Last year, Asphalt Plus conducted a trial project of dry process crumb rubber modified asphalt on Interstate 88 near Rochelle, Illinois. The project included the laboratory evaluation of two asphalt mix design and placement of two lane-miles of pavement on I-88.
The first mix was:
Tests suggest comparable Hamburg and DCT performance between dry process CRM asphalt and PMA.
The second mix was:
Lab testing of the WIDOT mix with and without engineered dry process rubber showed the rubber additions significantly improved mix performance.
Presence of rubber improved:
The Curran DeKalb plant was modified for dry process asphalt production in a matter of a few hours.
Using a loss-in-weight feeder system:
The asphalt mixes were trucked 40 miles on a cool day (55 F at start), and placement temperatures ranged from 235 to 280 F off the trucks.
The Finished Product:
Performance evaluations will continue in the field following a winter of service. The existing record of technology field performance in colder climates strongly suggests that the use of dry process engineered rubberized asphalt mix designs will be permitted as a competitive alternative to other forms of modified asphalt. The cost advantage suggests this process will benefit both producers and road owners.
View full case study
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If you’re going to set up a three-legged stool™ system of pavement management and
succeed with it, it’s basically three steps.
• Pavement management as #1,
• Pavement preservation as #2,
• In-place recycling as #3.
When you marry all three of these together,you get the three-legged stool™ system of pavement management.
1. Pavement Management
First of all, many cities and counties typically have no idea how many miles of paved road they actually have. We see this firsthand. I walk this walk and talk the talk every single day. When I’m not making new curriculum for IPMA Academy or for one of our books or one of our audio or DVD sets, my consulting firm is out there on
the ground doing pavement distress evaluation day in, day out, all across this great country.
Moreover, many cities and counties have no idea of the condition of these roadways. For $0.02 per square yard, they can have a pavement distress evaluation performed, whether they get their own folks to do it in their house or hire an expert consulting firm.
Now if you do hire an expert consulting firm, I highly recommend that the consultants are selected following the guidelines laid out in the APWA Red Book, the qualifications-based selection guide. So go ahead and get that from Apwa.net if you don’t already have it. The pavement distress evaluation will help to identify the pavement type, whether it’s chipseal or micro-surfacing, hot-mix asphalt pavement or otherwise, along with the pavement condition index, the all important PCI. Now typically, the PCI has zero as undriveable at the bottom end and 100 as brand new at the top end per ASTM 6433. Now other systems may be 1 to 10 or 0 to 60; we’re
talking in the book predominantly and throughout IPMA Academy about ASTM 6433 or 0 to 100 scale with 100 being brand new. Once the PCI is in the computer software, three different types of budgets can be run.
These three scenarios are as follows:
1. A needs-based budget in the scenario the algorithms and the software will compute precisely how much money your city, your county needs each year to get your pavement network at optimum level. That’s an average network level of PCI of maybe 84 to 86. It never gets to 100; 84/86 is optimal. That is like winning the lottery, is what I usually say when we print that binder off and give it to our clients.
We say, “Unless you win the lottery, you’re never going to have enough money to go around to do everything that the software wants you to do.”
2. Next, we have target-driven scenario, and the target-driven scenario is where you go back to city council or the county commission meeting, and you say, “We’re at a network level of PCI equals 57 that we’d like to get to a 70.” So now knowing that you aspire to get to a PCI of 70, the software will actually go out and tell you how much money it will take to do that and how long it will take to do it. So again, that is a target-driven scenario.
A 30,000-foot Overview of Pavement Management:
3. Now the third is generally the budget scenario that we set up. It is where you come to us or you go to your pavement manager, and you say, “I have $5 million a year to spend, and by the way, there is a detailed little analysis in your book that will tell you how much you should be spending each year on your roads. So make sure you refer to that from time to time.” So, in the budget case scenario, you tell the program you’ve $5 million to spend; it will go out there and tell you if you’re under
funded and if your network PCI is going to drop or stay the same or go out. Based on that amount per year, you can tweak it so you can spend various amounts per year. If you have a sudden influx of money, you can run another budget scenario and add that. At this point, I must stress the importance of having a qualified staff to set up your decision tree within a computerized pavement management software platform. There’s two software programs that are used most frequently for cities and counties, and those two are MicroPAVER and StreetSaver. Both programs allow the user to spend just $1,000 or $2,000, and you’re up and running, whether you do it in-house or you hire someone to do it. They’re not expensive, very robust programs, and they can be cloud-based. In the case of MicroPAVER, it can also be on your server.
