Crews will begin a slurry seal treatment of city streets today, Tuesday, Oct. 15.

The Slurry Seal Restoration project, which spans a total of 3.4 miles, aims to improve the pavement on parts of 29 streets inside city limits, including stretches of First Street East, Second Street East, Fifth Street West, Patten Street, West Spain Street, Beasley Way and Chase Street.

Last week, crews began crack sealing and removing pavement markings in preparation for the maintenance project, which is expected to run through Friday, Oct. 18.

The City Council awarded Central Valley Engineering and Asphalt a construction contract for $195,514 at its Sept. 16 meeting. The project is funded with revenue from Measure J sales tax.

Public Works Director and City Engineer Dan Takasugi said now is the time to complete the project because warmer fall weather is ideal so the treatment can dry and not be exposed to rain. Also, waiting to slurry seal in fall rather than summer saves the city money since it is at the end of the busy time for contractors and costs are lower.

Takasugi said Public Works wants to seal as many streets as it can before the rainy season, when most street damage occurs due to water seeping into cracks and porous areas of the street pavement. Slurry seal treatment protects roads from the effects of natural aging and the environmental degradation caused by excessive heat or rain.

During the treatment, streets will need to be closed for approximately four to six hours,

depending upon air temperatures. The contractor will notify property owners 72 hours prior to scheduled treatment with door hanger notices, pointing out access and parking restrictions. Private vehicles will not be allowed to access the street, even to enter or leave a driveway. For certain streets with heavier traffic, the city will designate detour routes.

By slurry sealing the streets, the city will extend the life of the worn pavement by five to eight years, Takasugi said, adding that slurry seal treatment saves the city money because it is less expensive than repaving or reconstruction.

“A slurry seal maintenance program undertaken before more extensive deterioration has begun is essential to proper pavement management,” the Department of Public Works said in a press release.

Slurry seal is a thin surface treatment consisting of asphalt emulsion, graded aggregates, mineral filler, water and other additives that bonds to the existing street surface. It was first developed in Germany in the 1930s.

Takasugi said, some city streets in poor condition – Studley Street, First Street West, Oregon Street – will not receive the slurry seal treatment. “Those streets have deteriorated beyond the stage where a slurry seal treatment would be of much benefit. Those deteriorating streets will either need to be repaved or reconstructed at much greater cost,” he said, noting streets in such poor condition will require asphalt grinding and overlay treatment or a full street reconstruction.