|Maintenance first operation saves roads, money|
Indiana, PA (August 14) – When PennDOT Engineering District 10's seal coating operations come to a close at the end of August, more than 560 miles of road in Armstrong, Butler, Clarion, Indiana and Jefferson counties will have been improved by the process.
Seal coating, also known as tar and chipping, is used to prevent paved roads from deteriorating. It is part of District 10's "maintenance first" initiative, which calls for continual maintenance to keep roads in good condition and to prevent or postpone future, more expensive construction.
In District 10, seal coating is performed mostly on paved secondary roads that have become cracked and worn by weather and use. The process involves putting down a layer of oil and then a layer of tiny stones, or chips. The oil and stones harden into a waterproof surface.
If paved roads remain unsealed, water gathers in the cracks, freezes and causes the roads to disintegrate. Seal coating fills those cracks so water cannot gather there. It also protects the pavement from motor oil and gas, which dissolve asphalt, and provides greater traction.
By using seal coating practices, PennDOT extends the life a of an asphalt road, pushing back the need to conduct more expensive paving.
Following is a list of miles that have been seal coated in each of District 10's counties during the 2005-2006 season:
For more information on roadway construction and maintenance operations, access PennDOT's website at www.dot.state.pa.us and click "PennDOT Organizations." Then click "Engineering Districts and County Maintenance Offices" and then the "10" on the map. Weekly construction and maintenance schedules are posted on the site.