Base stabilization and chip seal tame loose gravel road

Team Lab base stabilization
Team Lab base stabilization

Lake Eunice Township was looking for a solution for a section of gravel-surface road that connects two north- and southbound bituminous-surface roadways. This section of Deroxe Road is 26 ft wide and 1.1 miles long and has an average daily traffic of 150. This road is the only east- and westbound road in this area and is used as a cut across for rural and area lake home residents.

“This dusty section of road, which had washboard areas and lots of loose aggregate, was becoming very costly to maintain. The township received many complaints about it from the public,” said Larry Stockert, Lake Eunice Township supervisor. “The road has a steep hill that was difficult to maintain as a gravel road, and it also presented safety issues.”

In 2010 the township looked at three options to solve these issues. The first option was to complete a base and bituminous project with 5 in. of MN Spec. CL-5 base and a 2 in. bituminous surface at an estimated cost of $299,000.

The second option was to complete an Otta seal/chip-seal project at a cost of $115,000. This project consisted of 4 in. MN Spec. CL-5 base material, which would be stabilized with Team Laboratory Chemical Corp.’s Base One aggregate base stabilizer to add the additional strength and stability needed for the Otta seal/chip-seal surface.

Finally, the township could maintain the status quo, but still have all the public safety concerns and complaints.

“The township selected the second option: base stabilization and Otta seal/chip-seal option. This was far less costly than the bituminous and would solve the problems we were facing,” said Stockert.

The township hired John Okeson, road maintenance and support consulting service, to oversee the job due to his long-time experience with the aggregate base stabilizer and Otta seal/chip-seal surface treatment. Hendricks Road Maintenance added 4 in. of new base material and then added the Base One stabilizing agent to the base using a pressurized water tanker. This process was done in two 2-in. lifts. The material was mixed using the blade mix method and compacted to density specs. The township contracted the county to apply the Otta seal surface. The county used HFMS-2S high-float emulsion oil and covered it with OS-1 cover material.

“The results have been very promising. We eliminated the dust problem, loose gravel, continual blading and made it safer. The public now enjoys the benefits of a bituminous-surface roadway at a fraction of the cost. In 2011, we chip sealed the road to give it a smoother finish,” Stockert said. “The township saved $184,000 using the stabilized base and Otta seal/chip-seal option.”

“The project is in its fourth year and has withstood three harsh Minnesota winters. The roadway is performing very well and has met all our expectations,” said Stockert. “We will be using this solution on other select roads in our township in the future.”

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