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Asphalt

Welcome to the Asphalt Channel, a special feature that provides the user an in-depth look at the hot-mix asphalt industry.  This section offers several areas to explore: product spotlights, article archives, related case studies, related video and product/supplier contact list.   The product spotlights contain information and photos of equipment relevant to the industry.   The article library contains all stories related to asphalt roads pulled from the rich archives of Roads & Bridges magazine and our Asphalt Today supplement magazine.

Case Studies April 17, 2015

Construction crew member adjusting concrete final grade on a manhole riser. 

State Highway 183, from Euless to Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, underwent a major reconstruction in 2014, a project totaling $1.6 billion. On projects of this size, even small changes can lead to a great deal of extra work, and such was the case when an unexpected grade change was required to correct...
News April 08, 2015
Construction began on a $318 million highway bypass project in Boulder City, Nev. that will connect Las Vegas and Phoenix via Interstate 11.     With a completion date forecasted for 2018, the project is expected to create 4,000 jobs and reduce travel time between Las Vegas and Phoenix by 30...
Article April 06, 2015

The AR seal trials were applied at temperatures exceeding 340°F.

One type of seal coat is hot-applied chip seal, which includes placing a spray of hot asphalt binder followed by a layer of crushed stone. The aggregates are then rolled and embedded into the binder. The chip seals seal the existing pavement surface, extend its service life and provide a solid...
Case Studies March 12, 2015
The Nicollet County (Minn.) Highway Department needed to repair transverse cracks on County Road 13. This two-lane road has annual traffic of 302,950 vehicles, including large tractor-trailers. In addition to traffic, the fluctuating Minnesota weather plays a factor in creating pavement distresses...
Article March 02, 2015
I-90 is the main east-west transportation corridor in the state of Washington, connecting the large population and business centers of the western half of the state with the agricultural industries and recreational areas that comprise the eastern portion.   The uninterrupted movement of people,...
Article March 02, 2015

I-376 Section L04 is a major north/south artery in the greater Pittsburgh metropolitan area.

Twelve million: According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, that’s how many tires are ground up and recycled into crumb rubber for use in asphalt pavements each year.   Yet, despite this impressive figure, the practicality of paving with crumb rubber remains an untried novelty in many...
Article March 02, 2015

Norris Asphalt widened the roadway out 3 ft to each side to build new paved shoulders. 

Norris Asphalt Paving Co. faced an uphill climb to qualify as a finalist for the 2015 Sheldon G. Hayes Award, but in the end the company was able to make its way to the top.   The Ottuma, Iowa-based company was nominated for the asphalt paving industry’s highest honor thanks to its exemplary work...
Article March 02, 2015

Total lift thickness for the roundabout was 6.5 in. The 19-mm mix was used for the first lift (2.5 in. thick) and second (2.25 in. thick), but Northeast Asphalt had to use a Wisconsin DOT higher ESAL mix for the 1.75-in. surface course.

Last year’s modern day Ice Age buried routes across the U.S. with its frozen malice.   Many public works officials had to pick through the remains of pavement during the spring and summer months of 2014.    Up in Wisconsin, the glacier-like effect left an 8.1-mile portion of State Trunk Highway (...
Article February 06, 2015

Two case study OGFCs were constructed as part of the 2012 NCAT Pavement Test Track, which used GTR-modified binders and no fibers. No cracking or raveling are evident in either test section to date.

Asphalt mixtures are commonly comprised of various ratios of aggregate, asphalt binder and air. While this is usually the case for standard dense-graded Superpave mix designs, specialty mixtures such as open-graded friction courses (OGFCs) and stone-matrix asphalt (SMA) mixes typically contain some...
Article February 06, 2015
A full-depth reclamation (FDR) project involving the removal of a failed portland cement concrete pavement and the construction of an 8-in. stabilized reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) and aggregate base with an engineered asphalt emulsion, is hardly an event of Biblical proportions. But the long-...
Article February 06, 2015
By the beginning of 2014, Mooney Road through California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains bore a strong resemblance to its lunar namesake.  “The road gets lots of heavy truck traffic for logging, plus lots of snow and ice build-up in the winter, so the whole thing was wheel-rutted out,” Weston Hutchings,...
Article February 06, 2015
Pavements continue to be among the most recycled materials on the planet. Over the past several decades, the asphalt industry has successfully innovated the use of reclaimed asphalt pavement, or RAP. This has inarguably led to significant environmental and economic benefits. To move the needle...
Article February 06, 2015
Reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) has rapidly become a dependable means of resurrecting roadways in the state of California. As Greg Kelley, assistant deputy director for the Geotechnical and Materials Engineering Division of Los Angeles County, told Roads & Bridges, “Every agency should...
Article February 06, 2015
Several of the trees entrenched in the landscape covered by District 2 of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) are marked to become a piece of expensive furniture.You can’t find better cherry, maple or oak wood anywhere else in the U.S. Unfortunately the roads which service the...
Article February 05, 2015
The winter of 2013–14 was a brutal one for residents of Merrillville, Ind., and nearby Crown Point. Roads in these Chicagoland communities south of Lake Michigan took a pounding from extended cold, snow and ice. “The roads were in real rough shape after that long, hard winter,” said Scott Rediger...
Article February 05, 2015
Binders, quality aggregate and performance-related mix design procedures are all important factors in dictating how long a new road surface will last. For many years, researchers have traditionally focused on these rather than identifying the root cause of early surface failures, which is often...
Article February 05, 2015

Photo courtesy of the NY DOT.

In 2011, almost 71% of the petroleum used in the U.S. was used in the transportation sector, accounting for 27% of U.S. energy demand. Despite a 50% increase in the overall fuel economy of passenger vehicles between the years 1973 and 2000, the average fuel economy of heavy vehicles increased less...
Article February 05, 2015
When the National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT) started its 2012 research cycle, the famed Pavement Test Track was not the only home for the center’s cutting-edge asphalt-pavement research. As part of NCAT’s Preservation Group (PG) experiment, researchers tracked the effects of traffic and...
Article February 05, 2015
The harsh winters and colder temperatures experienced in northern Wisconsin can have a significant negative impact on long-term performance of asphalt pavements. Cold weather contraction and brittleness of asphalt driving surfaces can result in cracking and other defects. As a result, cities and...
Article February 05, 2015
When Kelly Paving Inc., a division of Shelly & Sands, won the $6.5 million contract to repave a section of I-70 in West Virginia, they faced two challenges. The first was executing the job itself, covering 5.81 miles of eastbound and westbound lanes between I-70 straight line mileage point 2.17...
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