- Understanding Improved and Unimproved Roads
- Summer 2019 Cape Seal Program
- Cape Seal FAQs and Resources
- Cape Seal Videos
2019 Cape Seal Program
The Department of Public Services maintains nearly 26 miles of unimproved roadways through cape seal surface treatment. The next round of seal application - scheduled to begin in September - includes the following streets:
|Saxon to Southfield
|Latham to Cranbrook
|Kennesaw to Madison
|Ridgedale to Maple
|Oak to Quarton
|14 Mile to Taunton
|Woodward to S Eton
The treatment will include a double layer of chip seal and a slurry microsurface, with some streets requiring surface pulverization prior application. Sidewalk crossing ramps in project areas will be upgraded to meet ADA requirements, where applicable. Although the work is minimally disruptive to traffic, the final phase of the treatment process requires approximately 4 hours of cure time, during which traffic is prohibited. To avoid complete street closures, this work is completed on 1/2 of the roadway (lengthwise) at a time. Additional instructions will follow prior to work commencement.
Because work scheduling is largely dependent on weather conditions and other factors, a firm schedule is not available at this time. This page will be updated as relevant information becomes available.
VIDEOS | The Cape Seal Process:
For more information, contact the Department of Public Services at 248-530-1700.
Cape Seal FAQs and Resources
Frequently Asked Questions
Neighborhoods that opted to retain gravel roads initially coordinated and assessed for maintenance through their respective neighborhood associations. Later, the city began initiating, coordinating, and assessing the maintenance on behalf of property owners.
- Eighty-five percent of the front-foot costs for improvement are assessed on all property fronting on the improvement.
- Twenty-five percent of the side-foot costs for improvement are assessed on all residential property siding on the improvement.
- Eighty-five percent of the side-foot costs for improvement are assessed on improved business property siding on the improvement.
- Twenty-five percent of side-foot costs for improvement are assessed on vacant business property siding on the improvement.
The balance of the cost, 15% and 75%, front footage and side footage respectively, is paid by the City.
For illustration, property owners in the 2018 project area paid an average of $11 per foot of parcel frontage, including the costs associated with a federal requirement to upgrade crosswalk ramps in the project areas to new ADA standards. Assessments for cape seal are billed as a one-time installment, sent 6-8 weeks after the completion of the project.
Unimproved streets are not engineered roadways. Engineered, or improved roads are professionally designed to include proper drainage, grade, base construction, and other considerations. Because cape seal is only a surface treatment on unimproved roads, longevity cannot be guaranteed and the streets remain subject to weather- and traffic-related wear. Issues related to standing water, drainage, grade, and profile cannot be remedied through cape seal maintenance. It is important to remember that cape seal is not a “new street”. Additionally, as long as a street remains ‘unimproved’, residents can expect periodic maintenance assessments.
The cost of installing a permanent pavement is substantially more than cape seal maintenance. As a result, such projects are only initiated after a petition has been received indicating that over half of the owners on a street are in favor.
Because the process of obtaining support from neighbors for a permanent improvement can be time consuming, interested property owners should initiate the petition process before the formal public hearing of necessity. Streets preliminarily identified for inclusion in any cape seal maintenance project can be removed from consideration with sufficient notice and support.
Assessments for the most recent cape seal maintenance project averaged $11/ft. and can be expected every 7-10 years as part of the ongoing maintenance cycle. By comparison, the 2016 Villa Avenue paving project cost homeowners $165.86 per linear foot, plus an additional $8.44/ft2 for driveway approach removal and replacement. Assessments for improved roads are payable over ten years (subject to interest), and subsequent maintenance costs are covered by the City.
In addition to providing a smoother, cleaner, more durable, and properly draining roadway, residents living on improved streets enjoy the benefit of street-side leaf pickup during the months of October and November. More importantly, all subsequent maintenance costs including patching, crack sealing, and, eventually, resurfacing or complete reconstruction, are the responsibility of the City.
For specific questions regarding the upcoming cape seal project contact Aaron Filipski, Public Services Manager, at 248.530.1701 or firstname.lastname@example.org.