Los Angeles is testing a reflective street surface in an attempt to reduce the heat island effect caused by urban sprawl.
The CoolSeal street seal was spread onto a stretch of Jordan Avenue in Canoga Park over the weekend as temperatures climbed into the 90s. The seal is designed to reduce pavement temperatures, which skyrocket during Southern California’s brutal summer heat waves.
“The city’s going to get hotter because of climate change, particularly this neighborhood of the west San Fernando Valley,” Greg Spotts, assistant director of the Bureau of Street Services, told the Daily News. “The phenomenon called the heat island effect means the city is hotter than the surrounding countryside.
“We’re exploring ways to reduce the heat island effect by reducing the absorption of heat in the built environment.”
Street Services is working with asphalt coating maker GuardTop LLC to test the cool pavement, which was installed two years ago at the Balboa Sports Complex parking lot. The lot’s average summer temperature dropped by about 20 degrees after the CoolSeal was applied, according to the company.
The pavement has a lighter color surface than traditional street coatings.
The Jordan Avenue project in one of Los Angeles’ warmest neighborhoods is the first application of the pavement on a public road in California. It’s part of pavement tests to be completed by the end of June in 14 other council districts.
The coating could cost about $40,000 per mile and last seven years, city officials told the Daily News.