County Finds Additional Uses for Popular Road Base Stabilizer!

May 2, 2024
Dodge County, Wisconsin incorporates a road base stabilizer into their shouldering process.

Highway Commissioner Brian Field of Dodge County, Wisconsin was driving one of their county highways following a truck with his mind wandering and his eyes looking for deer and the landscape. I noticed the all-too-common swirl of “shoulder dust” chasing the truck in front of me.

That dust demon is our shoulder material disappearing.  First the dust, then the first layer of new loose stone.  Heavy rain, tractor tires, etc. – the beginning of the end of our shoulders.  Our historical practice of reclaiming the sloughed off shoulder material, regrading it into place, and waiting for more erosion needed to change.

Considering some base stabilization products we have used in the past seemed practical.  Several attempts to treat finished shoulders with top-applied products yielded marginal/short-term benefit and proved to be cost prohibitive.

We had used BASE ONE a base stabilizing product from Team Laboratory Chemical Company in Detroit Lakes, MN on a few lime rock base stabilization projects in the past with long-lasting positive effects. Due to that success, we developed a process to apply the BASE ONE stabilizer during the shouldering process on shouldering operations where virgin lime rock was being added to shoulder areas.  We were able to adapt an existing patrol truck to apply a blend of 44 gallons of BASE ONE to 1,000 gallons of water at 1,000 gallons of blend/mile of 3’ foot lime rock shoulder.  We apply the blend behind the grader and broom and before the offset static roller.  We have determined that the blend penetrates deeper and stabilizes better in saturated base materials. The BASE ONE concentrate is shipped in a 275-gallon tote and can be stored in our shop. We can mix it as we need it. This allows us to be flexible with our work schedule. 

Our first BASE ONE shouldering project was completed in 2020 on County J and we have not needed to regrade this section since. We have implemented this program every year since.

At current pricing, this additional cost to apply the BASE ONE is approximately $0.25/LF or $1,320/mile.  Considering the savings, we realize by not having to regrade these shoulders annually is a significant savings.

Based on these cost comparisons, we will continue to add BASE ONE to our future reshouldering projects.

Maybe wandering eyes plus an idle mind aren’t so bad.

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