Pavement Maintenance and Slurry Seal


During the summer of 2019, the City of Salem crack sealed approximately 10 miles of streets throughout Salem. In 2020, the City of Salem is scheduled to seal 15 miles of streets throughout Salem.

The City of Salem is dedicated to maintaining our streets. Each summer, City crews and contractors perform a number of pavement maintenance services that make up the street rehabilitation program. This program includes surface treatments such as crack seal, slurry seal, cape seal, and chip seal.

​Project updates

The selection process of roadways for the 2020 Pavement Maintenance has finished. Streets are selected using the City's Pavement Management System. For 2020, the City of Salem will be focusing its efforts on crack sealing.

This spring, residents along the selected streets will be notified and City crews will begin to prepare the streets for crack seal. During the street preparation process, some streets will have restricted parking or access. These restrictions will be short and affected residents will receive door hangers from City crews. The preparation process includes hot air routing the existing cracks.

During Construction (July, August, and September), streets will be temporarily closed for approximately 9 hours from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm. Residents that will be affected by full closures will receive multiple letters for the City as well as notice 72 hours prior to the street closures.

About slurry seal

Slurry seal provides a new protective wearing surface to an existing asphalt street.​ By sealing the surface of the street, the base of the road is protected from water damage and the surface is protected from weathering.

Slurry seal is a petroleum-based emulsion product. It is mixed with fine aggregate rock, blended on-site in a large truck, and then applied evenly across the entire surface of an asphalt street. A slurry seal is typically ¼ to ⅜ of an inch thick. At a cost of approximately $3 to $5 per square yard (including prep cost), slurry seal is one of the most cost-effective pavement maintenance tools the City has for pavement preservation.

Preparing selected streets

Using a pavement management system, the City of Salem selects streets that are best suited for treatment. Each street is visited by an employee, who verifies the condition. Some streets are at a level of deterioration requiring more extensive and costly repairs, such as an asphalt overlay. The goal is to protect street surfaces early on with a slurry seal, postponing costly overlays for several years. Slurry Seal can extend the serviceable life of a city street by up to 40 percent.

City crews seal cracks and patch street defects prior to the slurry seal. These activities may require numerous visits to your street due to the specialized nature of each repair method. This work can be dusty and noisy.

Street closures

During slurry seal application, access to the street will be closed for a maximum of 9 hours (8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.). The crack seal application will restrict access to the street for a minimum of 1 hour and a maximum of 4 hours between 8:00 a.m. –5:00pm. Please park on an adjacent street outside the “NO PARKING” zone, especially if you plan on using your vehicle later that day. Remember to only park on streets that allow legal street parking.

Streets are typically only closed for one day, unless there are delays due to equipment failure, weather-related problems, or other unforeseen reasons.

If your street is not sealed as scheduled, the work will be rescheduled, and you will be re-notified 72 hours in advance of the contractor returning and sealing your street.

Street access for mail and other services

It should not affect these services significantly. The Post Office, Salem Police Department, Salem Fire Department, Cherriots, and garbage service providers are notified of the schedule, so reasonable accommodations may be made.

Water damage from rain, lawn sprinklers, and car washing

Water will damage both the appearance and sealing capabilities of the slurry. Please refrain from watering lawns, washing cars, or doing any activities that may cause water to enter the street on the day your street is slurry sealed.

If it rains, the slurry seal work will be rescheduled, and a 72-hour notice will be reissued.

Small rocks may collect along street edges

This is a normal short-term occurrence after slurry has been applied. A small amount of rock does not adhere completely and eventually becomes loose. As cars travel the street, these small rocks are swept to the edge. City street sweepers will clean up the rocks along their residential sweeping routes.

Contact us

Jacob HarrisEngineering Technician IIIPublic Works Department