Taming Rugged Terrain

Nebo Loop Scenic Byway

Utah County, Utah, which is located south of Salt Lake City, needed to bolster the Nebo Loop Scenic Byway with a quality pavement system that protects against reflective cracking and reduces the maintenance and lifecycle costs of the road. The rugged canyon environment and resulting road layout meant that challenging slope, temperature, dampness and directional factors had to be addressed during the project.

Longitudinal, transverse, block and alligator cracking were occurring on the winding stretch of the 24-foot wide Nebo Loop. “It was a pretty broken-up road. It is a canyon road, so it has a lot of moisture that migrates under it,” said Mark Averett, Project Superintendent for Staker Parson Companies, the project’s general contractor. Also, the incline of the canyon wall meant that the road was exposed to severe runoff, which led to further deterioration of the asphalt surface.

Utah County chose The GlasGrid System featuring GlasGrid Tack Film (TF), an advanced pavement rehabilitation system with a built-in tack film, to reinforce and resurface the 5-mile stretch of roadway.

“They were open to utilizing the polymeric tack film instead of the typical CSS1-h product,” said Tensar Manager Branden Reall. “The tack film was easy to use and not sticky like the standard tack. It provided uniform coverage and is a much better product than the standard CSS1-h product.”

Approximately 60,000 sq yd of GlasGrid TF were needed for the 5-mile application, which was performed by a crew that consisted of a truck driver, two or three men handling rolls and one man on a roller. The high-strength fiberglass interlayer product was then topped with a 2-in asphalt overlay, which uniformly bonds with the GlasGrid product thanks to its preinstalled top layer of elastomeric polymer film. This pavement reinforcement system provides much greater strength at much lower strain levels, producing better performance.

“The fact that you don’t have to spray the tack coat out is very good,” Averett said. “We didn’t really have any problems with the tack film or product coming off. The tack membrane made all the difference—with the crew not having to add a tack coat, we beat our estimates each day.”