But most of the industry is heading more towards a cloud-based system with automatic updates, so you never have to worry about automatic backups; you never have to worry about a thing other than putting your data in and managing it. Both programs follow ASTM 6433 and are fully capable of doing all the aforementioned
scenarios and the decision tree setup.
Now remember, a real person has to sit down and put in all the unit prices for the decision tree setup. I will reiterate, many pavement management software programs are very sophisticated and robust, and can run multiple scenarios on multiple different types of pavement and functional class codes, but they are all only being fed thin overlay, medium overlay, and thick overlay. That in itself is a recipe for disaster as there are so many tools in the preservation and rehabilitation toolbox to repair your infrastructure.
Pavement Management Primer
The most common question I get is, “How much does it cost me to set all this up, Blair, and pay for the program?” So again, MicroPAVER or StreetSaver is going to cost you between $1,000 to $2,000, really depending on whether you get your GIS integrated and so forth. Typically, you’re going to spend $0.2 per sq. yard to set up your pavement management network. That’s including having a consultant to come out and rate everything with boots on the ground.
It’s going to save you, with qualified expertise setup, upwards of $10 per sq. yard. Now that’s a net savings of $9.98 no matter how you slice it. It doesn’t really cost you money, therefore, to manage your pavements; it’s actually costing you money not to manage them.
There’s training available through IPMA Academy should you choose to train your team in pavement management, thanks to the partnership between Auburn University and the International Pavement Management Association. Again, IPMA Academy’s 70 hours of the most comprehensive online training available to mankind ever created, you get your Accredited Pavement Manager certification. Now with the partnership with Auburn University, you also get the Continuing Education Credits (CEUs).
We have broken out the three modules, so you can now take one module at a time. If you so choose to put all three together, you get your APM (Accredited Pavement Manager) designation. If you’d only take one module or two modules, you get a certificate for taking that module and the requisite CEUs.
So that is #1. You’ve got your pavement management system set up. Now let’s start going in and plugging in some of the stuff into the decision tree.
2. Pavement Preservation
The second part of the three-legged stool pavement management system is pavement preservation. Now there is a multitude of preservation treatments available across this country to preserve and protect our pavement structure, so that they never fall into a state where they need to be removed and rebuilt completely. The timing of these treatments is critical, however, but the
good news is this that with the properly designed pavement management software system, your team will have the scientific proof of the proper treatments at the proper time.
Now one of the keys of the entire three-legged stool system is applying the right treatment on the right road at the right time with the right contractor and for all the right reasons, and not just because it’s an election year. An example of this might be as the PCI drops from 100 down to 77, a simple slurry, micro-surfacing or high density mineral bond treatment might be triggered for installation at that time.
This preservation type and timing is set up in the decision tree in the MicroPaver or the StreetSaver software or whatever software you’re using or you’ve selected, which we discussed earlier. Worth noting is that some of the preservation treatments also double as wearing surfaces for the in-place recycled roadways, and I’ll talk about that next.
But before we go any further, I have to reiterate the importance of what preservation is in the eyes of federal highways (FHWA) and the ADA (American Disabilities Act).
What is preservation, and what is an alteration? You see, the most recent clarifications that have been made by the U.S. Department of Justice concerns the difference between doing a job with a slurry seal
Or micro-surfacing, which could mean you spend $300,000 or $900,000. The reason for that is not just that micro costs a bit more than the slurry, but, more significantly,
choosing micro forces the hand of the city or the county official to also upgrade all of the ADA ramps and sidewalks among other ADA related improvements.
Wondering how significant this is? Well, I do Google Alerts on all of the stuff we talk about in The Book On Better Roads, and just about every week I read about
some city or county that just had their paving project double in cost because of this very subject we just discussed. One county engineer told me that one of her bucket truck drivers accidentally left the boom up on his truck at an intersection and slightly bent one of the crossbars in the signalized intersection. It cost her county half a million bucks in ADA upgrades to meet the construction compliance laws set up by the Department of Justice.
Now following is a list of some preservation products you may put into play with your city or county. Most of all the products have been used for a decade or more, some for several decades. Again, this is not meant to be an all encompassing list. A little disclaimer here: this is not meant to be an endorsement of any type of product, service, software or otherwise. We don’t roll that way here.
From the top of the curve down, we’ve got, remember, this being 100 and down to 0, and these would all fall up in the upper range of the curve, hence “top of the curve.”
