Preserving Pavement: Road Maintenance Programs


Road Maintenance ProgramsRoadways are important components of well-functioning communities. A long-term road maintenance program is equally important for supporting community operations and safeguarding public investments. Gewalt Hamilton Associates Inc. (GHA) specializes in developing road maintenance programs that reduce the need for expensive repairs and rehabilitations, reflecting our commitment to infrastructure sustainability.

Road maintenance programs prioritize preventing potential issues by addressing early signs of wear and degradation. This focus on early intervention extends the lifespan of roadways, reducing long-term costs and unplanned disruptions caused by emergency repairs. Highlighting the importance of proactive management and resource optimization, Dave Marquardt, Director of Construction and Survey notes, “Effective road maintenance is about more than acting early; it’s about implementing timely, condition-specific treatments.”

The Critical Role of Regular Road Maintenance

Roads form the foundation of a community, supporting economic activity, emergency services, and daily life. Through consistent road maintenance programs that address wear-and-tear from weather and traffic, roads can experience a longer lifespan. This paves the way for cost-effective infrastructure management. Promptly addressing minor issues can prevent them from escalating into expensive repairs, saving communities significant financial burdens. Additionally, consistent maintenance enhances the reliability and functionality of roads, ensuring they remain smooth and free of hazards.

Regular road maintenance isn’t only about preserving pavement; it’s about environmental health. Properly constructed and maintained roads have drainage systems designed to manage runoff efficiently. These systems include features like graded shoulders, ditches, and storm sewers that channel water away from the road surface and direct it to designated areas. This prevents flooding and minimizes the amount of sediment and pollutants that wash into local waterways. Reduced sediment runoff from these well-maintained road systems safeguards the clarity and quality of nearby water bodies, benefiting local ecosystems. Carefully planned road maintenance programs contribute to roads remaining reliable and ready to support future growth and development, creating a sustainable infrastructure system that will benefit the environment and the public for years to come.

Road Maintenance Programs: A Proactive Approach

Through in-depth road condition evaluation and future needs forecasting, GHA crafts thorough, multi-year maintenance plans. These plans are designed to systematically address potential issues, ensuring the continued quality of the road network while staying within budget requirements.

Beyond preserving road conditions, regular maintenance offers economic benefits to a community. By allocating resources to the routine upkeep of roadways, we can minimize the need for costly emergency repairs that often arise due to neglected issues. As Geoff Perry, P.E. remarks, “Being proactive and planning for maintenance of roads, and employing those maintenance strategies prior to the end of the pavement’s useful life, is critical. This extends the life of a pavement at a fraction of the cost of full pavement repairs and reconstructions. These costly repairs and reconstructions are difficult for agencies to budget for.”

A commitment to long-term road maintenance strategies extends the lifespan of roadways, allowing for more strategic planning of future infrastructure investments. By preventing the need for emergency rehabilitations, we can carefully allocate resources for future needs. Geoff explains, “Diligent management of road maintenance prioritizes fiscal responsibility by protecting public investments and implementing cost-effective plans.” The concept of proactive maintenance extends beyond just addressing minor issues on existing roadways. Techniques like crack sealing and asphalt rejuvenation play a crucial role in preventing future problems and extending the lifespan of pavements.


Sealcoating and Asphalt Rejuvenation: Essential Techniques for Pavement Longevity

For parking lots, particularly those in homeowners association (HOA) communities, sealcoating is an essential maintenance practice. Pavement conditions greatly impact property value and aesthetic appeal in these areas. Sealcoating provides a protective layer against environmental damage, extending the asphalt’s life. “When you think about it, sealcoating is an investment in the property,” Lucas Deferville, Assistant Director of Construction and Survey emphasizes. Beyond protecting from water, oil, and UV damage, sealcoating increases the pavement’s longevity, reducing the frequency of intensive repairs.

Asphalt is a durable material, but like anything else, it ages. Asphalt rejuvenation is gaining traction as a strategic tool within comprehensive road maintenance programs. This innovative technique helps extend pavement lifespan for those responsible for road care. Unlike surface treatments, asphalt rejuvenation goes deeper, reaching the asphalt’s binder. By replenishing the maltenes (oils) within the binder early in the asphalt’s life cycle, asphalt rejuvenation can help the asphalt retain its flexibility and strength for an extended lifespan.

“While there is no true one size fits all solution, asphalt rejuvenation offers a possible way to extend pavement lifespan and minimize the need for future repairs,” Lucas acknowledges. Strategies like asphalt rejuvenation can lead to cost savings in the long run and contribute to a smoother, more enjoyable driving experience.

Preserving pavement longevity, functionality, and appearance requires a comprehensive program. GHA provides municipalities, park districts, school districts, and HOAs with customized maintenance plans that integrate critical practices like sealcoating and asphalt rejuvenation. These plans help provide optimal pavement conditions, extending the lifespan of your roadways and maximizing the return on investment. However, without maintenance programs, even the most well-constructed roads eventually succumb to wear and tear.

Strategic Road Rehabilitation: An Efficient Solution to Infrastructure Challenges

Some communities may lack a formal road maintenance program, leading to expensive repairs down the line. GHA offers a solution with complete evaluations and custom road rehabilitation plans. This provides access to practical and effective solutions for preserving roadways. Rehabilitation is an alternative to full replacements, which are often disruptive and expensive.

At GHA, we specialize in road rehabilitation, ensuring each community receives the right solution to extend the lifespan of their roadways. Our process begins with a thorough condition assessment, which gives us a detailed picture of your road’s current state. Based on this assessment, we develop a customized plan that leverages the most effective solutions for your specific needs. When a road requires rehabilitation, we offer a range of solutions. One such option is resurfacing, a process that involves applying a new layer of asphalt to the existing road surface.  This cost-effective method restores functionality and smooths out worn surfaces, extending the lifespan of your roadways. Our customized plans may also incorporate techniques like overlays or milling. By investing in proactive road rehabilitation, you can avoid costly repairs down the line and provide a better driving experience for your residents.

GHA: Leading Sustainable Road Maintenance Solutions

By anticipating long-term infrastructure needs, GHA’s commitment to road care goes beyond quick fixes. This foresight enables us to develop cost-effective maintenance and rehabilitation programs that deliver long-lasting results. “When we partner with communities to manage their roadways,” Jennifer Beckman, P.E. highlights, “we plan with an eye on both present and future challenges.”

This forward-thinking perspective on road maintenance ensures the lasting value of our communities’ roadways. GHA partners with facility and property managers to develop customized maintenance and rehabilitation plans. These plans are tailored to the specific needs and budget, ensuring optimal road functionality for years to come.

“Road maintenance is more than crack filling or repaving; it involves a well-planned approach that accounts for the infrastructure’s lifecycle and usage,” states Dave. Our methodology for road maintenance is comprehensive, built on continuous evaluation, adaptation, and flexible practices. This forward-thinking strategy not only extends the lifespan of our roadways but also ensures efficient use of financial resources.