More on chip seal

I asked Maurice Goulet, the Director of the DPW, a follow up question about chip seal and got more really useful information back from him this morning (a copy of that email appears below – I also inserted Moe’s original information at the end).  The “capital” he references is the town’s annual capital budget, which typically allocates monies to resurface subdivision roads.

chip seal

On Sat, Jul 8, 2017 at 11:26 AM, Osler L. Peterson <> wrote:


I am sorry to be late in responding to your materials, but yes, that is hugely helpful, and exactly the quantification of the cost differential that assists me to understand the magnitude of savings.  I just had time to post your data on my blog, and I am betting that the residents will be equally as appreciative as I am at your putting that material together for us.

So a big thank you from me for doing that and for doing it so well and so clearly.

I guess I do have one follow up chip seal question as I think about it today, namely how many miles of chip seal do we typically do per year?  Even if the savings percentage is really high, if the actual total spending amount is not too great per year, we might still opt to asphalt – e.g. I bet the town residents might opt for pavement over chip seal if it only cost us $100K more per year.  Thanks in advance.



Osler L. Peterson, Esq.



It would be difficult to give you an estimate in roadway miles as our roadways differ so much in width, however speaking with Bobby Kennedy we average about $150,000 – $200,000 per year on chip seal.

With the calculations I had sent you, it would cost approximately $425,000 – $575,000 for overlay (does not include costs of adjusting castings and repairing driveway aprons) and $555,000 – $750,000 for mill and overlay if we were to resurface the same amount of roadways. This would drastically reduce the number of roadways we could maintain per year. Once our pavement management system is in place, we will have a better understanding of the town’s needs. Even with the pavement management system, it may not consider to utilize chip seal as much, reducing the number of roadways that are resurfaced. (Chapter 90 state funding allotment for Medfield is $395,076 per year plus usually $30,000 – $40,000 from capital) The roadways that are not resurfaced puts added pressure on the Highway Division for maintenance throughout the year.



From: Maurice Goulet []
Sent: Friday, July 7, 2017 8:30 AM
To: Osler L. Peterson <>
Cc: Mike Sullivan <>
Subject: Chip Seal and Overlay Comparison


Below is a comparison of Chip Sealing roadways vs. Pavement Overlay and/or Mill and Overlay as requested.

Consider a scenario of 1 mile of roadway that is 20 feet wide at current contractor prices:

5,280 feet long X 20 feet wide / 9 = 11,733 square yards

$24,639 – chip seal

$69,922 – pavement overlay

(65% savings)

(pavement overlay does not include raising structures such as catch basins, manholes and gates, and reconstructing driveway aprons affected by raising pavement elevation, pavement elevation changes also creates new drainage issues)

Overlaying on a distressed roadway develops reflective cracking through the new surface within a few years affecting longevity of the surface. Milling (grinding) and overlay would then be considered as the preferred method.

$24,639 – chip seal

$91,628 – mill and overlay

(73% savings)


Please let me know if you have any questions. Hope this is helpful.

Maurice G. Goulet

Director of Public Works

Medfield, Massachusetts


3 responses to “More on chip seal

  1. Lots of remarks, mostly negative, about the state of Indian Hill Road after the chip seal work. Lots of loose stone either side of roadway. Will this be re-rolled or swept?


    • Selectman Osler "Pete" Peterson

      That is the sort of detail about the operation of the town that I do not know. That question should be asked of the DPW. Maurice Goulet was sending the sweeper out to the street that started my questions, so if asked I bet it would happen.


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