We’ve got rejuvenating agents like the PASS products from Western Emulsions: rejuvenating fog seals, rejuvenating scrub seals. Then we’ve got chip seals: single, double and triple chip seals; tar and chip you may call them, other names along the way. I’ve got to point this out: Chip seals are not seal coats. Now some state DOTs refer to chip sealing as a seal coat, but a chip seal is a chip seal. A chip seal is a surface treatment; a chip seal is not a seal coat.
Then we’ve got the high density mineral bonds (HA5). We’ve
Got slurry seals; we’ve got micro-surfacing which at one time was referred to as Polymer Modified Slurry (PMs). We’ve got ultra-thin bonded wearing courses. Thin overlays, now we’re talking about the hot-mix family here, and thin overlays with RAS (Recycled Asphalt Shingles) and RAP (Recycled Asphalt Product). Mr. Gerry Huber talked about this. We were at Purdue together a couple years back, and he had a great discussion about RAS/RAP mixtures with upwards of 57% recycled product. I think there was like 18% Recycled Asphalt Shingles and 39% Recycled Asphalt Product. Also, I want to point out that Dr. Mike Heitzman from NCAT
also did a really good IPMA Academy live session for us just a while back on hot-mix asphalt thin overlays in pavement management. Again, this list above is not meant to be all inclusive. If I missed something during the recording of the session, know that there are maybe a few others out there that you are considering or your agency already currently uses. So here is where the biggest bang for your buck comes for your city or county and the third leg in the three-legged stool system of pavement management: in-place recycling.
Since the majority of our four million miles of paved roads in the USA are hot-mix asphalt pavements, we focus on the three main disciplines for hot-mix asphalt pavements, namely Hot In-place Recycling (HIR), Cold In-place Recycling (CIR), and Full-Depth Reclamation (FDR).
However, on the concrete pavement side of the rehabilitation and preservation fence, there are plenty of requisite treatments for PCC as well. One of those we discuss quite often for rehabilitation of PCC is rubblization.
3. In-Place Recycling Treatments
Following are the in-place asphalt recycling disciplines and the respective sub-disciplines. We’ve got Hot In-place Recycling with the sub-disciplines being:
surface recycling; remixing and repaving. And we’ve got the hybrid combo called Re-HEAT. Now simply speaking, the surface recycling technique involves a series of sequential heaters that heat up the old asphalt surface in-place. The train moves down the roadway one lane at a time, heating the pavement upwards of 300 degrees, adding polymer modified rejuvenating agent, then scarifying the surface to a nominal depth between one and two inches. The rejuvenated mix is then laid out with an attached screed, just like a conventional paving screed, which is attached to the back-end of the last sequential heater. The mix is compacted with a conventional hot-mix asphalt type pavement equipment. You could think about this process, the surface recycling, or scarification, as giving you a new leveling course, where wearing surfaces from the pavement preservation list, could be added.
Next, we have the remixing sub-discipline heats up the old in-situ asphalt pavements, similar to the former method I just discussed, but this time, having the ability to add upwards of 30% of new version hot-mix asphalt at the same time. Now imagine, if you will, using that 57% super-duper RAP/RAS combo that I mentioned
earlier in the session as your supplemental admixture for this remixing technique.
In this technique, the crew can do two to three inches in depth by doing sequential heating, milling, and mixing. This technique is used on all types of roads, including the Oklahoma turnpike which I think I just drove over a week ago in the Better Roads bus. In the case of the turnpike, they applied an ultra-thin bonded wearing
course as the top course or the final asphalt layer.
Now the third sub-discipline of Hot In-place Recycling (HIR) is the
repaving method. When we talk about this in class, I use the peanut butter and jelly sandwich analogy. So picture this: Take the old asphalt that gets heated and scarified, much like the first sub- discipline, with the jelly being into new pavement placed on the top of the peanut butter or the one inch of heated old pavement. Both
layers are laid out with a double screed and compacted as one new homogenous mixture. The Re-HEAT process is kind of a hybrid between the remixing and the surface recycling. It heats up about two inches of the in-situ asphalt mix and scrapes it off the road bed, picks it up and puts it into an onboard batch plant. The batch plant runs right up inside the heater unit, and the asphalt mix gets polymer modified
rejuvenating oil added to it. Nothing else is being added, per se, just the recycling agent and the old asphalt mix, but it’s getting mixed inside of a barrel which results in a really nice homogenous mixture. It now comes out behind the heater in the final preheating and heating stages, and gets put down with basically the exact same paver. It’s integral; it’s attached to the machine itself. It’s as good or better than a standard paver that you would see on a conventional hot-mix asphalt job. The mix goes down through the paver and gets laid out and compacted with conventional compaction equipment. What makes the Re-Heat a bit different is that it does not require an additional wearing surface.
