Pavement Management

Crews resurfacing street in local neighborhood during annual summer pavement management program work

Maximizing Pavement Life

The City of Vancouver maintains about 1,900 lane miles of paved streets. Pavement management is a way of protecting this community asset and maximizing the life of our streets.

Overview

Each year, as part of Vancouver’s Pavement Management program, pavement conditions are evaluated and the most cost-effective methods are identified to extend pavement life and improve the driving surface. When streets begin to fail, they fail quickly and the costs to repair them increases dramatically. To use resources most efficiently, the City’s primary focus has been on keeping good streets in good condition. 

Pavement Management 2024

Vancouver’s 2024 Pavement Management Program will invest in our community to improve pavement conditions throughout our city. Preparation work begins with proactive pruning as Urban Forestry staff coordinate street tree and vegetation trimming along identified streets from February through June.

From March through early July, construction of ADA-compliant curb ramps, pavement repairs and sealing of street cracks will also take place prior to paving and preservation work. Then, in most areas, actual pavement work will occur from late June through September.

More than 20 neighborhoods across Vancouver will see some type of pavement work. Along with numerous neighborhood streets, watch for preparations and pavement work along major corridors including Fourth Plain Blvd., SE Mill Plain Blvd., SE 164th Ave., SE 34th Street, Cascade Park Drive and SE 192nd Ave.

Resources

  • Pavement Map: Streets and schedules are still being finalized for this year’s program. Watch this page for the 2024 Pavement Management Program map to be posted soon.
  • Pavement Schedule: View the schedules tab used for Pavement Management work during the summer.

Resurfacing – hot mix asphalt paving – will occur on approximately 23 lane miles of streets including Fourth Plain Boulevard and NE 9th Street. Several miles of residential streets currently in poor or failed condition will also be resurfaced/rehabilitated.

Pavement preservation – which includes microsurfacing, slurry seal, asphalt rubber chip seal, and cape seal treatments – is another big component of the City’s annual Pavement Management Program. For 2024, almost 74 miles of streets in east Vancouver will see some type of preservation used to protect and extend the life of the street. Those street segments include these major corridors: SE Mill Plain Blvd., SE 164th Ave., SE 34th Street, Cascade Park Drive and SE 192nd Ave. Several neighborhood streets within the North Image, Burnt Bridge Creek, Fisher’s Landing East and Fisher’s Creek neighborhoods will receive slurry seal preservation treatments.

Curb ramps at nearly 245 locations along the various project routes will be upgraded, as required by federal regulations, to current Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards to improve accessibility and mobility for all.

Pavement Management Methods

  1. Resurfacing Paving (see tab above for more info)
      Asphalt Paving
      Street Rehabilitation
  2. Preservation Surface Treatments (see tab above for more info)
      Microsurfacing
      Slurry Seal
      Chip and Fog Seal
      Cape Seal
      Asphalt Rubber Chip Seal
      Bonded Wearing Course

More Resources and Contacts for General Questions

Resurfacing

Resurfacing Paving Projects

Pavement Resurfacing/Overlay

The City adopted a long-term Street Funding Strategy in 2015 to address pavement conditions and improve the overall street system for all users. As the funding has ramped up to its full implementation, Vancouver has expanded its pavement program to improve more streets.

Resurfacing Projects

The 2024 program will include paving about 15 lane miles of streets, including Fourth Plain Boulevard and NE 9th Street.

Along Fourth Plain Boulevard, from Fort Vancouver Way to Andresen Road, the Pavement Management Program will join forces with the Community Development Department’s Transportation Planning Division to implement new street elements along this stretch as phase two of the improvements after the paving work is completed. Vancouver community members have provided extensive input for this safety and mobility project.

Along NE 9th Street, from NE 112th Avenue to NE 127th Avenue, the Pavement Management Program will also coordinate with other city programs to upgrade water and sewer services prior to paving work.

To maximize available resources, the pavement program often join forces with City utility projects for repaving after utility work is completed. 

Rehabilitation Projects

Several miles of residential streets currently in poor or failed condition are expected to be resurfaced/rehabilitated in 2024. More details regarding these neighborhoods coming soon. Funding for rehabilitation of residential streets is supported by the City’s adopted long-term Street Funding Strategy to take care of and improve our community’s street system. 

Resources

Pavement Map: Streets and schedules are still being finalized for this year’s program. Watch this page for the 2024 Pavement Management Program map to be posted soon.

