City tests new technique to repair Spokane’s streets

The City of Spokane introduced a new technique on Saturday that officials hope will extend the life of city streets.

Microsurfacing works by blending a thin, tough layer of asphalt with finely crushed rock. That mixture is applied over the street to renew the surface and seal minor cracks, said Utilities Communications Officer Marlene Feist.

Clint Harris, the director of street maintenance for the city, said in order for a street to get the microsurfacing, it depends on how old the streets are along with what condition it is in.

“This wouldn’t work on a really bad street with big cracks in it, so we select the street that’s just in the right timing of needing maintenance to seal up to keep it and continue it to be good for 5 to 10 more years,” he explained.

The City tested the product on Saturday by applying it to a portion of road on Bernard from 14th to 29th avenues. The road will remain closed until late afternoon while the surface dries.

He said it takes the crews about 4 hours to coat the street, then an additional 3 hours after the last application to dry.

“This surface will be a lot more friendly for bicyclists and pedestrians,” he said.

The mixture was also tested on Washington from Buckeye to Indiana, and on Wall from Francis to Wellesley.

The process is called micro-overlay. It’s not new, but it is for the region. Tonight on @kxly4news we’ll explain how this new seal works and how it’ll maintain the roads better in the long run. #4NewsNow

— Elenee Dao KXLY (@Elenee_Dao) September 21, 2019

If proven successful, Feist says the City will add the technique to its “street maintenance toolbox.”

The city plans to have completed grind and overlay work on nearly 22 lane miles by the end of 2019.