By TAYLOR HARTZ
In an attempt to repair cracking roads throughout Southington, the town tried out three types of “chipseal” as part of a pilot project for pavement preservation. Chipseal is a pavement surface treatment that combines asphalt and aggregate to repair roads.
After testing three options, Town Manager Gary Brumback said his top choice is a 20 percent rubber seal, currently tested on Pattonwood Drive.
With the exception of the cul-de-sac at the end of the drive, there are no visible cracks on Pattonwood since the chipseal was placed. This option, at $4.70 per square yard, has the second lowest price tag, and Brumback will make his recommendation to the Town Council later this month.
A Double Chip Seal option was the least expensive, but appeared to be crumbling toward the curbs. Brumback said he would not recommend this option, tested on Hilltop Drive., because of the time it takes to fully cure.
“It turns out nice but it takes almost a year for it to settle down,” said Brumback.
The third option, Slurry Seal or Cape Seal, made for a very smooth drive on Meander Lane and Little Fawn Road, but it did not fill all the cracks as well as the option on Pattonwood.
In addition, the Slurry Seal option was nearly twice the price, at $8.20 per square yard.
The last option, an Ultra Thin Bonded Overlay, for $7.65 per-square-yard, was not even tested by the town.
“The most attractive thing about the 20 percent rubberized chip seal is that is self-heals,” Brumback said about his final recommendation. He explained that if a crack occurs, the rubber will blend back together in warm weather.
Overall, the chip seal repair “is a financial choice,” said Brumback.
The chipseal preservation projects are much less expensive than other options the town has considered for road repairs.
For pavement rehabilitation, rather than preservation, the town saw costs as high as $17.60 per-square-yard for two-inch milling and paving. Pavement reconstruction projects cost six times the price of chip seal, at $30 per-square-yard for “full depth reclaim.”
“We’re trying to inject a type of maintenance that will allow us to afford to get into neighborhoods,” said Brumback. The Town manager explained that residential areas previously weren’t repaired “because the milling and overlaying is so expensive and our budget is so limited.”
By choosing a chipseal, the town can afford to repair more than just the major roads.
“This gives us a tool to get into the subdivisions and residential areas that we otherwise just wouldn’t do,” said Brumback.
He and his staff will recommend the 20 percent rubberized chip seal to the Town Council. Brumback said he hopes the council will vote on their choice for the chip seal at their next meeting, on March 28.