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City of St.Albert
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Roadway Maintenance

Roadway repairs are year-round activities that are undertaken by the City’s Public Works Department. Throughout the winter months, staff will address problem areas as required. However, during the summer construction season dedicated crews systematically inspect, assess and repair all City roads on a priority basis.

In the spring, as potholes become a prevalent issue, patching of roadways becomes a high priority activity and Transportation crews are deployed on a 24-hour basis 5 days a week. Crews typically use an “instant patch” type of product to complete the repairs. Once the weather and temperature allows, two spray injection machinary and the infrared unit is utilized. Crews initially concentrate in locations most in need of repair in an effort to make travel safe and trouble free for motorists. Once all high priority locations are repaired, the crews begin scheduled maintenance that will eventually see all highways, arterials and collectors repaired by season’s end.

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All inquiries will be inspected and work will be scheduled depending on priority.

Infrared

The infrared process is used for smaller repairs of Potholes. In order to help create a smoother longer patch the asphalt is heated up and a small amount of new material is then added, raked in, and compacted. This process allows it to be driven on immediately.

Spray Patching

Spray patching is a method of road maintenance that involves the mechanical introduction of an asphaltic emulsion and gravel mixture to the roadway to seal the damaged areas and rejuvenate the pavement surface. Spray patching can increase the life of damaged pavement up to several years.

Benefits:

  • It can address several types of road distortions such as large cracks, potholes, localized raveling, localized alligator cracking, and gaps at the lip of gutters.
  • It is a quick process. It takes no more than minutes to dry; however, you can safely drive over the area immediately after it has been patched.
  • It is about half of the cost of conventional paving which can save your tax dollars and invest them in other initiatives aimed at improving our roads.
  • Most neighborhood roads can be spray patched without any road closures.

Priority Ranking:

  1. Highways — To be completed annually
  2. Arterials — To be completed annually
  3. Collectors — To be completed annually
  4. Residential — To be completed on a 5-year cycle

The Process:

  • After ensuring that the specific area is clear of people and vehicles, the patching crew will begin by blowing out the dust in and around the area that is going to be spray patched.
  • Once the area is clean, a first layer of asphaltic emulsion is sprayed which helps the mixture stick to the roadway surface. The second layer that is applied is a combination of asphaltic emulsion and gravel.
  • Once the hole is filled the operator ensures it is leveled to create an even surface.
  • A final layer of dry gravel is added on top of the mixture.
  • The last step in the process is to compact the repaired area which often can be achieved by allowing local traffic to pack the material down by driving over it.

Safety:

Even though spray patching is a highly efficient and fast method there are several safety precautions that are followed when performing this type of work. All of the City’s spray injector units are well lit with strobe lights and flagmen typically accompany the trailer unit. Operators are required to follow safe work procedures that meet the City’s internal competency requirements in addition to OHS governance and regulation.

Signage:

”Caution Loose Chips” signs are placed by Public Works crews on all main collector points of entry into job sites. These signs are left out until the chips are swept up, which usually occurs within a two day period. The City encourages motorists to exercise caution when traveling through these construction locations.

Last edited: April 3, 2017

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