Over time, even the best surfaces are subject to wear and tear caused by traffic and weather. Micro Surfacing is applied as a preventative treatment to preserve the life of the pavement.
- What is micro surfacing?
- How is micro surfacing work completed?
- What is different about micro surfacing compared to traditional paving?
- If the road is being micro surfaced, does this mean it will not be rehabilitated in the future?
- What preparation is required for microsurfacing?
- What are the contractor responsibilities?
- What can you do to help?
1. What is micro surfacing?
Micro surfacing is a treatment used to extend the lifecycle of roads which meet a certain criteria. The treatment consists of the application of a special coating to the thin layer of asphaltic emulsion that prevents oxidization and moisture penetration. It is a cost effective preservation treatment to slow down the natural degradation of the road and preserve service life without a costly and disruptive reconstruction.
2. How is micro surfacing work completed?
Micro surfacing is made and applied to the existing pavements by a specialized machine, which carries all components, mixes them on site and spreads the mixture onto the road surface.
Component materials are continuously and accurately measured and then thoroughly combined in the micro surfacing machine’s mixer. As the machine travels forward, the mixture is continuously fed into a full-width surfacing box which spreads the width of a traffic lane in a single pass.
3. What is different about micro surfacing compared to traditional paving?
Micro surfacing is not a replacement for traditional paving, rather it is a cost effective preventative maintenance treatment that extends the service life of the roadway. Roads are evaluated prior to treatment, and must meet a specific set of criteria before micro surfacing can be done. The treatment is comparable to crack sealing but micro surfacing is applied to the entire road.
The process does not use rollers like paving, so the surface retains the rough texture of the aggregate. This means the roadway will look a little different than you’re used to. The new surface is initially a dark brown colour and will gradually change to the finished black surface as the surface cures, permitting traffic. This typically occurs in two to three hours in most cases.
There are several benefits, including:
- It is a process that reduces initial capital costs and extends the service life of the road between five to eight years, depending on traffic volume.
- Unlike paving, it does not require milling work, and the traffic impacts are minimal as the roadway can typically be reopened to traffic within a few hours
- It has low energy requirements, making it environmentally friendly. It is also 100% recyclable.
4. If the road is being micro surfaced, does this mean it will not be rehabilitated in the future?
Micro Surfacing is applied as a preventative treatment to preserve the life of the pavement. While the City of Calgary Roads department is performing micro surfacing on these streets to extend their service life, this does not exempt them from the pavement rehabilitation program. Roads are still subject to yearly condition surveys, and are prioritized based on the overall condition of the roadway. The roadways will be rehabilitated when required, as determined by Road measurement of the Pavement Quality Index.
5. What preparation is required for microsurfacing?
Typically, the road will be swept, potholes and cracks will be filled and then the micro surfacing treatment will be applied. The treatment itself is done in a single pass and only needs a few hours to cure before vehicles can be allowed back on the road.
6. What preparation is required for microsurfacing?
The contractor will deliver a notification bulletin to affected properties, outlining the proposed work and schedule. In the event the schedule changes the contractor will notify affected property owners as soon as possible.
Barricades and “No Parking” signs will be placed on roads to be sealed. Barricades are placed to protect the uncured slurry seal treatment. These signs and barricades will be removed when the surface is cured.
7. What can you do to help?
Please help us complete this work quickly and effectively by:
- Adhere to all no parking signs and ensure all vehicles are removed from the roadway prior to treatment.
- Please do not drive or walk on the freshly coated micro surface before it has cured.
- Micro surface should reach its full strength within 72 hours of work being completed.
- Please do not enter roadway until the barricades and signs have been removed by the contractor.
- Plan ahead, and park on an adjacent street until the resurfacing and curing is complete.
- Please refrain from using lawn sprinklers spray water onto the roadway immediately before and during work activity.
- Once traffic is allowed, try to avoid turning your steering wheel while the vehicle is stationary (dry steering) on the freshly micro surfaced road as it could damage the fresh surface.