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

Faculty Affiliate

About the research

Chip seal is widely used as an effective, low-cost preventive maintenance treatment for low-volume roads across Ohio and around the country. In some instances, states have used chip seal on select high-volume roads. In Ohio, local entities who do not utilize the ODOT specification for chip seals, tend to rely on previous in-house experience or contractors to determine materials and construction processes for chip seals. As a result, a variety of different methods have been utilized throughout the state. While some of these have resulted in acceptable and even excellent results, others may have not been as successful. As constraints on local budgets continue to tighten, the need to identify the best chip seal techniques and methods increases.

The goal of this research is to assess the current state of practice for chip sealing on county, township, and municipal-maintained roads. The objective is 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.

The results of this research will provide local officials with enhanced knowledge and understanding of chip sealing practices on local roadways in Ohio. This will enable local transportation engineers to confidently apply chip seal in methods that strive to maximize longevity while being cost effective. Ultimately, this research will provide the foundation for the development of scientifically-based guidance on chip seal practices that will aid locals in managing budgets and ensuring the fiscal integrity of local pavement preservation programs.