September 11, 2013

LeDroit streets get a slurry seal

A few streets became much darker yesterday evening.  Throughout the day yesterday, DDOT applied a “slurry seal” to the surface of several neighborhood streets. The slurry seal is a type of liquid asphalt that is sprayed from the back of a truck and smoothed out by road workers.  According to DDOT, the material “seals cracks on existing roads and protects the roadway surface from occurrences that cause normal wear and tear, thus slowing down the deterioration rate of the pavement.”

Here’s a photo of truck applying the material to 5th Street.  The white stop line, granite crosswalk line, and various utility holes were covered in removable tape to prevent them from being paved.

DDOT Applies a Slurry Seal

The truck now applies the final strip of slurry.  Notice how shiny it is when it’s freshly poured:

DDOT Applies a Slurry Seal

Here’s a close-up of a freshly poured section.  The ends have to be manually smoothed out and feathered by road workers.

DDOT Applies a Slurry Seal

The seal runs over onto the brick gutter in a few places, but it otherwise smoothes over the cracks and cuts in the street pavements.  The streets now sport a fresh, even surface like a freshly frosted cake.

Speaking of asphalt, did you know that the man who founded LeDroit Park later became the “asphalt king” of America? LeDroit Park was founded in 1873 by Amzi Barber, who quit Howard’s Board of Trustees to go into real estate in DC.  After a decade, Barber quit the real estate and started a business to spread a new technology: asphalt road paving.  Though it seems ubiquitous now, it wasn’t until the late 19th century that governments started paving streets with asphalt.  In 1888 Barber moved his asphalt business to New York, where it took off.  He was so successful that his 1909 obituary in the New York Times described him as the “man who founded the asphalt industry in this country.”

Categories: History, Transportation
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2 Replies

  1. Good morning/afternoon/evening

    How are you? I was doing better before my bookbag turned up missing on September 9. I was working with the crew repaving 5th street. Sometime around noon I noticed my black Swissgear book bag was missing from where I put it in the space between 1827 5th street and 475 Florida Avenue while I was working.

    I never thought something like that could be taken from me. It really has nothing of value in it to anyone but myself. It contains years of my personal creativity. A couple of notebooks, a first draft of a manuscript and two external hard drives. The hard drives contain years of creative effort that can never be replaced.

    If you come across the bag or its contents I will gratefully reward the finder…no questions asked.

    I can be reached at 202-294-0018 or via email at

    Have a nice day!

    Nnamdi - September 13, 2013 @ 11:02 am
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