FLEMINGSBURG, Ky. (WTVQ) – Contractors expect to begin paving the AA Highway (KY 9) through Maysville later this week as two Transportation Cabinet projects totaling $800,000 in preventive maintenance work get under way.
The work includes a special paving technique called a cape seal, which will be applied along 5 miles of the AA Highway between KY 11 and the US 68-Clyde Barbour Parkway, mile markers 7 to 12 in Mason County.
The cape seal treatment begins with a layer of small limestone chips rolled into an oil-based sealant, which is often termed a chip seal. It must cure under traffic for several days, then a thin layer of traditional blacktop will be applied on top to create a smoother, final driving surface.
Contractors plan to start the chip seal portion of the work by late this week, Thursday or Friday, Aug. 23-24, on the first section of the AA Highway between the KY 11 and US 62 intersections.
Crews will be working in one lane of the highway at a time. Motorists should watch for one-lane traffic, lane closures and flagging, especially at intersections, and should expect delays.
Contractors will work to ensure traffic flows as smoothly as possible during construction. But, with heavy traffic on the AA corridor – the highway serves approximately 12,000 to 14,000 vehicles a day – motorists might want to seek alternate routes.
After an initial cure, usually that same day, traffic will be allowed back on the treated lane. However, motorists should remember they won’t be on the final driving surface, and should drive with caution due to the potential for loose limestone chips on the highway. A reduced speed limit of 25 miles per hour will be in effect.
Once that initial chip seal layer is complete, the roadway must cure under traffic for two to three days. Again, please follow posted speed limits and drive with caution. Then, contractors will apply a very thin blacktop layer over the chips to create the final driving surface.
Work will continue into next week, the week of Aug. 27, on the first section of the AA Highway. Work on the second section, between the US 62 and US 68-Clyde Barbour Parkway intersections, will follow.
During construction, please heed all warning signs, leave space between vehicles for adequate braking or maneuvering, and remain aware of workers and construction equipment at all times.
Cape seal work is very weather dependent. Rain could delay the start of each construction phase as well as its duration. Message boards will be used to communicate schedule changes.
Work for this project is being done by H.G. Mays Corporation under two low-bid Transportation Cabinet contracts, totaling $420,817 and $383,463 for each section of the AA Highway.
Cape seal and chip seal techniques, while used extensively across the United States, are relatively new to Kentucky. They are designed to extend the life of blacktop pavement while also making efficient use of tax dollars.
Such preventive maintenance treatments slow pavement deterioration, correct minor surface distress, and last up to 60 percent as long as traditional asphalt resurfacing projects for 30 percent the cost – in other words, a quick and cost-effective way to keep roads safer, longer.
This year, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is investing nearly $25 million into cape seal, chip seal, microsurfacing, ultra-thin and other pavement preservation projects. This is the largest investment in preventive maintenance since the program began in 2007.
Media Release from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet