Effectiveness of Microsurfacing and Cape Seals on Flexible Pavements
AdvisorSebaaly, Peter E.
Civil and Environmental Engineering
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Surface treatments such as microsurfacing and cape seal can be cost-effective options for preserving and maintaining flexible pavements. When applied to the right pavement at the right time, such surface treatments can result in major agency savings and public satisfaction. However, it is critical to study the performance of microsurfacing and cape seal in order to determine the criteria that must be met to achieve the best pavement performance and to prolong pavement life to its maximum potential. This study evaluated the long-term performance of microsurfacing and cape seal in the Truckee Meadows region of Northern Nevada and developed regression models based on the pavement condition index (PCI). Performance models were developed for microsurfacing and cape seal applied on various functional classifications with different construction and treatment histories. The established models were used to determine the benefit-cost of applying microsurfacing and cape seal on pavements with varying conditions. The findings and developments of this study can aid local agencies in their surface treatment selection process to ultimately achieve the highest levels of benefit while effectively making use of their available funds. Project level analysis was performed for road sections that witnessed sequential applications of microsurfacing. The analysis of such sections focused on the impact of pavement distresses observed, the variation of pavement PCI with pavement age, as well as traffic and construction history. As a result of this study, it is now possible to describe the performance of microsurfacing and cape seal with a significant level of reliability. The major factors that control the performance of such surface treatments have also been established. Therefore, agencies can gain confidence in their decisions regarding microsurfacing and cape seal knowing that their pavement management systems will be more efficient and will have more reliable outcomes.