Street Maintenance

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The division focus is on preventive pavement maintenance on a revolving schedule. The community’s street network is divided into six zones for maintenance purposes with one zone receiving attention each year. Pavement conditions are evaluated and an action plan is determined for each roadway segment. There are a variety of methods used to target the right maintenance at the right time to keep Newton streets in the best possible condition while operating within budgetary constraints.

View full-size Maintenance Area Map



48-hour pothole response policy:

The Street Division aggressively pursues a strategy to keep Newton streets pothole free. While going about the day’s business, our team of workers do not always see every street every day. Therefore we appreciate getting pothole reports from the public. Our pledge is to make every effort to respond to any pothole report and take appropriate action within two working days. There can be extenuating circumstances such as storm response that may take precedence over this policy.

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What is slurry seal?

Slurry seal is an asphalt pavement surface treatment. The slurry seal product consists of a mixture of aggregate (small rock), asphalt emulsion, cement and water. The asphalt emulsion serves as a binder that holds the materials together and bonds the new surface to the existing pavement. Truck-mounted application equipment is used for this process. The vehicle carries the raw materials to the job site, where mixing and application happen continuously as resurfacing moves along. The treatment adds about ¼-inch to the overall pavement thickness. The new surface must then cure for several hours before allowing pedestrian and vehicle traffic to resume.

The division has been using this product since 1985 to effectively extend an asphalt pavement’s useable life. Most asphalt pavements over 20 years of age will be considered for the slurry seal program. Typically when a pavement is added to the program, it will receive a new surface treatment every 6 years. 

Surface preparation

A pavement that has been selected for slurry seal undergoes a several-step process to prepare it for the new surface treatment. First, a herbicide is applied early in the year to prevent vegetative growth in any open cracks and joints that exist. Next, any pavement failures such as potholes, bumps or sunken areas are repaired and all cracks and joints that are at least ¼-inch wide are sealed with a hot-pour rubber sealant. Any curb and gutter that is in poor condition is removed and replaced. Finally, low-hanging trees that may interfere with the slurry seal application process are pruned to ensure adequate machine clearance.

Resurfacing day

Advance notice of the project, including a list of streets slated for the treatment, is reported in the local newspaper several weeks before the project begins. Residents and businesses along the scheduled street will also receive a door hanger notification of the project at least one business day before the work will be done.

On resurfacing day, the street is closed to all traffic around 7 a.m. A thorough street cleaning follows to ensure the new surface will form a good bond to the existing pavement. Then the slurry seal is applied. Once applied, it must be left to cure for several hours before any traffic is allowed. Normally application occurs in the morning and streets are open to traffic around 5 p.m.

Benefits of slurry seal

Slurry seal has proven to be an effective and low cost alternative in preserving Newton streets. Other notable features include: 

  • Seals out moisture over the entire surface. 
  • Stops the oxidation process in the original pavement. 
  • Fills minor voids and depressions. 
  • Provides a non-skid wearing surface.