With Cold In-place Recycling (CIR)you can have single unit trains, dual unit trains, and multi unit trains. The contractors are still performing partial depth reclamation and rely on you as the agency to have at least four inches of pavement depth. The contractors can strip off the entire pavement section and recycle it in-place with engineered emulsion or foamed asphalt, provided there is a good structure underneath. The CIR contractors coin this phrase “following the rock.” It’s
worth noting here that as we go through this list of in-place recycling techniques, we are also following the declining PCI ratings.
We’re following “the curve” as we go down through these treatments. While a Hot In-Place candidate pavement may have a PCI of 62, a CIR candidate may present itself as a PCI 52 and have a thicker pavement section for the contractor to deal with.
That brings us to FDR (Full-Depth Reclamation) where a typical candidate selection may be a PCI 21 or less. Now the good news is whether it’s a 21 or an 11 or a 1, it’s still going to require FDR with some sort of wearing course. So don’t struggle once the pavements get down below 30 and think you have to do everything all at once, worst first. No. In fact, you should take two or three years to budget for those types of roads and make sure you have enough money in the budget to cover those costs.
Know that, with in-place options, you can do these FDR projects for a third of the cost of conventional dig out and reconstruction. There will never likely be a time when you’ll have to ever, ever, ever dig up your old road and haul it away to a landfill site. In fact, for those of you who have seen me do a live conference event, I’ve been known to get the entire audience to stand up and make that pledge with me.
FDR (Full-Depth Reclamation) can be done with mechanical stabilization, chemical stabilization. or bituminous stabilization. The pavement structure — it can be of any combination of pavement, thickness, granular or dirt — as a requisite treatment will take care of most every situation you may have. Again, experts know to go out in the field and get proper mixed designs and soil samples, so they can align the right treatment with the right road at the right time for the right reason with the right contractor. At times, soil stabilization can be used in conjunction with the FDR to take care of the very worst case scenarios. I think back to the 30 miles in Natchez Trace Parkway that we did for Federal Highways. We took a full advantage of all the treatments that we talked about today with FDR and soil stabilization.
Note, this in-place method is a fraction of the cost of conventional undercut and provides the same or better surface life, probably the biggest no-brainer of all time.
For more information on any of the above, please refer to your copy of “The Book On Better Roads”.
Wherever you go, thanks for reading the Pavement Management Primer. Hope to see you real soon.
Blair Barnhardt, signing off.
Many of you know our mission, but some are just coming in to our fold having registered for a webinar or one of our training sessions. For those of you who are new and want to catch up, please head over to http://blairbarnhardt.com/ and click your way around.
Worth a quick listen to is our plan to save America billions of dollars each year http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1243694 and have a listen to this podcast session where Scott McDonald, APM and I discuss setting up your pavement management system http://ipma.co/betterroadsradio/2014/01/16/episode-3-the-one-where-blair-corners-scott-mcdonald-ipma-advisory-board-member-and-paver-guru/ . If you are wondering how excited our TBG clients get after we finish serving them up a fresh new pavement management implementation watch Mayor Shelley here https://ipma-1.wistia.com/medias/q9qtijhjaz . Here is a video that was created by the local news team to explain what our crews were doing out there on the roads https://ipma-1.wistia.com/medias/32gs5ghka7 .
Our 2016 PDH Power Hour Webinar Series will walk you through everything you need to purchase, or hire out to begin saving your Agency millions of dollars each year. In fact our learners and clients routinely perform pavement management with The Three Legged Stool™ System of pavement management, and go on to save about million dollars annually for every 250 center lane miles of roadway they have. For example, in Rockdale County GA, Miguel Valentin, PE, APM and Brian Frix, PE, APM are saving about 2 million dollars per year with their 510 center lane miles of roadway after their StreetSaver® implementation with us.
Every time we kick start a new implementation of pavement management with a City or a County anywhere in America it seems one of our team members is sitting down with the local agency and asking the same group of questions. For this reason, in our most recent meeting I promised myself I would simplify the questions by making this check list. Feel free to share it amongst your staff and peers!
If YES, we usually always recommend that your agency pay the $1,750.00 one time integration fee to MTC StreetSaver.
