Roadwork & Resurfacing
Over the course of the summer, generally, several different contracts will be utilized to maintain the Municipality’s roadway system using multiple different approaches each specially selected based on performance, cost-effectiveness, and appropriateness of the method for the specific road conditions.
Ideally, if you leave for work/school in the morning, road work will be completed by the time of your return in the evening. If you arrive home or depart while road work is underway and must enter the active work zone please contact a member of the work crew for instruction in order to prevent damage and maximize safety. The Municipality apologizes for any inconvenience caused by the work, however, we are certain the benefits of a newly resurfaced road will outweigh any temporary inconvenience.
Please contact the Municipality’s Resurfacing Project Inspector or the Public Works Department if you have any special needs.
Please check Government Channel 15 (Comcast), Government Channel 45 (Verizon), or this website regularly for updates regarding the construction date(s) for your street.
Also, keep your eyes open for small signs with attached fluorescent ribbon posted along the entrances to your street listing the days construction will occur. These signs are meant to provide additional notification and to establish suspension of on-street parking during construction. In some cases, this website and TV-15 cannot be updated fast enough to accommodate changing schedules, the sign(s) posted on your street is the most accurate source of information. Cars parked on the street which interfere with construction will be towed at the owner’s expense if the owner cannot be contacted and have the vehicle removed.
Resurfacing Methods used in Monroeville
A fog seal is a chemically engineered asphalt pavement sealer comprised of an emulsion of blended polymerized asphalt which provides a durable yet flexible top coat while penetrating and sealing the underlying pavement.
The fog seal is applied using a distributor truck with a large tank and dozens of spray nozzles. Upon application the fog seal is brown, but it dries to an absolute black color that is difficult to distinguish from new asphalt in roughly 45 minutes. A fog seal is a proactive treatment used on newer, structurally-sound pavements to combat water intrusion and UV damage much as you would seal your driveway to extend the service life of the roadway.
The fog seal will be applied to a single lane at a time. While the sealer cures, there will be roughly 45 minutes where the “wet” lane will be coned-off, and driving across the sealer may cause the sealer to "track". If you must leave home across a "wet" lane, you can do so slowly without re-entering your driveway.
Overlays consist of laying a new asphalt pavement over the existing pavement to provide skid resistance, aesthetics, restore an impervious surface, and add structural support. Overlays are usually utilized on older, cracked roadways in poor condition which can no longer be maintained through another process.
Prior to paving the contractor will use a specialized milling machine mounted to a “bobcat” to create a shallow trench called a “keyway” across the road at the limits of construction. Be careful and drive slowly while crossing the keyway.
The contractor will spray diluted asphalt called “tack” on the road as glue immediately before paving. Try to avoid driving through the tack, a member of the construction crew can help you navigate. Immediately after the tack is applied the crew will pave the road a first time with a coarse pavement (for strength) followed by a second paving with a smooth final surface. Typically paving will be performed on one lane at a time, the crew can help you navigate the work area.
If you need to leave your driveway please try to do so before the paving machine passes your driveway. After the machine passes you will have to wait several minutes until the roadway is rolled sufficiently or you may cause permanent damage to the new pavement.
The contractor will return at a later date to seal where the new road meets non-concrete driveways.
Mill & overlays consist of removal of the deteriorated existing pavement followed by the laying of new asphalt pavement to provide skid resistance, aesthetics, restore an impervious surface, and add structural support. This method is usually utilized on older, cracked roadways in poor condition which can no longer be maintained by another process and where removal of the existing pavement is required.
The contractor will use a specialized milling machine to grind away the existing roadway and curb to a depth of 2 to 3 inches in order to remove deteriorated asphalt, re-establish the crown, and minimize elevation issues with driveways and roof leaders. During milling the roadway will be restricted to one lane which the crew can help you navigate, typically there will be no disruption to travel. After milling, the road will be broomed clean and vacuum-swept. Until the road is paved you will have to take special care to enter or exit your driveway slowly and avoid sewer inlets, manholes, and valve boxes that may be sticking up in the roadway.
Usually the following day the contractor will spray diluted asphalt called “tack” on the road as a glue immediately before paving. Try to avoid driving though the tack, a member of the construction crew can help you navigate. Immediately after the tack is applied the crew will pave the road a first time with a coarse pavement (for strength) followed by a second paving with a smooth final surface.
