Oklahoma City officials expect to achieve their goal this year of extending the life of 100 lane miles of arterial streets through a process called micro surfacing.
The annual program is in its warm-weather phase now, which should last through October, city streets superintendent Mike DeGiacomo said.
Micro surfacing costs about 25 percent of what a full resurfacing project would and extends the life of the road up to seven years, DeGiacomo said.
“It's sort of like if you have a wooden house, instead of replacing the siding you just paint it,” he said.
Micro surfacing involves a thin layer of rock, cement, emulsion and other materials spread across an asphalt roadway that fills in small cracks and protects the street from water, DeGiacomo said.
It is done in warmer weather, and crews fill in the larger cracks with tar during the cold months.
It doesn't fix structural issues with the roads, like bumps and potholes, so full resurfacing eventually will be necessary. But the longer roads last, the more money the city saves, he said.