As Brian Frix, PE, APM (Rockdale County GA and IPMA™ Advisory Board Member states, “To gain maximum potential out of StreetSaver® it’s best to utilize the agencies centerline shape file. It’s a small initial investment that provides a more complete and accurate database upon completion.
Always maintain an accurate PCI map. This helps non-technical and elected officials the ability to see the “big picture” without going thru a comprehensive technical report.
As Mr. Frix, PE, APM states, “Utilize local unit pricing for decision tree setup. And locals decision/ability to utilize certain treatments.” Now is the time to get off the proverbial pot and do some of the more innovative treatments you have been dreaming about doing!
Now is the time to come clean with your consultant, if you have done a windshield survey a while back, and or an Excel spreadsheet, now go ahead and give your consultant every stich of paper you may have, in the form of scribbled notes or maps. This information will help provide a solid scientific evidence to ensure a robust pavement management implementation.
Now is the time to commit to one program or the other. Even though there are other rating systems and tablet programs proliferating the marketplace, I think the only two programs that a PS related are as follows
You can demo a free version of StreetSaver® for 30 days here http://www.streetsaveronline.com/ worth noting is that MTC or Metropolitan Transportation Commission who provides the StreetSaver® Software is actually a governmental agency much like you! In fact they have over 400 users worldwide including some of the largest Cities and Counties in America such as Seattle, WA and Houston, TX.
Blair is old school and loves his paper maps, while Jason and some of the other team members love their PDF maps on their iPads in the field! In any case, if you could provide a 36” map that clearly shows all of the roads we can sit down with you and determine the roadway network as a whole. For example, we can determine if you don’t already know what roads will be entered as Arterial, Minor Arterial, Collector and Local. We can decide which roads you may share with the County if you are a City and visa versa. Also, we will discuss our standard operating procedures for accurate measurement.
It pains me as a former vice president of a paving firm to see other pavement managers paying little if any attention to detailed quantities and accurate square yard measurements. What good is your budget if no one takes the time to add up all the cul de sacs, turnouts, widenings, round a bout s etc.? In fact, when we have something a little difficult to measure in the field with our digital devices we turn to http://goipave.com/ to do digital take offs.
In order to ensure that the StreetSaver® auto linkage works at its maximum efficiency and in order to minimize the time that Brian Frix, PE, APM will take performing manual GIS linkage, it is best for Lea and our data entry team to replicate the nomenclature for street name inventory on the GIS files. If you are using the US Tiger GIS Files, the process will take more manual linkage.
As Jonathon Heese, APM Master states. “Just do it!! Figure out how much money you have to spend per year. We ran multiple scenarios at Arapahoe County, Colorado with Blair and fine-tuned our budgets. We also ran several what if unconstrained scenarios and target scenarios.”
“Nothing more affordable than StreetSaver® (or MicroPaver). Maybe you have been doing pavement management for years but your efforts have floundered. StreetSaver® and boots on the ground survey can reinvigorate you pavement management and give you the confidence to begin again. This time though, right sized and much more sustainable than before. Even very small towns are using StreetSaver® effectively. It has been said the right exercise for you is the one that you will do. The same could be said for pavement management. This is the easiest way and most cost effective method to save your agency money!”
Here is a short video of Jon discussing his set up in Arapahoe County, Colorado (the oldest County in Colorado) https://ipma-1.wistia.com/medias/yv7a57o3i2
Here is a sample final report that we did for City of Winder, GA https://ipma-1.wistia.com/medias/9gus5nnh31
Many of our clients perform some of their work in house. Whether paving or crack sealing and filling or otherwise, we need to know so we can customize your work plan and requisite Decision Tree to maximize your return on investment as well as recommend other types of equipment you may benefit from owning. We will also determine when it is time to hire out to contractors rather than use your in house equipment.
In order for us to customize your StreetSaver® Decision Tree it is imperative that we are using current pricing. Ask me one day why The Barnhardt Group exists and I will tell you the story of when I was taking care of all of the Public Works Services for the largest privatized City in America, The City of Sandy Springs. They paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for pavement management from a high level consultant and got unit prices from 7 states away and two decades ago!
If you want to save millions following the Three Legged Stool™ System of pavement management that I outline in the Amazon Number One Best Seller The Book on Better Roads, then it is imperative that we are dealing with current and accurate unit pricing! Further we are utilizing ALL OF THE TOOLS IN THE TOOLBOX. Many consultants will leave you with a binder full of PCI ratings with three repairs, namely, thin overlay, medium overlay and thick overlay. SHAME ON YOU if you fall into that trap!!!!
