Three miles off the coast of Oregon, covered by a thick canopy of trees, and exposed to the summer fog belt, is South Bank Chetco River Road in Curry County. With an excess of moisture and a lack of sunlight, this is not an ideal road for repairs. But what options are there for roads that are exposed to a harsh climate like this one? A common technique to repair cracks and poor driving conditions is Chip and Fog Sealing. Yet, even this technique is a challenge for Oregon Coast roads and that’s why Curry County turned to Albina Asphalt.
What is Chip Sealing and Fog Sealing?
Chip and fog seal is a low-cost alternative that restores flexibility to existing HMA paved surfaces. A diluted slow-setting asphalt emulsion is applied to a surface to fill cracks and provide a better road surface. Usually, roads need to be 70 degrees or higher for this treatment to work. Asphalt emulsions are water-based forms of asphalt and require a cure period where the water can evaporate. Once the water evaporates, the asphalt particles can seal and bond. Warm weather and low humidity are ideal, but it is possible to do in climates such as Curry County’s roads.
Albina Asphalt Chip Sealing and Fog Sealing Solution
After the first attempt of chip and fog sealing on River Road failed, Curry County turned to Albina Asphalt. We approached the challenge with a specialized chip sealant that uses RS-LTP (A Rapid-Set Low Temperature, Polymer-Modified Anionic Emulsion). Unlike other asphalt emulsions that require surfaces of 70 degrees or higher, Albina’s RS-LTP can be applied to road surfaces as low as 40 degrees. This emulsion can “break” or cure chemically from the bottom up, which means that it does not require sunlight or heat. Once Albina applied RS-LTP, the chip seal treatment filled in cracks and provided a better driving surface.
Completed on August 8, 2018, it only took two days for the Chip Seal and one day for the Fog Seal. It has been two full winter cycles since completion, and the South Bank Chetco River Road continues to exceed expectations. It is expected to last a full decade before additional treatments are needed.
Read the full story on Pavement Preservation & Recycling Alliance’s website.