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Pavement Management Program

Project goals

  • Identify the streets in San Rafael in most need of resurfacing (repaving or slurry seal) and execute an annual program to resurface City streets
  • As a part of street resurfacing, upgrade existing sidewalk at intersections with accessible ADA curb ramps
  • Develop and maintain a multi-year pavement management plan to prioritize street repairs and focus on cost-effective techniques to extend the useful life of streets and improve the condition of the overall road network 

Want more information on current street resurfacing projects? Check out the sidebar on the left-hand side and click on the project you want to learn more about!


Construction $800,000-$1.2m/annually depending on gas tax revenues


2024/25 Pavement Maintenance Project

The City of San Rafael, Department of Public Works is currently reviewing pavement condition data to finalize the scope of this upcoming year’s annual pavement maintenance project. The upcoming project plans to focus on areas in West San Rafael neighborhoods. 

 More information about this year’s annual program, including proposed streets for maintenance, will be provided in July/August 2024. 

2023/24 Pavement Maintenance Project

The City of San Rafael awarded the construction contract for the 2023/24 North San Rafael Pavement Maintenance Project to VSS International on September 5, 2023. The project applied pavement treatments through slurry seal or micro-surfacing to nearly 125,000 square yards of roadway primarily in the Terra Linda neighborhood. Treehaven Drive and a section of Culloden Park Road also received pavement maintenance as part of a partnership with the Marin Municipal Water District. The project began in October 2023 and was completed in December 2023.  

The Department of Public Works also completed additional road maintenance in the Canal Waterfront neighborhood, including Louise Street, Larkspur Street, Alto Street, and Verdi Street. The work finished in October 2023 and completed the pavement project that began in the Canal Waterfront neighborhood in 2022.  

Terra Linda Neighborhood


Canal Waterfront Neighborhood

Canal Waterfront Neighborhood




2022/23 Slurry Seal Project

On August 1st  2022, the 2022/23 Slurry Seal project went to City Council to award a construction agreement to American Asphalt.  A slurry seal is the application of a mixture of water, asphalt emulsion, aggregate (very small crushed rock), and additives to an existing asphalt pavement surface. The 2022/23 Slurry Seal project included the removal of existing striping, crack sealing, slurry sealing, and the replacement of traffic striping and new crosswalks. The project placed almost 130,000 square yards of slurry seal on 8 miles of roadways! 


Bret Harte Neighborhood

bret harte updated


Canal Waterfront Neighborhood

Canal Neighborhood Final Schedule Scaled


Downtown/Gerstle Park Neighborhood

Downtown schedule

2021/22 Slurry Seal Project 

In October 2022, the City completed the 2021/22 Slurry Seal project that covered 12 miles of roadways with 200,000+ square yards of slurry seal!  The project focused on the roadways in the Glenwood, Loch Lomond, and Dominican neighborhoods. 

2021/22 Slurry Seal Project 

The City of San Rafael has over 175 miles of roadway.  Our roadway system consists of asphalt concrete (AC) and concrete streets. Over the last 40 years, these roads have seen an increase in the vehicle traffic as well as a decrease in the amount of funding available to adequately repair and resurface these roadways.  Unfortunately, the result is that we have a significant number of roadways in need of repair and resurfacing.  Our Street Maintenance Division actively monitors and performs temporary and minor repairs to roadways.  In addition, each year, our Engineering Division manages a large-scale street resurfacing capital improvement project with an annual budget of $800,000-$1,200,000/annually depending on gas tax revenues.

Roadway resurfacing strategies that are currently implemented include:

  • Micro-Surfacing/Slurry Seal: A protective seal coat. It is a thin, tough layer of asphalt emulsion blended with finely crushed stone for traction.
  • Asphalt Overlay: The highest form of street maintenance, asphalt overlay involves grinding away a portion of the existing roadway and the placement of a new layer of asphalt, approximately two inches thick, on the street. Properly maintained, an overlay can extend the life of the street by 20-25 years although heavily used streets may require more frequent overlays.

It is not possible to apply resurfacing strategies to concrete streets as the concrete would break the teeth on the grinding equipment. Concrete streets require full-depth roadway reconstruction.

Every two years, we hire a consultant to inspect and rate the condition of every city-maintained roadway.  The consultant then calculates each roadway segment’s “Pavement Condition Index” (PCI).  The PCI for each road is an initial starting point for us to identify roadways to include in upcoming resurfacing projects. PCI values range from 0-100 with 0 being the worst and 100 being a newly resurfaced roadway.

Each winter, our Engineering Division performs a field inspection on approximately 50 roadways using a list developed based on PCI values.  During this field inspection, we determine which resurfacing treatment to implement on each roadway.  Typically, the roadways selected for a field visit include those with a PCI less than 30 (asphalt overlay applications), and between 50 and 70 (micro-surfacing applications).

Once the field inspection is complete, we develop a list of potential roadways to include in its annual resurfacing project based on a number of factors including (but not limited to): budget, location, the number of curb ramps required, number of vehicles and resident that will be served, additional bicycle/pedestrian/transit improvements, and whether utilities have upcoming projects on the same roadway. If a roadway is recommended for resurfacing and a utility company has a planned project on the same roadway, we will typically defer resurfacing of the roadway for 1-2 years in order to allow the utility to perform their work.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires the City to ensure that persons with disabilities have access to the pedestrian routes in the public right-of-way.  Under ADA law, when a street, roadway or highway is altered, curb ramps must be provided where pedestrian walkways intersect the altered street.  Over the past several years, we have experienced a significant cost increase for construction of curb ramps.  Many curb ramp installations require significant underground drainage improvements in order to relocate existing facilities out of the path of travel, and to properly drain the roadways. The cost to install the curb ramps comes out of the same resurfacing budget and as the cost of curb ramps increases, the amount of money for roadway resurfacing decreases.

Project contact

Grey Melgard, PE | Associate Civil Engineer 

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