Where I come from, the State DOT used to overlay their roads on a 7-year cycle, now one of their officials stated at a recent national meeting that due to budget constraints they could only overlay on a 99 year cycle. One day I will find that video clip and produce it as an IPMA™ Tip of the Week for your enjoyment!!!
We have to know the answer to this question just so we can stay alive to manage more pavements and make more videos.
OK this list is still in the works and I will edit it as I prepare the PDH Power Hour 2016 webinar series, but for know, I need to get out on the Prowler and survey some more roads for The City of Kingman, AZ. For those of you in AZ, recall that we have the cooperative bid clause set up with the City so you can bolt onto that contract at your earliest convenience!
Call me at 404-316-9792 anytime 7 days a week or firstname.lastname@example.org we love serving our Circle Of Pavement Management RockSTARS!!!!
Blair is going to kill me!
The Unreleased Black Album was selling SO fast!! I panicked and ordered the 8 DVD Special instead of the Single DVD (yeah, and a whopping 200 pcs).
As you can guess, this pushed “BOSS MAN” over the edge due to the HUGE inventory cost differential. 😦
This one is normally $400 BUCKS!
Just give me the cost back and he might keep me around.
THEY GOT TO GO! I love my job!
(There is a bit of urgency here)
Here’s what’s inside: Over 15 HOURS across 4 different states in countless INSIDER TIPS. Since agency folks are not allowed to travel, we have produced amazing training sessions to view in the comfort of your office or home.
Guest speakers include the following:
Basem Muallem, PE
Brian Frix, EIT, APM
Dr. Mike Heitzman, PE
James Emerson, APM
Blair Barnhardt, APM
Kevin Donnelly, APM
Dr. Gary Hicks, PE
Miguel Valentin, PE, APM
PS. The Greatest Box Set includes PDH Power Hour 01 as a special bonus.
As this deal is only good through my termination dat, take advantage now by ordering today!”
Howard Shieh, PE, APM emphatically states, “Blair’s training episodes and book really inspire me. His experience and enthusiasm with pavement management is remarkable!”
I hope you take advantage of this great offer!
BY: Chris Hill
| February 15, 2016 |
Asphalt pavement preservation is a tactic used primarily in the realm of low-volume roadways. It has helped municipalities expand road life, keep overall highway maintenance costs down, and keep residents relatively happy during their commutes to and from work and home.
The success of these programs, along with interest from the Federal Highway Administration, is now pushing the paving industry to focus on pavement preservation for high-volume roadways.
The National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT) at Auburn University is leading the way, implementing pavement preservation test plots on U.S. 280 in central Alabama. The highway is a major artery into the metro Birmingham area. (See sidebar below, “High-volume preservation method testing.”)
NCAT directed placement of these plots last summer, collecting performance data such as roughness, rutting and cracking. In addition to collecting this data weekly, they are also studying more long-term performance metrics (such as field permeability) on a quarterly basis.
The test is designed to be a “rational starting point,” in order to narrow down which pavement preservation techniques are the optimal combination of life-cycle costs and performance. The secondary goal is to use the data gathered to create guide specifications, and to recommend guidelines for pavement quality assurance testing and inspection.
NCAT’s partner in road research, Minnesota Department of Transportation’s Minnesota Road Research Facility (MnROAD), is also testing some of the same pavement preservation treatments on high volume roadways in Minnesota’s cold-weather climate.
“Our goal is to execute a single experiment with nationwide impact through the MnROAD partnership,” says Buzz Powell, NCAT assistant director and test track manager. “This involves experiment design, construction planning, installation, performance testing, dissemination of findings, and (most importantly) implementation. It would be ideal for guidelines/specifications to be universal; however, best practices could vary as a function of climate, materials, etc.”
The Charleston County (South Carolina) Transportation Development department has been a model example of a municipality continually improving and expanding a preservation program. In honor of those achievements, For Pavement Preservation (FP2) awarded the agency its 2014 James B. Sorenson Award. FP2 lauded the agency for its work testing and implementing multiple preservation techniques, and for its communication efforts explaining the preservation work to the public.
Though more than 80 percent of the county’s preservation work takes place on low-volume roadways, according to Richard Turner, project and preservation program manager, one method stands out for its effectiveness on high-volume roadways: microsurfacing.
“We continue to run pilot projects trying different applications, and probably the most used is microsurfacing,” Turner says. “I’ve seen that successfully placed on high-volume roads here in Charleston, by us or by the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT), assuming it’s put on the right road at the right time. If you put a microsurfacing treatment down on a road that’s a little bit further into its life, the microsurfacing lifecyle won’t be as good as it would be if you applied the treatment earlier in its life.”
