Innovative Bike Path Maintenance in Nantucket

September 20, 2021

Nantucket is committed to maintaining and improving its transportation networks for all road users. With those goals in mind, the Department of Public Works (DPW) began an innovative project in November of 2020, hiring BETA Group, Inc. to conduct a pavement condition assessment of the island’s bike paths. BETA prepared a Pavement Preservation Capital Improvement Plan (PPCIP) consisting of targeted prioritized improvement projects to maintain the quality of bike paths which were in good condition. The PPCIP includes maintenance, preservation, and rehabilitation/reconstruction techniques. Pavement Preservation is a technique employed to perform timely, less expensive maintenance designed to extend a roadway/bike path’s life and avoid more costly and extensive structural repairs in the future.

In early September 2021, the DPW began a Bike Path Maintenance and Preservation Project as part of the Town’s infrastructure improvement program. This project included two phases: a Crack Sealing portion for maintenance, and a Fog Sealing portion for preservation.

The Town’s contractor, Indus, implemented a pavement preservation project on Madaket, Milestone, and Polpis Bike Paths that aims to clean and fill cracks on the bike paths and to fill hazardous gaps. The second phase of the project involves Fog Sealing Madaket Bike Path. The contractor applied a plant-based product called Delta Mist that coats the entire pavement surface to rejuvenate the asphalt and protect it against further deterioration. This application restores oxidized asphalt and reduces the loss of fines and aggregates, increasing the pavement service life.

With this pilot project and future projects to come, Nantucket is quickly becoming a leader in bike path maintenance and pavement preservation, aiming to sustain the existing bicycle infrastructure to the greatest extent possible.