The City of Fremantle has trialled a road resurfacing treatment that it says saves money and the environment.
Microsurfacing involves spraying a thin layer of bitumen emulsion with special additives and finely crushed stone on the existing pavement to replace some of the original qualities of the asphalt that are lost over time and form a protective seal on the road surface.
The process was employed by the City of Fremantle last week to resurface a section of Edmund Street in White Gum Valley.
Acting Director of Infrastructure, David Janssens said it was the first time the City had used the technique.
“It was very opportunistic for us because the WA based contractor had their specialist equipment over from the eastern states and was doing some other jobs in Perth for Main Roads, so we grabbed them while their equipment was here,” Mr Janssens said.
“Microsurfacing can extend the life on an existing road pavement by up to 10 years, and is significantly cheaper than traditional road resurfacing methods.
“By just using a bitumen product we save on having to quarry and process aggregate that would be used in traditional asphalt.
“Because it’s applied at ambient temperature it has relatively low energy consumption which means reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
“Other benefits are that it’s quicker to complete than traditional methods so there’s less disruption to the public, it leaves a nice smooth uniform surface which looks great, and it also increases the grip of the road which improves safety.
“The microsurfacing treatment isn’t always suitable for every road, but it’s certainly a good option to have and we’ll consider treating more of our Fremantle roads in this way in future.”
With funding support from the federal government through its Roads to Recovery Program, the City of Fremantle says it has a comprehensive resurfacing program to ensure local roads are kept in good condition.
So far this financial year the City has resurfaced Bannister Street in Fremantle, Jones Street in O’Connor and Ferres Street and Stevens Street in White Gum Valley, with further works on Coode Street in Fremantle and Pamment Street in North Fremantle scheduled before the end of the financial year.
As part of its commitment to sustainability the City of Fremantle recycles road base from resurfacing projects to be used in other projects like car parks, footpaths and cycle lanes.
The City has also experimented with using recycled glass in resurfacing projects as a substitute for traditional crushed granite aggregate.