WAMCAT

Wyoming Association of Municipal Clerks and Treasurers

Streets - Roads Chip Seal to Asphalt

Has anyone recently gone from chip seal roads to asphalt roads?  What is your experience with the transaction as far as maintenance, how the roads are holding up, number of potholes, etc? 

  1. Do you feel you have more maintenance with the asphalt or with the chip seal?
  2. Do you feel the cost of maintenance is more with the asphalt or with the chip seal?
  3. What would you rather have, asphalt or chip seal?

Thanks for your input!   Teresa Montgomery, Clerk / Treasurer

  • In Cody we have streets made of concrete, asphalt, chip seal and a couple of low traffic gravel streets. The majority of our streets are chip sealed streets followed by asphalt with concrete being a distant third.

    The chip seal streets have more maintenance problems than the asphalt streets. I have set up an 8 year rotation for chip sealing that seems to work well, however there are some areas that need chip sealed every 6 years or less. This could be due to the age of the streets, increased traffic volume and the failure of the sub grade due to the increased loads and water infiltration. All streets are routed and crack sealed the year prior to chip seal, this is an increased cost but it is well worth the expense.

    At this time the cost for annual maintenance is more for the chip seal streets (potholes, edge failures, raveling etc.) because of their age and the fact that chip seal really doesn’t offer much, if any, structural strength, so if your sub grade and base is inadequate the chip seal won’t hold up. Much like building a house, the house is only as good as the foundation it is built on, so the street is only as good as its sub base and base.

    This summer we plan on milling some of our lower traffic volume chip seal streets and incorporating the millings into the new road base as needed. We will then reshape the grade of the street to improve drainage and follow with a double chip seal. This should make a good residential street that will, hopefully, last for several years without the cost of a new asphalt street.

    If I could, I would rather have all asphalt streets and maintain them with a chip seal on the same rotation schedule we now use.

    Over the last several years we have been replacing/rebuilding as many of our higher traffic arterial and collector streets with improved base and asphalt as money allows. It has been a slow process, but worth the effort and expense.       

     I hope this information helps and if I can be of any assistance feel free to call or e-mail me at anytime. bkress@cityofcody.com

     Thank you, Bob Kress, City of Cody

    Streets/Fleet Superintendent

  • Has anyone recently gone from chip seal roads to asphalt roads?  If you talking about laying asphalt over chip seal, we've done it and recommend it.  If you don't have curb & gutter, cannot recommend.  What is your experience with the transaction as far as maintenance, how the roads are holding up, number of potholes, etc? Asphalt holds up better, way better than chip seal.  The only place chip seal should be used is on a good asphalt road for wear surfaces.     Do you feel you have more maintenance with the asphalt or with the chip seal?  Definitely chip seal.  Do you feel the cost of maintenance is more with the asphalt or with the chip seal?  Definitely chip seal.     What would you rather have, asphalt or chip seal?  Definitely asphalt.  Maintenance is down and you have a lot smoother surface.  From Steve Kelley, Chugwater Maintenance

Last updated 2/10/2011 2:47:24 PM