The city of Lancaster is testing out a new road asphalt, CoolSeal, which is designed to absorb less heat, allowing the pavement to remain cooler. By lowering the temperature of the road surface, the city hopes to encourage a more active community, even during the hottest months. Installation of the test area, a short section of a side street in downtown Lancaster, will take place in the coming weeks.
As the city is continuously looking for ways to improve residents’ quality of life, enhance infrastructure, and promote healthy lifestyles throughout the community. This test project could potentially assist with all three.
“It is impossible for an organization to advance if it remains stuck in the status quo, never exploring new approaches,” said Mayor R. Rex Parris. “We pride ourselves on innovation – experimenting with new methods, ideas, and products. Staying on the cutting edge requires taking a few risks.”
CoolSeal is a water-based mixture that dries white instead of black, which allows it to reflect more of the sun’s energy and remain cooler, as its name suggests. For example, on a 77-degree day, black asphalt can get hotter than 125 degrees Fahrenheit. CoolSeal, however, has cooled road surfaces by 12 to 25 degrees during tests. In fact, in some cases, CoolSeal has reduced road heat by up to 40 degrees.
Lancaster is testing CoolSeal in the downtown area on Ehrlich Avenue, just north of The BLVD. If the current test project proves successful, more installations may follow, providing cooler streets for Lancaster residents and visitors.