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Street Maintenance

Asphalt Repair - Chip Seal

Chip Sealing - A Proven Process

What is Chip Sealing?

Chip sealing is the most economical method of street resurfacing. It is a commonly used process by municipalities across the nation.

Chip sealing is comparable to other resurfacing methods in durability and effectiveness, but costs far less, (15-25% of the cost of pavement overlays).

Chip seals are economical surface treatments designed to protect and prolong the lives of pavements.

Why Chip Seal?

Asphalt roads are like the new paint on your house. The moment the application process ends the deterioration process starts. Much like paint, asphalt is subject to oxidation, sunlight, rain, freeze and thaw cycles. Pavement is also subject to a wide array of different traffic loads, use of equipment for snow removal and additional stresses by normal ground movement.

Chip seals can be used on new pavements to increase traction, or to prolong the life of a pavement that is structurally sound but is beginning to age and may have some surface distress.

Benefits of Chip Sealing:

  • Improve surface texture.
  • Waterproof the surface.
  • Protect the underlying pavement from oxidation, aging and traffic wear.
  • Give new life to dry, weathered surfaces.
  • Seal small cracks and imperfections.
  • Economic way to resurface roads.

The Process:

Chip sealing involves spraying an asphalt emulsion on the pavement, then immediately spreading a layer of uniformly sized aggregate chips. The new surface is rolled to seat the aggregate. After a twenty-four hour curing period excess chips will be swept up.

New improvements and future efforts:

  • Purchase pavement management software system; Input all data, date built/rebuilds, drainage and repairs, road survey, condition updates.
  • Developed application/reapplication targets.
  • Meet with community councils to educate residents of the entire process and address concerns.
  • Use of smaller aggregate to improve surface smoothness.
  • Use of contract sweeping to improve process.
  • Publish a list of programmed streets to be Chip Sealed each year.
    • 2009 Chip Seal Program District 1¬†
    • 2009 Chip Seal Program District 3
    • 2009 Chip Seal Program District 4
    • 2009 Chip Seal Program District 5
  • Chip Sealing Operations
  • Preventative Maintenance Program
  • Targeted Application/Reapplication

The information used to determine this table was taken from the US Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration Preventative Maintenance Treatment Handbook 1996, and from other professional sources. Our unique weather conditions coupled with constant freeze/thaw cycles, the use of studded tires and abrasion from snow removal equipment are factors that must be considered in our long range maintenance plan.

  • 5 - 8 years Initial application of Chip Seal over new asphalt pavement.
  • 10 -12 years Cycle between Chip Seal applications.

Note: In conjunction with chip sealing applications other routine maintenance will continue such as crack sealing, small pavement repairs, curb and sidewalk repairs. Emergency repairs will continue as warranted.

    • Street Maintenance
    • Manager: Paul Vanlandingham (Acting)
    • Anchorage, Alaska
    • 907 343-8277