- Editor’s Note: This is part of an ongoing series of articles that takes a little deeper look at Kane County programs, projects and initiatives funded through your tax dollars.
There was a Chicago-area car commercial not too many years ago that featured a couple of Chevy dealers signing off with the slogan about their business at York and Roosevelt Roads … “Where you’ll always save more money.”
Kane County’s Division of Transportation doesn’t go for a lot of fancy slogans, but saving more money is a big part of the division’s tactics, strategy and mission.
“These are challenging times in transportation funding, and ‘do more with less’ is a common mantra in the maintenance and preservation of our existing roadway systems,” said Steve Coffinbargar, KDOT’s assistant director of transportation.
One of the ways Kane County saves money is by taking care of its existing roadways. KDOT’s pavement management program, which kicks into high gear Tuesday (Aug. 30, 2016) with a two-week pavement-sealing program, simply “makes financial sense,” Coffinbargar said.
“Preventive maintenance is a common concept in much of our lives, where we recognize that preventive maintenance is less expensive than the large cost of fixing major problems,” he said. “Building a deck, for instance, is very time consuming and pricey, so why not seal it and get the maximum life out of it?”
Coffinbargar says the same concept is applicable to county roads. By sealing and maintaining the surface properly, investments made in pavement are protected.
And those investments are substantial. Kane County’s highway system is estimated at having a value of hundreds of millions of dollars.
“Not only is there a significant investment in the land, pavement, shoulders, signs, guardrails, and other roadway amenities, but the value of transporting goods and services is key to the economic engines of our county,” Coffinbargar said.
Each year, the county’s crack-sealing and pavement preservation program provides maintenance applications to about 100 lane miles, out of the total 750 county highway lane miles, at an annual cost of about $1.4 million. The annual program typically is applied in the summer/early fall and includes applications to restore and strengthen the roadway composition and provide increased traction for the motoring public.
There are basically three actions KDOT takes to make sure roads hold their value:
- Crack sealing is performed to help keep moisture out of the pavement, preventing the freeze/thaw cycle from widening cracks, and creating potholes, causing degeneration.
- Chip and cape seals are applied on low-volume rural roadways to restore and strengthen raveling surfaces of older pavement.
- Rejuvenators are implemented on newer resurfaced roadways to restore the oils and additives of the pavement, to seal out water and prevent freeze/thaw damage, and to help keep pavement flexible and prevent it from becoming dry and brittle.
What’s happening next week is the annual rejuvenator treatment on 32 miles of county highway, which treats sections of some of Kane County’s most-traveled highways: Silver Glen Road, Tanner Road, Deerpath Road, Oak Street, Big Timber Road, Randall Road, Orchard Road, Mooseheart Road, Harmony Road, Keslinger Road, West Bartlett Road, Kirk Road, Bliss Road, LaFox Road, Sauber Road, the IC Trail and Fabyan Parkway. (See the map below for details.)
The process involves spraying the rejuvenator liquid (a reclamite maltene agent), allowing the liquid to cure, placing sand on the treated roads for traction, and then sweeping up the excess material. This work is estimated to take two weeks, pending weather. Portions of higher volume roads (such as Randall Road and Kirk Road) will be worked on overnight to reduce the impact to the motoring public.
Transportation agencies using these treatments are noticing a five- to seven-year life extension of their pavements. And since a rejuvenator treatment is roughly 5 percent of the cost to mill and resurface, or 0.5 percent of the cost to reconstruct a roadway, this type of treatment adds valuable years onto the life of the pavement and enables the county do more with less.
- Steve Coffinbargar is the assistant director of the Kane County Division of Transportation. For all Kane County traffic advisories, visit the KDOT Traffic Alerts page on the KDOT website.
- Randall, Kirk, Orchard, Fabyan, Silver Glen … Kane’s Premier Roads Set for 2 Weeks of Pavement Sealing
- Crack Attack! KDOT Begins Summer Work in Ernest June 6 With Crack-Sealing on 5 County Roads
- KDOT’s 5-Year Plan Targets $367 Million for 91 Transportation Improvement Projects
- County Crack Sealing to Begin Aug. 8 on Kirk, Orchard and Stearns
- Big Awards for KDOT: Schoedel Honored for Community Involvement; Rickert Is ‘Manager of the Year’
About the Kane County Division of Transportation
KDOT’s mission is to provide and maintain a safe and efficient transportation system while maintaining the county’s visions and values. Serving a population of more than 520,000, Kane County’s transportation infrastructure is constantly being enhanced to accommodate growth. Kane County Division of Transportation employees are responsible for the maintenance, planning, design and construction of more than 320 miles of roadway. KDOT also provides technical assistance to the 16 townships and coordinates with a number of different state, regional, and local agencies on transportation and land use issues. For more information, visit the Kane County Division of Transportation website and Facebook page.