Reference Guide: View a handy reference guide with tips for upcoming pavement work. This guide has information about parking restrictions, watering restrictions and potential weather-related delays, along with general dos, don’ts and other tips.

Project Phases

Phase 1 – Curb Ramps

Preparations begin for the annual summer paving projects with curb ramp work along streets slated for overlay paving. This first phase of construction involves installing new or reconstructing identified pedestrian ramps to bring those corners up to current Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) required standards. This occurs several months prior to actual paving work. See tab above for more information.

Phase 2 – Pre-paving Preparations

In the second phase, crews will repair pavement by removing the most badly damaged areas and rebuilding those pavement sections. This is followed by pre-leveling of low areas where needed.

Phase 3 – Grinding and Paving

The third phase involves the actual grinding and paving of the street surface. Please remember that all paving is highly dependent upon weather and construction conditions.

Phase 4 – Striping and Finishing

Following paving, crews restripe streets and complete any finishing work, such as replacing speed cushions and signal detection loops.

What is an Overlay?

Overlays are a mixture of coarse rock and asphalt, about two inches or more in depth that provide additional load carrying capacity and a smoother ride. One major consideration of resurfacing streets is the ability to coordinate that needed work with other street, water, sewer and underground utility improvements. For example, the City often maximizes available dollars by scheduling overlay as a final step in various water/sewer repair work and Sewer Connection Incentive Program (SCIP) projects.

What to Expect Prior to Paving?

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.

The first phase of work includes reconstruction of pedestrian ramps to bring those corners up to current Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) required standards and any modifications to traffic signals. Then pre-paving repairs are done on the most badly damaged areas by excavating below the existing pavement and replacement of base materials. Finally, work continues with grinding, followed by actual paving. Crews finish up with restriping the streets.

Questions?

Construction questions during summer street work:
Public Works Construction Services: 360-487-7750
7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday

Files

Pavement Reference Guide

Preservation

Preservation Surface Treatment Projects

What is Pavement Preservation? 

There are a variety of preservation (preventive) treatments used to extend the life of streets at a much lower cost than a standard asphalt overlay. The type selected for a particular street depends upon several factors, such as current surface condition, carrying capacity and travel use Pavement Management’s preservation (preventive street treatment) projects alternate each year between the east and west sides of Vancouver. The focus for 2024 is on neighborhood areas east of Interstate 205.

2024 Preservation Treatments

For 2024, For 2024, almost 74 miles of streets in east Vancouver will see some type of preservation used to protect and extend the life of the street. Those street segments include these major corridors: SE Mill Plain Blvd., SE 164th Ave., SE 34th Street, Cascade Park Drive and SE 192nd Ave. Several neighborhood streets within the North Image, Burnt Bridge Creek, Fisher’s Landing East and Fisher’s Creek neighborhoods will receive slurry seal preservation treatments. Advance tree trimming, curb ramp upgrades and crack sealing/repairs occurred where needed. Actual pavement work typically takes place between July and September.

Resources

Pavement Map: Streets and schedules are still being finalized for this year’s program. Watch this page for the 2024 Pavement Management Program map to be posted soon.

Reference Guide: View a handy reference guide with tips for upcoming pavement work. This guide has information about parking restrictions, watering restrictions and potential weather-related delays, along with general dos, don’ts and other tips.

Curb Ramp Improvements Prior to Surface Treatments

As a precursor to the surface treatment work, crews often install new intersection curb ramps or retrofit existing curb ramps at various, identified intersection locations to meet compliance requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Streets receiving treatments that are considered an alteration – such as asphalt overlay paving, microsurfacing and cape sealing treatments – are required to be upgraded so that existing curb ramps meet current ADA requirements. See tab above for more information.

What to Expect Prior to Street Work?

In most cases, residences and businesses fronting impacted streets receive door hanger notices in advance of pavement street work. 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 pavement 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, work must be postponed and rescheduled.

Types of Pavement Preservation:

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. Microsurfacing applications are generally applied on arterial and higher volume streets. 

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 sprayed emulsified asphalt and then a layer of new rock. 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, or even a microsurface, application. This treatment can greatly extend the life of the roadway.

Chip and Fog Seal treatment begins with a chip seal and then is finished up with a fog seal. Chip seal methods can include an asphalt rubberized chip seal or a ¼-inch chip seal, both helping increase durability, decrease loose chips and improve smoothness of the street. The type of chip seal method used depends on the amount of current traffic on the roadway.

