What is Street Resurfacing?

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.

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