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Street Restoration, Mill and Overlay

After repairing a water pipe due to a water main break or installing a new water pipe, we have dug up a portion of the street. Here’s what you can expect afterward.


Denver Water, or its contractor, was on my street completing an infrastructure upgrade project or emergency repair, what is the next step in restoring my street?

The majority of Denver Water’s infrastructure is in the public right-of-way, which is primarily in the street. Our work involves digging up a portion of the street to access the buried water pipe. Once the work is complete, a temporary asphalt patch will be installed. This temporary rough patch will be in place until crews can return for final restoration, known as mill and overlay, when weather conditions and contractor schedules allow.

What does mill and overlay mean?

Mill and overlay is the final step in the process of restoring the street where it was disturbed from construction. It involves removing the top layer of asphalt from the street and replacing it with new, smooth pavement, matching the existing elevation of the streetway. 

Why do we mill and overlay?

The mill and overlay process preserves the integrity of the street and provides a smoother surface than temporary patches, prolonging the life of the street. As part of our good neighbor commitment to the cities and customers Denver Water serves, we promise to restore the street to pre-construction condition.

What is the mill and overlay process?

The mill and overlay process consists of multiple steps. The first step is milling (or removing) the top layer of pavement of the street. This is done by using a milling machine, which will grind down and expose the base material layer of the street. The milled material is removed and is often recycled.

The second step is to apply tack, a very sticky material that allows the base layer to bond to the new asphalt. Driving over the tack material is highly discouraged as it is difficult to remove from your vehicle. 

The final step is replacing the milled area with new asphalt, bringing the milled area up to the existing streetway elevation. The asphalt is then compacted using a roller machine. 

How will you notify me?

Denver Water or our contractor will provide 24-48 hours notification before the mill and overlay will take place. “No parking” signs will be posted and strictly enforced. Vehicles remaining in the no parking area will be subject to tow.

Why is the street restoration delayed?

There is currently an industry wide paving materials shortage causing delays in street restoration. Although production facilities are rationing materials, Denver Water contractors are actively working to complete final restoration on impacted roadways as quickly as possible. 

Will this impact my trash pickup or deliveries?

Denver Water or our contractor will make every effort to allow services including trash pickup, deliveries and lawn/landscaping services to operate normally during these activities. Traffic control is provided and typically able to accommodate access.

Why are you working on weekends?

Weekend work may be required to accommodate our paving contractor’s schedule and weather conditions. Colorado’s weather can be unpredictable, so if the weather meets paving requirements, paving may take place on weekends.

Successful asphalt patching is heavily reliant on ideal weather conditions, which must be at least 40 degrees and rising, with no chance of precipitation.

How long will it take before I can drive on the freshly paved street?

In most cases you may drive on the resurfaced street as soon as the paving is complete, but there may be delays in some cases. We will keep barricades and/or flaggers in place until the street can be opened to traffic.

Patch and top layer of streetway.
Machinery spraying tack material.
Hand applying tack material.
Delivery of asphalt and roller machine compacting and smoothing the material.