schedules are weather dependent and subject to change. Be sure to keep up with our social media pages to keep up with project schedule updates.

What is chip seal?

A chip seal is an application of a binder in the form of an asphalt 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 stage 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.

Additional Resources:

Chip Seal Process Flyer
Chip Seal Educational Video

Preventative maintenance techniques explained

Crack sealing roads

The Ottawa County Road Commission utilizes a number of preventative maintenance techniques on county roads roads that save public funds over the long term.

These activities are periodic, inexpensive treatments of road pavement which provide protection, decrease the rate of deterioration, and add service life to the pavement.

These preventative road maintenance treatment methods include the following:

Crack Sealing

The crack or joint is cleaned and an over-band layer of rubberized asphalt is placed to fill the void that can extend the road service life another 3-10 years.

Seal Coat Surfacing

A three-stage process with a layer of asphalt emulsion, a layer of chip aggregates, and a fog sealant that can extend the road service life another 5-7 years.

Cape Seal Surfacing

A combination of a layer of seal coat without a fog sealant that is covered by a layer of micro surfacing that can extend the road service life another 5-7 years.

Skip Paving

A single layer bituminous overlay for a short segment of roadway that is usually only a couple hundred feet in length that can extend the road service life another 5-7 years.

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 (see above table), 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.

OCRC hires new Operations Superindentent

Ken Hildebrand Photo

The Ottawa County Road Commission is happy to welcome Ken Hildebrand as its new Operations Superintendent.

Ken comes to the Road Commission following a 23-year career working for the Michigan Department of Transportation.

Ken's arrival comes in addition to the naming of Mitch Smith as its new Fleet Manager.

Mitch was promoted to the position after serving as the Road Commission's Equipment Supervisor in the Hudsonville/North Holland districts.

Replacing Mitch as Equipment Supervisor of the North Holland/Hudsonville district is Joe Mathews, who previously worked as a mechanic in the North Holland maintenance garage.