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Rubber cap may stretch street life
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Several months ago, the Ripon City Council heard of ways to preserve some of the damaged roads in town.

One method offered by American Pavement Systems called for applying a rubber binder followed by a fine layer sealed with an asphalt slurry mixture on the existing roadway.

Elected leaders approved the Asphalt Rubber Cape Seal as conducted by APS. The cost came to about $17,000 and will be paid via the Street and Road fund.

“The technique has had high success rates in other cities and allows for preservation of roads that are marked ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’ and can save cities money on reconstruction of roads,” said Engineering Supervisor James Pease.

He indicated at the Aug. 11 meeting that this system – otherwise known as a three-layer preservation method – could be used on other roads if proved successful at Fir Court and Fifth Avenue.

“Why wasn’t this method used on the Main Street project?” Mayor Leo Zuber asked.

Main Street had base failure areas, according to Pease, and was in need of more work.

APS also does overlay on roads.

This process consists of grinding an inch or two to the existing asphalt and applying two inches of new hot mix asphalt.

Reconstruction, meanwhile, means removing and adding base rock and hot mix of asphalt to a section of the roadway.

Fir Court and Fifth Avenue was identified as the one-quarter mile section by APS that initially was designated for reconstruction.

Upon further review, Pease noted that Fir Court and Fifth Avenue has asphalt deterioration but not base failure, making it “a perfect candidate for (the three-layer preservation) method.”

Councilman Mike Restuccia questioned how this method will be evaluated.

Pease said that the test streets will be evaluated every couple of years.

According to the latest survey by Pavement Preservation Plan, 27 percent of the roads in Ripon are in either poor or very poor conditions, calling for full reconstruction.

“If the (three-layer preservation) method holds up, the City would benefit with long-term savings,” Pease said.