Every year our roads get better and better. This is thanks to the hard work done by our Roads Committee. They work closely with our roads contractor and engineering firm throughout the year to keep our roads in excellent working order.
The Roads Committee has created a maintenance plan that is used to prolong the life of our roads. This plan also informs our budgeting and reserves processes. It includes regular yearly maintenance such as ditch clearing, spring and fall grading of gravel roads, and culvert maintenance. It also provides for more irregular maintenance activities that protect our investments such as chip sealing our paved roads on a given schedule. This plan was developed by experts with the goal to provide excellent and reliable roads that last as long as possible.
At times some of these maintenance activities are hard to understand. I was asked “Why would we cover Granny Smith, which was a nice paved road with gravel?”. This is a fair question. Newly paved roads need to be sealed within a few years after installation and on a regular schedule throughout its life. This is the same as a paved driveway. After you pave your driveway, about two to three years later you need to cover it in sealant. The sealant will then need to be repeated in future years as needed. You can of course choose not to do this but you will soon see that without the sealant your driveway will crack. Sealing pavement prolongs its life and in some cases it can double the life of the pavement.
The Maintenance plan for our paved roads are much like a paved driveway. We use the Chip Seal “SINGLE SEAL TREATMENT” method as defined by VDOT. (See Surface Treatment Certification). This is not the same as a Tar and Chip road base, where the road base is made of an aggregate (Stones) and tar. We do have some Tar and Chip roads, Rome Beauty is an example which are maintained differently from those with an asphalt road base. With an asphalt road base such as Granny Smith we first apply .4 (VDOT Minimum standard is .3) gallons of tar sealant (RC-250) per square yard of road. This is a more heavy duty version of the driveway sealant many of us use. Its job is to seal out water and preserve the road. After the sealant is down a #8 size aggregate stone is laid on top at the rate of 15 – 20 pounds per square yard. This serves a few functions, One the sealant is unlike your driveway sealant which is not sticky after it dries. This tar is a bit more heavy duty and is much more sticky. The stone adheres to the tar and provides a surface that your tires will grip to. The stone also adds an extra layer that protects the road base. Even though it looks like we covered a new paved road with stone, what is really going on is we added years of life to the road. This type of treatment is suggested by VDOT, our reserves study and our engineer. Maintenance like this, should take place three years after the initial pavement / re-pavement of a road. This means that Wealthy and Apple Orchard should be sealed in the coming years.
This is just one example of how your Roads Committee is thoughtfully caring for our roads to allow everyone to enjoy Apple Mountain.