If you need to leave your driveway please try to do so before the paving machine passes your driveway. After the machine passes you will have to wait several minutes until the roadway is rolled sufficiently and you may cause permanent damage to the new pavement.
The contractor will return at a later date to seal where the new road meets non-concrete driveways.
The sealcoat process starts when a distributor truck with a large tank and dozens of spray nozzles applies a coat of polymer-modified asphalt emulsion to the roadway. A computer-controlled spreader follows the distributor and applies a layer of fine aggregate to the roadway which is then rolled to embed the aggregate into the emulsion.
The sealcoat is used on structurally sound pavements that are dry, raveled, cracked or oxidized in order to correct these defects and to restore a waterproof membrane and high traction surface. The sealcoat may also be used on heavily distressed pavement in order to temporarily restore ride quality and seal the road until more extensive rehabilitation can be performed.
Roads receiving a sealcoat are generally closed to traffic during construction. Care should be taken after the sealcoat is constructed do drive slowly until the roadway has cured and the unbound aggregate has been swept. Orange “loose gravel” signs will be in place to alert you to be cautious.
This method consists of a sealcoat followed within a few days with a fog seal, however, in this application, the fog seal is referred to as a flush coat. Please refer to the sealcoat section above for information about sealcoats and what roads we use this method on. Refer to the fog seal section above for information about the flush coat. The flush coat provides the following benefits over a sealcoat at a relatively low additional cost:
- The flush coat is more aesthetically appealing as it resembles new asphalt pavement, making it more pleasing to residents and motorists which permits us to use this cost-effective method in more populated settings where sealcoats might be objectionable.
- The flush coat allows us to apply more sealant to the road, reducing loose stones, preventing plow damage, better sealing cracks, creating a smoother and quieter driving surface, and improving the longevity of the treatment.
- The flush coat allows for more contrast in pavement markings and better longevity of paint markings which improves safety.
Crack sealing is used on roads that are in very good to good condition but where crack patterns have developed. The Municipality will use compressed air and other methods to clean the cracks and will then seal the cracks with a bituminous (tar) mixture.
Crack sealing is the most cost-effective method of preserving roads with the goal of keeping the cracks from multiplying or worsening which would occur if water was permitted to continue entering the cracks. Crack sealing becomes inappropriate when the road reaches a certain level of deterioration and therefore the Municipality will typically only crack seal a road once before it is overlaid or sealcoated again.
How do we decide which roads will be resurfaced each year?
The process starts with the Engineering Department's annual comprehensive pavement condition survey during which staff drive all 110 miles of Municipally-owned roadway (in addition to Municipal roads there are also private, state, county, and turnpike roads within our borders).
Through the use of a customized Geographic Information System (GIS) interface the Engineering staff has broken these 110 miles into 915 street segments in order to provide higher data resolution, for instance, Garden City Drive is 2.4 miles long but is instead broken into 21 segments averaging 0.11 miles long.
During the condition survey, the inspector assigns a rating to each segment based on visual condition cues such as cracking, polishing, raveling, smoothness, rutting, etc. in accordance with an industry-accepted pavement evaluation system. A custom-designed weighted prioritization formula then combines this rating with age (years since last paved) and functional category (local, arterial, alley, etc.) to arrive at a prioritization score.
These scores provide a raw, unbiased basis for prioritizing which roads are most "deserving" of resurfacing which must then be "polished" with human experience and wisdom. This is accomplished by loading the prioritization data back into the GIS to allow visualization of spatial location and patterns allowing Engineering staff to develop a project scope accounting for various external factors including upcoming utility work or development and efficiency of construction.
Resurfacing methods are selected based upon the distresses noted in the condition survey as well as the functional use of the roadway. Municipal Council ultimately must approve the final project scope. If you feel your road needs to be resurfaced please realize that resurfacing is quite costly and that funds for that purpose are very limited relative to the size of our roadway system. As explained above roads are selected primarily based upon condition, if your road is not on the paving list it is likely not in as poor a condition as you think when viewed in the "big picture". No community these days can afford to pave a road simply because "it's been a long time since my road was paved." If you feel you must bring it to someone's attention you can call the Deputy Director of Public Works at 412-856-3335 to see what rating your road received or call or email your Councilperson to discuss your concerns.