Pierce County pilot project will test new pavement products in Frederickson

Pierce County will begin a two-month pilot project next week that will test a range of pavement products to gauge...

Pierce County will begin a two-month pilot project next week that will test a range of pavement products to gauge their performance and cost-effectiveness for possible use on future public works projects.

Six new products will be applied twice in 100-foot sections along 192nd Street East, between 22nd Avenue East and 38th Avenue East, in Frederickson, in addition to one longer section of Pierce County’s existing chip sealing product. Motorists may notice different pavement colors and textures in the pilot area. Several products will be applied during the week of Mon., Aug. 18, with the rest of the products being applied over a two-week period beginning on Mon., Sept. 8. The road will remain open, although minor delays are expected. Flaggers will be on-site to direct traffic through the work zones. The work is weather dependent.

“This pilot [program] will allow Pierce County to assess its options to improve the preservation of our roads,” said Pierce County Public Works and Utilities Road Maintenance Manager Bruce Wagner. “This is one way we are working to improve our services and find ways to reduce costs.”

Pierce County will evaluate how the products age over a seven- to eight-year period, take periodic core samples to see how the product is wearing and how it soaks into the road’s surface layer, and assess how well it performs in winter conditions. In February, Pierce County officials will decide if they want to use any of the products on a larger area as part of its summer 2015 pavement program.

Pierce County selected 192nd Street East because it is a collector arterial, which means nearby residents use this road to reach a primary arterial, according to Wagner. In this case, the primary arterial is Canyon Road East. Also, 192nd Street East has higher than average traffic, and higher than average truck traffic, according to Pierce County officials, according to Wagner. The speed limit is 35 miles-per-hour.

Pierce County officials report pavement products are used to extend the life of county roads. A combination of materials, such as aggregate chips and liquid asphalt, are applied to existing roadway to create a new surface layer. Pierce County may decide to begin using one or more of the products in the future if they work well on Pierce County roads while lowering costs.

Intermountain Slurry Seal is the contractor that has been selected to complete the $44,000 pilot project, which is being paid for using Pierce County Road Funds. While Pierce County road crews do apply certain types of pavement products on county roads, Pierce County wanted to test the new products using a contractor that specializes in those products to ensure quality and consistency, according to Pierce County officials. The section of Pierce County’s existing product will be applied by Pierce County road crews.

More information about Pierce County’s pavement pilot project is available online at piercecountywa.org/pavement.

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