Lake County considers new technique to preserve pavement

 
 
Updated 2/2/2015 8:04 PM

Despite the season, authorizations for varying types of roadwork lately have been popping up in Lake County government.

But one pending project is different from most.

 

Among the requests for design or engineering services, right-of-way transfers and other road-related work, the Division of Transportation is requesting $540,000 in motor fuel tax funds be spent in hopes of preserving two segments of road before more extensive repairs are needed.

The technique is called "microsurfacing" and is being targeted for about three total miles in northern Lake County: Deep Lake Road from Route 173 to the Wisconsin state line and North Avenue from Deep Lake Road to the state line.

"We put a thin slurry seal on top of the pavement. It's not a resurfacing," explained Kevin Carrier, a design engineer with the division of transportation. "It weatherizes, seals it, fills in ruts and improves the skid resistance."

The technique was developed in Germany and is used on the Autobahn, Carrier said. It was introduced in the U.S. in the 1980s and is used by the city of Naperville and the Illinois Department of Transportation, he added.

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"If you really want to get a few more years out of a road in a cost-effective manner, it's a good way to go," said Bill Novack, Naperville's director of transportation, engineering and development. The method has been used in Naperville for more than 15 years, he said, and costs about $500,000 each season.

In Lake County, microsurfacing was applied a few years ago on Kilbourne Road from Wadsworth Road to Route 173. But roads have to be in a fairly good shape to start, Carrier said.

"If it has potholes and significant distress, it's past the state this will work. It keeps good pavement in good condition and extends the life," he said.

Novack said that can be from four to seven years, but the selection process is important to avoid having the material come off in sheets, for example.

Carrier said the material costs about $6 a square yard compared to $30 to $40 per square yard for an asphalt overlay.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"It doesn't work on every road," he said. "That's why we've been picking and choosing the locations."

The Lake County Board's public works and transportation committee last week recommended approval. The measure will be discussed Wednesday by the financial and administrative committee before going to the full county board Feb. 10.

@dhmickzawislak

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