On the Cutting Edge: A Beautiful New Look for Our Community Streets
BY CEASAR LARRACH
As you read in former Board President Stu Stryker’s column last month, you’ll soon be seeing some great changes to our roadways in SCSH. Instead of the usual messy oil-based slurry sealant that tracks onto your driveway and garage floor and – all too soon – fades from black to gray, we are converting to the “next generation” of asphalt renewal developed by a research team at Loma Linda University’s School of Environmental Sciences.
The process began last month with asphalt repairs to some of the streets in Phase 1. We are now starting application of the new material itself, a delicate balance of crushed black lava combined with polymers similar to those that compose pick-up truck bed liners like Rhino-Tuff. Our Facility Maintenance Director, Ozzie Lopez, even helped to coin the name of the new product: Black Rock Mortar Mix!
Without getting too technical, the new material is an innovative combination of binders that interlock with microscopic particles of crushed lava rock to create a “blanket effect” more like cement brick mortar. Instead of being sprayed on, this coating is applied with a trowel making distribution more even and consistent; so the product resists unsightly “tire twists” better.
“Interesting, I suppose,” you may be saying. “But why should I really care?”
- The use of black lava sand means our roadways will never turn gray and ashy. In fact, the coating actually gets better with wear – it essentially becomes part of the original asphalt to which it is applied.
- The gleaming white striping paint will last longer, plus the road surface will stay “grippy” even when wet.
- The product is 100% environmentally friendly (no odor or fumes), and the contractor is giving us a three-year warranty, triple that of conventional sealants.
- Resealing will be necessary only every 7 – 10 years, rather than every 3 – 5 years, creating less traffic disruption and saving the Association money.
As you would expect, it will take several years to apply the new coating to streets throughout the community. Meanwhile, we can all be proud that we are “early adopters” of such an innovative product before it is officially released to the marketplace.