It can be annoying when streets are closed due to poor condition, but this week the City of Eau Claire is doing something to prevent that.
Over the next few days, some Eau Claire streets will be getting a minor face-lift.
“About the same time every year, we go through a process of going through the city streets and sealing them with either a chip seal or a micro surface,” said Streets Maintenance Manager, Steven Thompson. “This year we are in the process of doing nine miles of chip sealing of streets and three miles of micro surfacing.”
Several streets in the area are being repaired by chip sealing or micro surfacing and those streets include Truax blvd, Folsom st, Jeffers rd, Moholt dr and several others.
So what is the difference between chip sealing and micro surfacing?
“Micro surface is a very thin layer of asphalt made of oil and sand and it is put down in one continuous layer,” Thompson said. “Chip seal is when they put down oil, then spread chips over the top of it, and then compact the chips into the top of it.”
With over twelve miles of street being affected, be on the lookout for no parking signs along the streets.
Thompson says that this is a preventative measure to extend the life of the roads and says that the damages are mostly caused by general wear and tear.
“Well just traffic in general, weather, you know the winters on the streets are very hard on them,” he said. “Sunshine does cause some drying of the emulsion oils in the blacktop, which starts to deteriorate the surface of the pavement”
Thompson says to be patient and respectful of the crews that are working, as they have people flagging traffic to make sure it doesn’t get backed up.
“Just be patient, because the contractor will be using flag people and shutting down some of the streets for a little bit of time,” Thompson said. “Usually if it is a chip seal, they’re usually open back to traffic immediately. If they are putting down a micro surface, that can take anywhere from four to eight hours to dry.”
Thompson says that construction crews should be wrapping up on Wednesday or Thursday then street sweepers will help clean up the excess gravel over the next several weeks.
For a complete list of streets being affected, click here.