Preventive Surface Treatment Projects

2015 Neighborhood Treatments

The City of Vancouver is beginning preparation work for its annual summer paving projects. From May until the end of July, crews will start the first phase of this work by installing new or reconstructing several pedestrian ramps to bring those corners up to current Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) required standards. This construction will take place along streets slated for various preservation pavement treatments or overlay paving this summer.

For the 2015 preventive treatment program, 81 curb ramps will be part of this work in areas mainly west of I-205. Please click here to view a map of the work area or view a list of curb ramp locations.  

The City of Vancouver has contracted with Integrity Excavating. Work hours are from 7a.m. to 5 p.m. Drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians should be alert to potential delays, traffic control devices, lane shifts, rough grades at corners, and other construction-related activities.

2014 Neighborhood Treatments - Recap

Many local neighborhood streets were part of the 2014 surface treatment work and included Northeast Burton Road/28th Street, Southeast McGillivray Boulevard, Southeast Mill Plain Boulevard, Southeast Tech Center Drive, Southeast 15th Street and Southeast 192nd Avenue. The majority of the work has been completed, although the installation and application of final striping is still needed on a few streets, including portions of Burton Road. This work is highly weather dependent, so temporary striping was applied in the fall and now final striping applications can be installed in early spring.

Preventive Surface Treatment Program Info

Adjacent properties typically receive a door hanger notice about a week in advance and then again 24 hours in advance of the work. The 24-hour notice includes a list of streets in your area that are also receiving treatment. This can help as you plan where you can park and drive when your street is being resurfaced. Please note that schedules and locations shown here may be adjusted when needed due to weather and construction conditions.

There are a variety of preventive surface treatments used to extend the life of streets at a much lower cost than a standard asphalt overlay. These surface treatments include microsurfacing, slurry seal, chip seal and cape seal. The type of treatment depends upon several factors, such as current surface condition, carrying capacity and travel use.

These projects alternate each year between the east and west sides of Vancouver. The 2014 focus was mainly east of Interstate 205, and the 2015 focus will be west of I-205.

Each year, the City of Vancouver evaluates approximately 290 miles of paved city streets and identifies areas where surface treatments could go the farthest in extending the life of the street and providing residents with better driving conditions. All paving applications are highly weather dependent. In case of rain, surface treatment work must be rescheduled.

Curb Ramp Improvements Prior to Surface Treatments

As a precursor to the surface treatment work, crews installed new intersection curb ramps or retrofitted existing curb ramps at various intersection locations to meet compliance requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

What to Expect Prior to Paving Work?

In most cases, residences and businesses fronting impacted streets receive door hanger notices in advance of paving. Within construction zones, drivers are asked to be prepared for delays, watch for traffic changes, proceed slowly, and be alert to construction workers, bicyclists, pedestrians and other motorists. Regardless of the type, all paving applications are highly weather dependent.

Construction hours are typically from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday, though work may continue as late as 8 p.m. if needed. All paving applications are highly weather dependent.In case of rain, paving must be postponed and rescheduled.


Microsurfacing begins as a coarse liquid application of dense-grade aggregate, asphalt emulsion, water and mineral fillers. The quick-setting emulsion allows traffic to begin using the new surface in a short time, as little as an hour depending upon conditions. As the product cures, the surface becomes smoother. The finished sealant forms a thin shell over the street's existing asphalt surface, extending the life of the underlying pavement. Micro-surfacing applications are generally applied on arterial and higher volume streets, and the quick-setting emulsion allows traffic to begin using the new surface in a short time, as little as an hour depending upon conditions. Microsurfacing provides more durability than a slurry seal.

The benefits of microsurfacing include:
- Reduced user delays
- Corrections to minor defects and ruts
- Surface improvements
- Greater durability than slurry seal for high traffic areas
- Increased skid resistance
- Cost-effective, long-lasting pavement preservation

Slurry Seal, Chip Seal & Cape Seal

Slurry Seal is a mixture of fine rock, asphalt, and water placed on the pavement about ¼-inch thick to protect the surface from sun and rain. Slurry seal applications are generally applied on lower volume local and residential streets.

Chip Seal is a layer of emulsified asphalt and then a layer of new rock. This technique is familiar in Clark County, other cities and other counties across the country. A chip seal treatment typically extends the life of a road by seven to 10 years and provides a new sealed surface at a fraction of the cost of a standard asphalt overlay.

Cape Seal is a surface treatment that begins with a chip seal and then combines a final slurry seal application, greatly extending the life of the roadway. Being used for the first time in Vancouver this year.


Construction questions during summer street work:
Department of Public Works, Construction Services
(7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday)