When cities turn to implementing a pavement preservation plan the life of the pavement can be significantly extended. One example of such success is seen in the pavement preservation plan carried out by the City of Las Vegas. Eric Reimschiissel, president and manager of American Pavement Preservation located in Las Vegas, recently completed the largest slurry seal project for the City of Las Vegas taking place under the city’s pavement preservation plan.
Currently, the City of Las Vegas operates on a pavement preservation plan slurry sealing both business and residential streets every 5-7 years, depending upon the street condition. In the most recent preservation project, American Pavement Preservation found itself applying 3.8 million square yards of slurry seal to complete the $3.6 million project.
The project was completed in two phases with Phase 1 running from April 2 through July 3 and Phase 2 running from September 2 through October 26. The American Pavement Preservation crew consisted of 14 people and operated on a 12-hour shift for five days a week.
Reimschiissel and his crew encountered two different road conditions. “One condition was the older streets that have been slurried four times making this the fifth application of slurry,” Reimschiissel says. “The second type of road was the newer streets that have only had one or two slurry seal applications. It’s interesting because the streets that are receiving their fifth slurry seal application are in better condition now than they were 25 years ago when they received the first initial slurry application. The slurry is definitely making the streets better.”
Preparing the pavement
Before Reimschiissel and his crew could complete the slurry seal application a few other maintenance steps needed to be completed including cracksealing, patching and removal of oil spots. “Another contractor crack seals the city streets a year before we come in and apply slurry seal,” Reimschiissel says. “They also complete any asphalt patching a year before.”
While cracksealing and patching are completed the year before, Reimschiissel and his crew must complete the time-consuming removal all of the oil spots that are present on the surface. “The oil spots have to be cleaned, and we prepare those by grinding them,” he says. “We use a small, fine Roto-Mill grinder that is 2 feet wide. We grind the oil spots off and gouge the surface so the slurry sticks better to it. We used a small Cat skid steer with the grinder attached.”
It doesn’t stop there. The material that is produced from the grinding of the asphalt must be disposed of through the landfill. “We use a Tymco 600 vacuum sweeper to sweep up the ground material,” Reimschiissel says. “The Tymco 600 has a head on it that sucks all of the material up without scratching the surface. We take the material to a stock pile site we rent for this job as well as several other jobs. We load the material into a dump truck and haul it to a landfill. We will pick up between 6-8 tons of material per day.”
Another crucial step in preparation for the application of slurry seal is the removal of traffic markings. When the pavement markings age, they start to get worn and the slurry seal won’t stick to the pavement.
“The same grinder used for the oil spots is used to grind off the traffic markings,” Reimschiissel says. “We use marking tape for the road rather than paint, and when those types of materials get old we have to grind it off and haul it away.”
Applying the slurry seal
After the prep work of removing the oil spots was completed, American Pavement Preservation crews were able to begin applying the slurry seal. Because the crew was working with both old and new pavement conditions, two different types of slurry were applied.
For this project, American Pavement Preservation used three Model 12 Macropavers with electronic metering devices, one loader and two tankers.