Latest update: 12/19/2023 - 2024 maps and lists of streets will be posted in January 2024.
Fitchburg rates all roads every two years on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being a new road and 1 being an asphalt road that has turned to gravel. Roads with a rating of 1-4 will be resurfaced or reconstructed, and roads with a rating of 5-8 will either be crack sealed, chip sealed, patched, or some combination of the three.
Crack sealing is by far the most cost effective maintenance strategy for city streets. Sealing cracks prevents water from seeping into and under the asphalt and washing away the aggregate base, or freezing and heaving the road. Debris is removed from the cracks and a liquid asphalt material is applied to fill and seal the crack. This lengthens the life of the road and prevents costly and intrusive resurfacing and reconstruction projects. Crack sealing only takes a few days of work per road and is able to be driven on shortly after application. Roads with a rating of 7 or 8 on a scale of 1-10 are good candidates for crack sealing.
Chip sealing is a surface sealcoat treatment that is designed to renew the road's surface and provide an added layer of durability. It also covers up crack sealing, which can cause traction issues when used in large areas. Chip sealing extends the useful life of the road and can be done multiple times on a single roadway. The street is sprayed with an ashpalt emulsion and then sprinkled with granite chips. The chips are then embedded into the asphalt by a roller and car traffic and the excess is swept with a street sweeper. Roads with a rating of 5 or 6 on a scale of 1-10 are good candidates for chip sealing.
When a small area of a road is in worse shape, it is cut out and repaired with new aggregate base and asphalt. Then, the joint between the patch and the old asphalt can be sealed, and the entire road can be chip sealed. This gives a uniform surface while fixing problem areas. Roads with a rating of 5 on a scale of 1-10 will usually have some patching done before chip sealing.