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Micro surfacing

Construction Detours Paving Road construction projects list


Over time, even the best surfaces are subject to wear and tear caused by traffic and weather.

In 2016, several roads in the community of Falconridge are slated to have a micro surfacing preservation treatment applied. The work will be completed by a tendered contractor.

  1. What is micro surfacing?
  2. How is micro surfacing work completed?
  3. What is different about micro surfacing compared to traditional paving?
  4. If the road is being micro surfaced, does this mean it will not be rehabilitated in the future?
  5. What are the contractor responsibilities?
  6. What can you do to help?

1. What is micro surfacing?

Micro surfacing is the application of a special coating to the top layer of asphalt 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 does not use rollers like paving – hence 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 cost-effective process and extends the service life of the road between five to eight years, depending on traffic volume.
  • It has low energy requirements, making it environmentally friendly. It is also 100% recyclable. 
  • The newly microsurfaced roadway can be opened to traffic within two hours. 

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. The roadways will still be rehabilitated when it is required, as determined by Roads measurement of the Pavement Quality Index.

5. What are the contractor responsibilities?

The 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.

6. 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.

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