Now that Austin’s cool and wet months are (mostly) behind us, it’s again time for seal coat season! That’s right: The Austin Public Works Department is hard at work on extending the lifespan of aging city roads with seal coat, a preventative maintenance that can keep a road functioning for 10 or 15 more years, depending on the street.
Crews can perform a seal coat in about 30 minutes per block per lane. While it dries quickly enough for lanes to reopen in about 45 minutes, the sealcoat will take about a month to completely set. Find streets up for a seal coat in this interactive map. If your street is up for a seal coat, you’ll be notified four weeks before the work is scheduled to begin.
While seal coat is useful for maintaining our roads, it can also create a few headaches while the asphalt is still drying. Seal coat doesn’t contain “coal tar,” but the asphaltic binder crews use can still track from cars (and even pets) onto driveways and into homes. Luckily, there are a few simple tips to help you avoid or resolve any such mishaps:
- Avoid hard braking or sharp turns while driving on the fresh seal coat
- WD-40 will soften asphalt tracked onto shoes, carpets, or cars (spot check surfaces first)
- Use baby oil to dilute asphalt stuck on people or pets
- Don’t dilute areas of asphalt tracked onto concrete driveways or sidewalks, as it will soak through. Instead, remove with a sandblaster
- To report excess gravel, call Street & Bridge at 512-974-8777