This technique is fairly new in the market for high-volume roads in South Carolina, with SCDOT using the technique for the first time seven years ago (on U.S. 17 in Charleston County). Turner says his agency’s first use of the technique was in 2011.
“We’re looking at a market that’s five to seven years old,” he says, adding that he hasn’t been able to work with contractors in South Carolina because there aren’t any doing the work. Instead, contractors from adjacent states are winning the contracts.
“The two or three companies that are bidding on projects throughout South Carolina are able to have a nomad crew that comes and spends 30 to 60 days in each county, get the work done and report back. I don’t know if there’s anyone in the state ready to invest yet or not.”
From Turner’s perspective, microsurfacing is a far better application for high-volume settings (compared to low-volume roads), a viewpoint that comes as a direct result of his agency’s communication efforts. It boils down to look and feel.
“When it’s placed on roads that are higher volume, we’ve gotten no complaints,” he says. “When we’ve placed it on lower volume roads, that’s when we get the questions. It’s mostly because you have folks walking on these roads and they’re looking at every little detail of that road. They can tell that it’s not the same as a hot mix or dense graded asphalt. That’s when they notice it. When you’re driving down the road you can’t see it or feel it. You can’t tell that it’s any different.”
Placing a microsurface treatment on high-volume roads changes the esthetics of the mat, Turner explains, with more traffic improving its appearance within the first month of use. “The effectiveness of it doesn’t change one way or another, but from a public perception standpoint, I think it looks better on a high volume road,” he adds.
Public perception of microsurfacing has taken a hit from instances of improper placement, and also from the application being used as more of a temporary bandage. “Those roads needed much more than a microsurfacing or some other preservation treatment,” Turner says.
Turner’s point touches on a major concept of pavement preservation. A roadway in need of major work, or one that is failing, is not a good candidate for preservation work and requires more extensive rehabilitation. To paraphrase Marty Comer, the president of Comer Contracting in Connecticut, even in lieu of public opinion, preservation is a difficult concept for some municipalities to grasp.
“It’s a real tough sell,” he says. “Pavement preservation is for ‘good’ pavement, and to get people to spend money on good pavement is sometimes a challenge. In dealing with municipalities, it’s a tough sell when they have bad roads that need work and then they try and spend money on preservation work. That’s what the whole industry has been promoting for quite a number of years, but it’s still a tough sell.”
As in South Carolina, microsurfacing has emerged as the high-volume preservation of choice in Connecticut. And just like its southern counterpart, Connecticut faces a shortage of contractors to perform the task. Even as a pavement preservation specialist, most of Comer’s work is chip seal.
But, much of the preservation work in the state has been handled a different way. Connecticut has seen a strong run of resurfacing work over the past few years, with the state’s Department of Transportation recently reporting 2015 as the fourth straight year of increased two-lane road resurfacing.
“There was a lot of bituminous concrete (asphalt) put down last year as far as historical amounts, and they plan to do a fair amount this year,” Comer says. “ConnDOT has a tendency to call that pavement preservation, especially if it’s thin lift, because the paving industry has tried to make that the pavement preservation of choice.“
“The public will, to a certain extent, accept cape seal in this area with chip seal and microsurfacing over it,” he adds. “They still turn their nose up at it a little bit, but it’s perceived as more acceptable because it’s smoother. “
“The name of the game in any surfacing project is to avoid having loose stone. For instance, if you’re going to chip seal, it needs to be swept practically the same day. That’s where I think it’s going, at least where I’m working. The motoring public doesn’t accept chip seal well, but if you can make it smoother, if you can sweep it up real quick, then the pavement maintenance industry can have more success. You certainly have to be neat and produce a good looking product.”
Congrats to the City of Kingman AZ, City of Jefferson, GA and City of Vidalia … for taking advantage of our SECRET SALE!
We may never do that again but if you ever see a secret sale announcement be sure to get in!!!!