Asphalt Rubber Chip Seal is a treatment that involves an asphalt rubber binder being applied to the street, then topped with a layer of chipped rock. Crews then apply a fog seal – a thin layer of liquid asphalt that coats and preserves the pavement to extend its life – to the surface. 

Bonded Wearing Course is an open-graded, thin hot-mix asphalt mixture applied over a thick polymer asphalt emulsion membrane. The high binder content seals the underlying road, protecting it from water infiltration and slowing the aging process. Bonded wearing courses have been used throughout the country and were used in Vancouver for the first time in 2018.

Questions?

Construction questions during summer street work:
Public Works Construction Services: 360-487-7750
7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday

Files

Pavement Reference Guide

ADA Curb Ramps

Annual Curb Ramp Program

ADA Sidewalk Curb Ramps

Sidewalk curb ramps that are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) help people with disabilities safely transition from the street to the sidewalk and vice versa. The City is required to evaluate and add ADA ramps where needed as part of its Pavement Management program. Following Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) guidelines, streets receiving treatments that are considered an alteration – such as asphalt overlay paving, microsurfacing and cape sealing treatments – are required to be upgraded so that existing curb ramps meet current ADA requirements. In areas where ADA-compliant ramps exist, no changes are currently required.

2024 Program

Curb ramps at nearly 245 ramps locations along the various project routes will be upgraded, as required by federal regulations, to current Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards to improve accessibility and mobility for all. Crews typically perform this work from March through early July. Federal requirements mandate that curb ramps be upgraded to current ADA-compliant standards along streets receiving treatments that are considered an alteration, such as paving or cape sealing. In areas where ADA-compliant ramps exist, no changes are required.

Resources

Pavement Map: Streets and schedules are still being finalized for this year’s program. Watch this page for the 2024 Pavement Management Program map to be posted soon.
 

What is an ADA Curb Ramp?

Curb ramps help people with disabilities safely transition from a roadway to a curbed sidewalk and vice versa. A curb ramp is a short ramp cutting through a curb or built up to it. ADA standards require that curb ramps include “detectable warnings,” such a series of small domes that contrast in color with the surrounding sidewalk or street, which are added once the ramps are in place. The City is required to evaluate and add ADA ramps where needed as part of its Pavement Management program. Curb ramps are a small but important part of making pedestrian routes accessible to everyone. 

Questions?

If you have questions about the ADA curb improvements, please contact Chris Sneider, Pavement Program Manager in Vancouver Public Works at 360-487-8177.

If you have questions regarding construction work, please contact Vancouver Public Works’ Construction Services at 360-487-7750.

Schedules

Pavement Management Program | Updated Feb. 2024

General Timelines

The City’s annual Pavement Management Program protects and improves street conditions throughout Vancouver. Preparations for summer resurfacing and preservation treatments start early each year.

Proactive Pruning: The Pavement Management Program coordinates with Urban Forestry to care for and replant street trees. Tree and vegetation pruning begins in February and continues through June, with new street trees planted during fall. Proactive street tree pruning helps protect the health and structure of trees. Trees shading Vancouver streets cool neighborhoods and extend pavement life.

ADA Curb Ramps: Typically starting in March or April, ADA curb ramp upgrades will occur. Federal requirements mandate that curb ramps be upgraded to current ADA-compliant standards along streets receiving treatments that are considered an alteration, such as paving or cape sealing. In areas where ADA-compliant ramps exist, no changes are required.

Pavement Prep: Preliminary pavement crack sealing and repair usually take place from March through early July. In some areas, crews will mill off failed areas to prepare the street for pavement work later in the summer.

Summer Work: The Pavement Management work of resurfacing, rehabilitation and pavement preservation typically takes place from the middle of June through early September. Any striping/pavement markings removed during street work will be reapplied after the surface is ready. Please allow for curing time and weather conditions.

Resources

Pavement Map: Streets and schedules are still being finalized for this year’s program. Watch this page for the 2024 Pavement Management Program map to be posted soon.

Reference Guide: View a handy reference guide with tips for upcoming pavement work. This guide has information about parking restrictions, watering restrictions and potential weather-related delays, along with general dos, don’ts and other tips.

All pavement work is highly weather dependent, and schedules can change.