Pavement Management Program
Better Streets Waco
Frequently Asked Questions (F A Q's)
How will the surface seal application affect me?
Your street will be closed for one day, from 8 a.m. to approximately 5 p.m.
You will not have vehicle access to your driveway during that time, though pedestrian access will be maintained. When the surface seal is applied, it looks liquid like chocolate syrup but it is much stickier and messier. Surface seal takes several hours to dry. During that time, motorists, pedestrians, and pets must stay out of the surface seal so as not to ruin the application and to avoid getting surface seal on vehicles, shoes, and paws. It will take longer to cure in shaded areas. You must avoid outdoor water use if it causes water to flow onto the street. Water will hinder the surface seal curing process. If you water your lawn or wash your car on surface seal day, please make sure the water does not flow onto the street.
What can citizens expect prior to and during the surface seal process?
Public outreach from the City through press releases, as well as social media, will occur a week or two prior to the start. 48-hour notices will be sent prior to start of work and no parking signs will be installed on barricades on the street. The 48-hour notice will have the contact name and number for the City inspector if special arrangements for access need to made.
All vehicles and other objects must be removed from the street. This includes trailers, garbage cans, basketball hoops, etc. The morning of the surface seal, the street is swept with a mechanical street sweeper and any weeds are removed. The surface paver will place a liquid mixture of asphalt on the section of pavement; sand and strengthening additives are poured on to the road surface, which typically affects only one half of the street at any given time. While motorists can drive on the surface seal application a few hours after it has been applied, it takes a couple of weeks to fully cure.
During the first few hours while the surface cures, motorists, pedestrians, and pets must stay out of the surface seal so as not to ruin the application and to avoid getting the seal on vehicles, shoes, and paws. During the day of placement and while the curing process is taking place, the areas will be gone over with a roller and swept to remove loose material. Debris on sidewalks and driveways will be blown into the street to be picked up by the street sweepers. Once the surface has cured enough for traffic, it will be reopened to traffic. At this time, the surface is very tender. Any sharp turns and turning of vehicle wheels while not moving will tear the surface.
Please be sure to avoid making sharp turns or turning your wheels while not moving to keep the street looking its best. It will take several days before sharp turns won't cause tears in the surface of the surface seal. Within 48 hours, an additional street sweeping will take place. Please be sure to remove objects from the street so the sweepers can pick up the loose surface materials. If it has been 72 hours and the street has not been swept, please contact the City Engineering Department.
Within a few weeks after the surface has been placed and has cured enough, traffic striping will be installed. As the surface seal cures it will turn from brown to black and the street typically has a sandy or gravel-like coating. This sand is picked up by street sweepers once the curing process is complete. Please check the City's sweeping schedule the first month after surface seal placement and be sure to clear the street so the sweepers can pick up these loose materials.
What can citizens do to make the work go smoothly?
Plan ahead and anticipate parking issues and how you will get in and out. Park on nearby, unaffected streets if necessary. Try to reschedule any visitors or deliveries. Keep children and pets away from the street while treatment is being performed. Several large pieces of contractor equipment are involved. Whenever possible, avoid construction areas and use alternate access routes.
Check your shoes before walking into your house. The loose rocks can be picked up and tracked onto carpets or scratch wood floors. Respect construction signs, cones, and barricades. Please do not drive around.
Drive slowly; the pavement can be slippery because of the loose rock. Do not drive on the treated streets until the lanes have been reopened to traffic. Warn your children to be careful while riding their bicycles. It would be preferable if they refrained from riding altogether until the loose rock is swept up. Continue to park your car off your street or cover it until the initial sweeping is completed. Loose rock thrown up by speeding vehicles could damage your car's paint.