Getting Down to Business

Traffic management, asphalt milling spearhead construction of business lifeline in Rosemont, Ill.; RAP material is recycled in base course and stockpiled for later use.

Article December 28, 2000
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Rosemont, Ill., is a village that's built for business. Although
the village is home to 3,999 residents, it's location,
sandwiched between Chicago's northwest side and O'Hare
International Airport, has made the suburb a prominent location
for exhibitions and business meetings.

The heart of the
village's business activity is the Rosemont Convention Center,
which has spawned the existence of hotels and most recently a
new 4,200-seat performing arts theatre along River Road, the
town's major thoroughfare. A pavement condition study revealed
that much of the six-lane roadway was in need of rehabilitation
and reconstruction.

"In assessing the existing pavement,
portions of the road were 30 years old," said Daniel Crosson,
head of the construction engineering section for Christopher B.
Burke Engineering Ltd., Rosemont, the village's engineer. "It
also had been widened four times and had a combination of
materials and thicknesses."

The existing pavement was 8 to
10 in. of portland cement concrete (PCC) that had been overlaid
with 3 in. of hot-mix asphalt (HMA).

According to Mike Kerr,
Christopher Burke's head of municipal engineering, the pavement
assessment concluded that more than 35% of the pavement area was
in need of patching. With 35% being the cutoff for patching on a
road, the city elected to reconstruct approximately half of the
road on the project and rehabilitate the other half.

Short
on time

Time truly was of the essence on the project. The
general contractor, Palumbo Brothers, Hillside, Ill., had to
perform the work on the 6,000-lin-ft project in 28 days. The
principal reconstruction and rehab work began Aug. 28 and had to
be completed Sept. 19 because of an exhibition scheduled at the
convention center.

The project also included replacement of
curb and gutter, storm sewer work and fiber optic telephone
utility installation along the roadway.

In addition to
traffic to and from the convention center and hotels, the road,
which has an average daily traffic (ADT) count between 25,000
and 30,000 vehicles, is a major artery for suburb-to-suburb
commuters and commuters who park their cars in Rosemont and
commute by train into Chicago. For these reasons, traffic
management was critical to the project.

According to
Christopher Burke, the town worked with the chamber of commerce
to notify the hotels and surrounding office parks of the
impending work. Access was maintained to all venues along the
road. During morning and evening peak rush-hour periods, two
lanes of traffic were required to be open. If needed, traffic
could be reduced to one lane during off-peak hours from 9 a.m.
to 3 p.m.

"A lot of money was spent on signage," said
Crosson. The traffic control sub, WLI, Villa Park, Ill., set up
changeable message signs along the road to inform motorists in
advance of the project's start. "The village also assisted by
assigning extra police officers to direct traffic," said
Crosson. To aid traffic flow, the police department requested
additional signage be placed on the project.

Milling and
paving

Milling activity was fast and furious in the early
days of the project as Palumbo milling crews removed 75,000 tons
of asphalt pavement from the roadway using a CMI PR-800-7
Roto-Mill pavement profiler. The reclaimed asphalt pavement
(RAP) was conveyed into Mack trucks and taken to the
contractor's O'Hare asphalt plant where it was stockpiled for
reuse at a later time. The company also made RAP available to
fellow contractor Ganna Construction for use on another project
in the area.

RAP material sometimes acts as a revenue source
for the company, according to Don Deegan, Palumbo general
superintendent. "It's a supply and demand thing," he said. "If
we are grinding quite a distance away from the plant and we want
to shorten up our trucking hauls, maybe we'll try to find
someone to take the material. But if supply is short and we have
use for the material we may charge for it.

There are
additional uses for RAP other than in HMA or as a base course.
"People use a lot of RAP on gravel lots in place of stone
because there is no dust," said Deegan.

While only a small
amount of RAP from the existing pavement was used as base
material on the reconstructed sections, RAP from the
contractor's existing stockpile was incorporated into the HMA
for the new pavement.

State specs allow RAP to be used in
hot-mix asphalt (50% base course and 25% binder course for ADT
greater than 10,000). On the River Road project, Palumbo elected
to use 25% RAP material in the binder course and BAM (Bituminous
Asphalt Material) layer.

In the reconstructed sections, the concrete and asphalt was
removed and replaced by 15-in. of HMA (12-in. base layer, 2
1/2-in. binder) using a Barber Greene BG-265 asphalt paver. The
remaining 1 1/2-in. surface course was to be laid at a later
time.

The rehabilitated sections received a 0 to 1/2-in. leveling
course, followed by a 1 1/2-in. surface course.

According to
Crosson, the use of concrete was prohibitive on the project
because of the time it would have taken for the pavement to
cure.

Kerr was happy with the paving results, especially
considering the time constraints. "We laid 12,000 tons of
asphalt in three weeks," he said.

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