“Anybody can manage public works projects when funds are readily available,” explained Gregory. “But when funds are limited, we need every tool to keep roads in the best shape possible. Think of it as putting oil in your vehicle to extend the life of your engine. It’s the same with roadways. We need to do preventive maintenance to extend the life of the surface.”
The FHWA’s Every Day Counts (EDC-4) program promotes proven innovations and strategies to address the challenges of limited budgets. The aim is to provide greater efficiencies in delivering projects that are better, faster and safer. One of its primary focuses is on innovations in pavement preservation – activities and technologies that do not generally add capacity or structural value, but restore the overall condition of roadways.
In support of the EDC-4 mission, the Pavement Preventive Maintenance workshop provided participants with information on selecting the correct treatment for the appropriate pavement, including requirements of sample specifications, proper pavement selection and operational oversight. The session covered the uses, benefits and applications of a variety of different innovative techniques including:
- Ultra-Thin Friction Course
- Slurry Seal
- Liquid Bituminous Seal Coat.
This half-day Maintenance of Gravel Roads session provided basic maintenance techniques for unpaved and gravel roads, including minor maintenance to major repairs and improvements. Topics included the importance of proper drainage, surface aggregate materials and operational techniques such as blading, reshaping and re-graveling. Gregory provided examples of successful approaches and materials used by agencies across the country, including Driving Surface Aggregate (DSA), an innovative material that packs tightly resulting in less breakdown and dust.
Factors used to determine when to upgrade a gravel road by paving or seal coating was also reviewed. The discussion included a cost comparison of maintaining gravel and paved surfaces.
Sam Gregory has worked for over 36 years in the transportation community. Currently providing LTAP training, course development and technical assistance support for local government agencies, he also works with the North East Center of Excellence of Pavement Technology (NECEPT) at Penn State University. He is past chairman of the Maintenance Technical Advisory Group for the Pennsylvania State Transportation Innovation Council (STIC).
Gregory spent much of his career with Penn DOT. Prior to retiring, he was the Highway Maintenance Manager in charge of Mifflin/Juniata and Perry County Maintenance Organizations, responsible for multi-year strategic plan preparation and oversight of 585 roadway miles, 582 bridges, a $12 million budget and over 110 employees.