SPR 2013 Prime KTC: Chip Seal on Low Volume Roads

  • Fisher, Jonathan (PI)

Grants and Contracts Details


The overall objective of this project is to explore the potential of utilizing a chip seal as a low-cost method of pavement preservation in Kentucky. Once this technique has been evaluated, recommendations will be made as to how future asphalt pavement preservation can be managed. The vast majority of the roadways in Kentucky are surfaced with asphalt, which can provide excellent service for many years. However, they are not perfect; they all will require some form of maintenance during their service life. Currently, the typically accepted maintenance treatment for asphalt roadways is to apply a new 1”-1 ¼” surface. Sometimes this may be the most appropriate maintenance solution. However, there are times when a less-expensive maintenance alternative would be appropriate. Kentucky does not currently have a specification in place to utilize chip seals as a maintenance alternative on low-volume roads. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet spent almost $100 million on its Statewide Resurfacing Program in FY 2009. Some of that money could be saved by utilizing chip seals in place of resurfacing, therefore allowing KYTC to use these dollars to maintain more miles of roadway in Kentucky. A chip seal’s main purpose is to seal the fine cracks in a pavement’s surface and prevent water intrusion into the base and subgrade. In Kentucky, when an asphalt pavement is in need of maintenance, the most common remedy is to resurface over the existing pavement. Chip seals can cost up to 40% less than comparable resurfacing, and may provide a more economical alternative to increase the pavement’s useful life. This study will examine the potential benefits and limitations to using chip seals as a maintenance tool on roadways in Kentucky.
Effective start/end date7/1/126/30/13


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