Slurry Seals

Slurry Seals Effective Treatment on Local Streets

Each summer the Public Works Department contracts for slurry seal treatment on residential streets as part of Eugene's Pavement Preservation Program.

A slurry seal is a thin layer of asphalt emulsion, rock and sand. Slurry seals are used to seal the existing pavement against intrusion of water, fill in small cracks, provide a uniform surface and restore surface friction, which improves drivability and skid resistance. 

Slurry seals are beneficial on streets with older pavement, or where surface material has begun to wear off leaving a rough surface. They protect pavement from oxidation, which leads to brittleness and cracking, and keep water out of the road base by sealing existing cracks. Since slurry seals do not add any structural value to a street they are best used on local streets or collector streets with little structural damage and where regular truck traffic is not expected.

Cost Effective

Due to the small amount of materials needed and the quick application time (usually one day), slurry seals provide a very cost effective way to extend the life of our pavements. The average cost of a slurry seal is about one-tenth of an asphalt overlay and one-fiftieth of total reconstruction costs.

The Slurry Seal Process

Here's how a slurry seal project is typically done in several phases:

  1. First, damaged areas on streets scheduled for slurry seals are fixed. This may involve digging up and replacing an area of damaged pavement, or it could simply mean a surface patch applied over smaller pavement defects. During this phase, streets are generally open for through traffic although there may be short delays and lane detours around work zones.
  2. Then the contractor will come back and clean and fill cracks. Street access typically is maintained during crack-sealing operations. Street sweepers are used to collect as much surface grit and debris as possible.
  3. About a week after the cleaning and crack-sealing work, the contractor will put the slurry seal on the pavement, usually from curb to curb. Because the slurry seal takes several hours to cure, streets may be closed for up to eight hours.
  4. Once the slurry seal has hardened, the street is reopened and the job is completed.

Slurry Seal Tips

Here are some tips to reduce inconveniences when your street is slurry sealed:

  • Plan Ahead: Notifications will be provided prior to the start of the slurry sealing work. Information also will be posted on this web site.
  • Let People Know: If you have regular deliveries made to your home or business, if you use special transportation services, or if you have other specific needs that could be affected by a one-day street closure, let the providers of those services know. Tell family and friends as well, so they don't drop by only to find the street temporarily closed.

  • Don't Park on the Street: If you normally park a vehicle on the street, find an alternate location. Slurry sealing of streets in neighborhoods will be coordinated to make alternate routes and parking available.
  • Protect Kids and Pets: Slurry seal is a black asphalt emulsion that remains liquid and sticky for a few hours until completely cured. On slurry seal days, we recommend you keep roaming pets, such as cats, inside and that young children be monitored if outside. Slurry seal is difficult to clean from shoes, cars, carpets etc., so it is best for people and pets not to come in contact with the slurry.
  • Remove Other Obstructions From the Street: Trash cans, basketball hoops and other things that may be placed on the street surface must be removed so an effective and efficient job of slurry sealing can be done. Remember, the better the quality of the slurry seal, the longer the life of your street will be extended.
  • Don't Worry: Emergency vehicle access is always maintained on city street repair projects. If you have special needs, please contact our project management staff by calling 541-682-5291.