How does the City prioritize Road Improvements?
Improvements to public city roadways in Newcastle are funded two ways. New road construction uses 70% of a half-cent Sales Tax levy. Road maintenance is paid for by the City's General Fund. The City then uses criteria that includes existing road volumes, growth rates, ability to deliver improvements for all road users, safety benefits, proximity to schools and transit to determine when the best time for road upgrades are.
What is Street Patching (Potholes)?
Potholes - no one likes them. They seem to pop up overnight. In reality, potholes are created in a number of ways. When water seeps into cracks on the road's surface and is combined with the vibration of traffic it causes the asphalt to fail. This is why there are more potholes after it rains. Potholes are also created when larger vehicles stress the roadway causing a movement of the subsurface. Once there is a weak spot, every vehicle that travels over it worsens the problem, and eventually a section of the material will fail. The most common cause is the freeze/thaw cycle. The ice/snow melts during the day filling cracks with water. At night the water freezes and expands, popping out the asphalt.
Potholes and other roadway failures are repaired by Street Department in order of priority. Our goal is to respond to all potholes within 24 hours of being notified. We take care of the problem initially by installing a temporary patching material. Then we prioritize the potholes by size, number and street traffic volume to see if more extensive repairs are warranted.
To report potholes, please call City Hall at 405-387-4427 or click here to report.
What is Chip Sealing?
Frequently the Street Department performs chip sealing. We wanted to provide information on why we use this method and what the process entails. Roads also go through a final phase of this process which is known as 'fog sealing'. This will help seal everything in and give it the look of a finished road surface.
Why chip seal?
- To keep water from penetrating the road structure on paved surfaces.
- To fill and seal cracks and raveled surfaces of old pavement.
- To provide an anti-glare surface during wet weather and an increased reflective surface for night driving.
- To seal the pavement surface-minimizing the effects of aging.
- To provide a highly skid-resistant surface, particularly on wet pavements.
- The process moves along very quickly and traffic can drive on the newly chipped road almost immediately minimizing lengthy delays.
- The cost of chip seals is 15%-20% of the cost of pavement overlays.
- Chip seal is expected to provide 5-10 years of wear life depending on traffic volumes before additional work is needed.
What is the process for chip sealing?
- Streets are evaluated for their maintenance needs.
- Crews come in and patch any of the failing areas of roadway.
- Another crew then cleans and fills any large cracks with crack seal- a special hot applied rubberized filler.
- Now the chip seal process begins. An emulsified mixture is applied to the road using a special spray truck
- Immediately after spraying this liquid asphalt, a layer of crushed gravel is applied by a spreader.
- Next, the gravel is compacted and embedded into the asphalt by rubber-tired and steel drum rollers.
- The new chip-seal surface can require up to two days to cure properly. After it has fully cured, the loose gravel is swept off the surface and a fog seal is applied to the road surface to seal the surface and give it that finished look.
- Once fog sealed, the paint striping, legends, and crosswalks can be replaced completing the process.