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Street Resurfacing

photo of a newly repaved street, a new sidewalk, and newly planted grass

Starting in spring and continuing through the fall, DDOT performs annual routine street maintenance to keep the District’s roadways as close as possible to newly constructed condition.This results in a cost effective use of limited available funds, and provides maximum benefit to the traveling public by enhancing the safety of the roadway and improving the ride comfort of the road surface.

Council Testimony on the Condition of the District's Roadways, Tuesday, October 31, 2017.

Street Maintenance

DDOT’s Asset Management Division maintains the citywide roadway condition and inventory database.

The roadway database is managed through the Pavement Management System, which is used to perform the following:

  • Roadway condition rating
  • Pavement and distress analysis
  • Selection of pavement treatment type
  • Project planning and work prioritization

Pavement condition data is collected using state-of-the-art imaging technology on more than 4,300 lane miles of pavement surface annually on most parts of the roadway network, if not the entire network.

Following is the most updated Pavement Conditions Index (PCI) ratings. Here are the FY 2016, FY2017 and FY2018 Work Plans.

  • Below is an old interactive map showing the FY13 PCI scores for Washington, DC. New map to come.

View larger map

Maintenance Strategies

Maintenance strategies (or activities) are done in preparation for upcoming scheduled resurfacing and include the types of repairs listed below.

  • Crack Sealing: Crack sealing is a maintenance technique of placing a sealant into roadway cracks to prevent water intrusion into the asphalt pavement.  If the cracks go untreated, over a period of time, this undermines the pavement, causing additional crack failures.  This will lead to the eventual failure of the paved area, making resurfacing, or reconstruction necessary at a much greater expense.
  • Base Repair: The base repair strategy entails the removal of any distressed areas where the pavement is fractured and broken and is allowing water to weaken the subgrade under the roadway. Various methods are used to remove the distressed asphalt, such as backhoe and cold mill planers. Once it is removed, it's replaced with new asphalt. These repairs are accomplished prior to the scheduled resurfacing sometimes up to a year in advance.
  • Skin patching: Low areas that are imperfections in the asphalt are patched with fine AC (asphalt concrete). Typically these depressions are small and have settled over time. This gives the street a patchwork appearance. These repairs are done during the warmer weather sometimes a year in advance but usually just prior to resurfacing.

Resurfacing Strategies

Resurfacing strategies include the techniques that are listed below. The appropriate resurfacing treatment for a roadway depends on the existing pavement condition. It is more cost effective to resurface a street before pavement deterioration becomes severe, requiring reconstruction.

  • Slurry Seal: Slurry Seal consists of the application of thin asphalt emulsion (liquid asphalt) on existing asphalt roadway surface. Slurry Seal is a pavement preservation treatment that helps extend pavement life by keeping good streets in good condition. The treatment seals cracks on existing roads and protects the roadway surface from occurrences that cause normal wear and tear, thus slowing down the deterioration rate of the pavement.
  • Chip Seal: Application of liquid asphalt followed by placement of small rock chips on the existing pavement. This treatment adds strength to the existing pavement and can extend the life of the street by 8-10 years.
  • Overlay: The highest form of street maintenance, overlay involves the placement of a new layer of asphalt, approximately one and a half to three and a half inches thick, on the street. Properly maintained, an overlay can extend the life of the street by 20-25 years although heavily used streets may require more frequent overlays.

What To Expect/Helpful Tips

Convenience for businesses and residents is a top priority during the street resurfacing process. Because advance warning of roadwork is crucial, DDOT wants you to be ready. DDOT will place flyers on the windshields of parked vehicles 72 hours prior to the start of the street resurfacing work. This notice will contain information about when the roadwork will occur. The flyers request that owners move their cars prior to resurfacing. If the car is not moved the day of milling and resurfacing and the owner cannot be contacted, a professional tow vehicle will move the car and place it back after the resurfacing is complete. This is at no cost to the vehicle owner. Note, before and after the actual resurfacing, work crews may be seen performing other work on the street.

Street resurfacing typically occurs between spring and fall. Although the roadwork is scheduled around commute hours, the details of what to expect are different for each type of resurfacing. Most commonly, no vehicles will be allowed on the street during the resurfacing process and the street will be closed for a portion of the day. Depending on the condition of the street, one of the three types of resurfacing described above will be applied on the street.

Resurfacing Prioritization

The resurfacing list is generated annually and refined during the winter months in preparation for resurfacing activities that begin in the spring and continue through the fall of each year. DDOT compiles the resurfacing program list by prioritizing streets based on their pavement rating and national industry standards for municipal streets. Streets that exhibit certain signs of pavement failure, damage or deterioration will generally receive the most consideration for maintenance, repair and resurfacing. Vehicle traffic counts and accident ratios are also considered as factors that influence the decision to improve one street versus another. Other factors including available funding sources, storm water control needs and future projects are also used to establish priorities.

Our annual street resurfacing program is currently funded through local and Federal dollars.

The list is posted online at DDOT FY16 Work Plan - Paving, Street, Alleys, Sidewalk Curb and Gutter.

Note: Please note the Street Resurfacing list and schedule are subject to change. Factors that may affect this list include, but are not limited to, the resurfacing cost and budget; and weather conditions as winter months with colder temperatures are not conducive to quality resurfacing.

To submit a request for street resurfacing please call the Mayor’s Citywide Services Call Center at 311. A supervisor responsible for your area will evaluate the street survey rating, visit the street and call you back with a projected year the street could possibly be eligible for resurfacing.

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