Right now our street maintenance crews are filling cracks in our streets as part of our Crack Seal program.
And that means we don’t have to repave or rebuild our roads as often.
SDOT fills cracks with a flexible sealant to keep out water. When water gets into pavement, it can freeze, expand and cause damage. Crack sealing is a bit like filling cracks around a bathtub with caulking – it’s a cost-effective way to prevent damage.
Just like caulking your tub or painting a wall, prepping the surface is vital for crack sealing. Our crews clean and prepare the pavement so the sealant will stick to the walls of the cracks and create a tight seal. We first sweep the street to remove dirt and debris from the surface, then we use a hot air lance to incinerate and remove material inside the cracks.
Crews use a wand to apply the sealant into the cracks, and then apply a squeegee to smooth out the material on the surface of the pavement.
The 2014 program will fill cracks on multiple arterials in Southeast Seattle. If you add up all the cracks we plan to fill this summer, they would stretch over 15 miles. That’s about as far as Seattle’s northern border all the way south to the South Park Bridge.