New strategies for preserving streets | Mayor's Message

By Jennifer Gregerson | Feb 12, 2014

The city’s goal of delivering services more efficiently means we should always keep looking for the best ways to get the job done.

Since 2007, the city has chip sealed more than 20 miles of streets through its Pavement Preservation Program.

However, I have heard loud and clear that our current streets strategy is not working for Mukilteo, so I have directed our staff to develop a new and comprehensive Preserving our Streets plan.

It will take time to consider alternatives, costs and quality. I’ll make sure the City Council and all our residents have the information they need to decide on the best way forward.

This year, we will be deciding as a city what our priorities and values are for street maintenance.

Our city's streets require care and maintenance. The goal of the Preserving Our Streets plan will be to manage the condition of our streets.

We want to ensure that our street pavement lasts as long as possible for the most affordable cost, balanced with the quality of street condition that Mukilteo expects.

This requires the kind of careful planning and analysis that our Preserving Our Streets strategy will identify. We need to decide the acceptable level of street condition, and how much we, as a community, are willing to invest to get there.

It’s a big project: we have 62 miles of city streets in Mukilteo! I am dedicated to implementing the right kind of pavement solution at the right time, and I want to make sure this is a conversation with our entire community.

I will be looking to everyone in Mukilteo to weigh in and provide feedback to our City Council. We will bring information on costs of various techniques, their impacts to street condition and the vehicle, as well as bike and pedestrian experience on our streets.

The first step I'm proposing in developing our plan is to test a new technique. This summer, we hope to test out a method called bonded wearing course, sometimes known as "BWC.”

This method has a higher up-front cost than chip seal (potentially $7-$8 per square yard versus approximately $3.50-$4 for chip seal), but it also has a longer lifespan than chip seal and may prove to be a better alternative.

I believe it is important to assess full life-cycle costs for all of our maintenance and capital investments. I’ll make sure we account for the full life-cycle as we assess these pavement options.

For this test, we have teamed with Snohomish County on a contract for this pavement alternative, which uses a hot-mixed asphalt overlay on top.

A full asphalt surface is what you're used to seeing on brand new streets. By adding almost 1 inch of new hot mixed asphalt to the street surface, we are hopeful that this method could meet the level of service that city residents desire for ride quality, aesthetics and will have the benefit of no loose stones like we have seen with chip seal.

Assuming that a vendor can be identified through the county contract process, a pilot project will be conducted on 88th Street from 44th Avenue W. to 60th Avenue W. and 92nd Street from 44th Avenue W. to SR-525.

This area was previously scheduled for chip seal this year, until we suspended the chip seal program. This test will give Mukilteo residents a firsthand look at the ride and feel of this new type of pavement alternative.

If we're successful and the BWC process is completed, I welcome you to check out the finished project later this summer.

All interested residents in the future strategy for Preserving Our Streets are encouraged and invited to attend our upcoming City Council work session, to hear about the development of the plan and the pilot project on Monday, Feb. 24, from 6-7 p.m. at City Hall.

Following the work session, we will be reaching out to neighborhoods around the community. We will hold two public outreach events this summer and implement an online survey, to solicit your feedback.

I want to hear your voice as we redefine our method of Preserving Our Streets.

As in all things, your opinion is important to me. Please feel free to email me at or call me at 425-263-2017.

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