Pavement management refers to the process the Agawam Department of Public Works uses to plan the maintenance and repair schedule for the network of roads and other paved facilities throughout the town. Many factors are considered when prioritizing which streets will receive repairs in a given year including, but not limited to: average daily traffic volume, proximity to schools, other planned utility or construction projects and input from residents. The DPW and the Engineering Department regularly assess the condition of all accepted streets and strive to utilize the limited available funding for pavement repair as efficiently as possible.
A copy of the Agawam Pavement Management Report, which includes detailed information regarding street prioritization, pavement treatments, available funding options, as well as past, current and future paving projects, can be downloaded from the link at the bottom of this page.
The following is a brief description of the three categories of pavement treatments the Town currently uses to repair and maintain streets: preventative maintenance, rehabilitation and reconstruction.
Preventative maintenance treatments are designed to preserve roads that are still in good condition, such as streets that have been recently paved and roads with a minimal amount of damage. Preserving the surface of such roads will extend their life span, preventing them from deteriorating and saving money on more costly treatments.
Fog Seal: A thin oil-like liquid spray made of asphalt, water and soap that rejuvenates brittle pavement and prevents the formation of potholes.
Crack Seal: Narrow, shallow cracks in the pavement are cleaned of dirt and debris and filled with an asphalt compound. This prevents water from entering the cracks and undermining the pavement.
Microsurface: A very thin layer of asphalt material that is applied to the existing surface of a street with a low to moderate amount of cracking.
Cape Seal: This treatment is composed of two layers – a stone layer overlaid with a microsurface layer. The stone layer provides a waterproof seal between the existing pavement and the microsurface layer, adding flexibility to the street and preventing new cracks from forming.
Rehabilitation treatments are enhancements performed on a street where the surface course of pavement has suffered damage, but the road base is still in good condition. Rehabilitation treatments restore the structural strength of the pavement and extend the service life of a damaged road.
Shim: A thin layer of asphalt thicker than a microsurface that is applied to the existing surface of a street. Shims are usually used as temporary repair measures and can wear away very easily.
Overlay: A layer of asphalt thicker than a shim applied to the surface of a street. Overlays provide a sturdier, longer-lasting treatment than shims on roads with cracks too thin and too extensive to be fixed by crack sealing.
Milling: Milling refers to removing the top layer of pavement - 1 ½ to 2 inches - from a road before installing an overlay layer. Milling is used on roads which have extensive cracking and have a low amount of distortions, such as ruts and potholes. Milling cannot be used to change the grade of a road.
Reconstruction involves the removal or demolition of all existing pavement layers on a street and the installation of new pavement over a compacted gravel base. Reconstruction is used when a pavement surface has suffered extensive deterioration that extends down into the road base or if the grade of the road needs to be changed, such as lowering a hill to improve sight distance or increasing the grade of the road to remove water from flooded areas.
Full Depth Reclamation: Reclamation is a process in which a street is pulverized for a depth of 9 – 12 inches. The pulverized material is blended together and recycled into a new street base. The base is graded to the desired elevation and a new pavement surface is installed.
2024 Paving Schedule
As part of Agawam's Pavement Management Program, the DPW will be performing a Mill/Overlay on certain streets each year that are in Fair condition. This will help to increase the overall health of Agawam's road network and save money by performing lower-cost paving techniques on these streets rather than waiting for them to deteriorate further to the point where a more expensive Full Depth Reclamation is required.
The Town of Agawam Pavement Management Report for 2023 has been posted. Please be aware that all pavement management schedules listed within the report and posted on this webpage are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances such as emergency repairs, adjustments to the available budget and/or scheduleing conflicts with paving contractors or other Town projects.