Best Practices for Chip Sealing Low-Volume Roads in Ohio

Project Details







Federal Highway Administration State Planning and Research Funding
Ohio Department of Transportation

Principal Investigator
Ashley Buss

About the research

Lack of funding and a desire to effectively manage the pavement network has resulted in the widespread use of chip seals by local agencies in Ohio. With the 2002 Construction and Materials Specifications (CMS), the Ohio Department of Transportation’s (ODOT) made major revisions to the chip seal specification to incorporate best practices applicable for pavements on the state highway system. However, the new specification may be burdensome and costly for local agencies to adopt due to lack of inspection personnel and a required level of quality which may not be necessary to achieve satisfactory performance on the local system. Many local agencies construct chip seals using local work crews and application rates based on experience, or with contractors using local specifications or older version of the ODOT specification. Consequently, success has been varied, with some excellent applications and some failures. The purpose of this research was to gain a better understanding of chip seal practices of the local agencies and identify best practices for low traffic volume roads. The goal of this research was to assess the current state of practice for chip sealing on county, township, and municipal-maintained roads. The objective was to develop a matrix of best practices for chip sealing low-volume roads in Ohio and design a study to aid in the future assessment of long-term performance creating protocols for data collection. As part of this study a literature review was completed, county and municipal engineers, and township trustees were surveyed regarding their chip seal practices, and follow-up interviews were conducted with eleven agencies. Based on the information collected a matrix of best practices for chip sealing on local roadways was developed and a study to collect long-term performance was designed. The best practices matrix identifies best practices as defined in the literature and by local agency personnel and is provided in this report. A plan and data collection software for a long term monitoring and evaluation of chip seals is also provided.