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“As a private consultant, Mr. Barnhardt is used to developing cost-effective roadway maintenance recommendations for various pavement owners at the network level. Most pavement managers agree the next indispensable step is to go out and drive the roads to see conditions firsthand before making final decisions. True to form, Mr. Barnhardt, having little regard for state boundaries or distances on the map, jumped into a 23’ RV and drove over 80,000 miles on US roads over a relatively short period of time, talking to folks to see how things are done across the land and to investigate where efficiencies might be improved. I don’t know anyone else that knows pavements who has personally driven some 3% of the paved miles in the US. I don’t know about you, but I’m interested to read and hear more of what he has to say.” Jonathon Heese, APM, Arapahoe County, CO (TBG Pavement Management Client)
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After all, local agencies are responsible for maintaining 78% of the roads in the US. So of the 4,000,000 miles of US roads, both paved and unpaved, local agencies are responsible for about 2,000,000 miles of paved roads and many more miles of gravel roads. And most of us don’t have enough resources to do the job. And we’re competing for scarce resources with a seemingly endless stream of competing priorities, most more glamorous and exciting than roads. And our roadway maintenance costs continue their upward spiral. The way I see it, we have a huge responsibility and maybe even a bigger challenge in front of us!
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Blair: Hey guys, this is Blair with your IPMA tip of the week. It’s great to see the economy coming back to life and all these roads that we’ve shut down, pipe farms, and the 2007-2008 era, they’re about to be redone, but there’s one thing that’s very important that I want to cover today. Stick around, we’ll be right back.
Announcer: Time for the IPMA tip of the week – brought to you by IPMA Academy, the most comprehensive online certification program for pavement managers on this planet. Here’s your host, author of the Amazon #1 Best Seller – The Book on Better Roads, Blair Barnhardt. Listen in with Blair and his guests as they show you how to do more with more money and less carbon footprint. Let’s get started!
Blair: Okay, so, it’s amazing now. We see the robust economy happening and here I am out in the middle of the rain today doing some pavement managing in any city of America and on one side of the fence, we’ve got this great economy kicking and houses being built on spec again. I’m really happy to see that, don’t get me wrong. But the bottom line is that there are still remnants of the 2007-2008 bust with 100% financing , all that stuff. So we’ve got all of these 21-22 foot roads at the back end of these subdivisions that have not been topped yet. One thing I want to point out is that it’s so so important when you do get out here to do the topping on these roads, make sure that they’re clean. I just took a core here in this subdivision, I went to pull the core out and of course you can see this is the binder, the top of the binder, and look at that Georgia red clay here. The road was never clean properly to begin with, and of course when the topping mix goes on and we compact the top layer, it’s pretty hard to get tact to stick. We’re all taught that in school. Please make sure that not only do you go out and clear the dirt and sweep it with a good L-Gen sweeper and get it all good and clean, but cut back right away all that nasty weeds and whatnot. Make sure you spray those sides of the curb and gutter, asphalt binder surfaces, with some Round Up.
Now, what I’ve done in this particular pavement management project here for the city of anywhere in America, is I’ve made a note here and I’ll read the note to you. Excuse my writing today, as I’m trying to keep everything dry and write while it’s wet. But I made a note here that I”m on a section, so I decided the section to 1426 feet long, predominantly it’s still binder and it’s about to be topped. Probably when the builder builds another 10-12 houses here, he’ll come up with the money to top this out. Make sure the road is good and clean and I said make sure road is sprayed with Round Up as well, and clean before topping. A lot of these roads are going to be too far gone. Make sure the builder doesn’t leave you a stinker. This is a good 3, 2.5in binder mix here. It’s going to be a pretty good base. I don’t see any truck traffic going through here. It’s just a dead end, cul de sac to cul de sac and a short cul de sac in behind me here. The point I’m trying to make is if it is too far gone, get in there and take advice from my buddy Tim at County Versailles in Georgia, what he taught me very early when I moved on to USA is before he gave the bond money back to the builder, if that road was tore up from the logging trucks, he made them do FDR a full depth reclamation with foamed asphalt cement, then top it. And once the road was up to his specification, the 6 inches of foamed asphalt base and inch and a half of top, then he gave them the bond money back and accepted the road on behalf of the county. So think about that. You’ve got hot in place, you’ve got cold in place. If it’s a small subdivision, you might as well just redo it with a small pulverizer and be done with it. You can’t get hot in place and cold in place trains to come in and do anything less than 20 or 30 or 40,000 square yards.
Think about those treatments on your binder asphalt as you bring Elvis back from the dead and recoup these valuable assets, these subdivisions that are built out of pipe farms that we saw from 2008 finally getting a chance to have life breathed into them. I’m sure people that had the houses from way back are real happy to have the new houses. It’s kind of strange when you see the new houses going in 10 years after the old houses, even the architectural style has changed. This is Blair with your IPMA tip of the week, 404-316-9792 if you need help with your pavement manager, give me a call. See you next time, thanks!
And I do want to point out one of our corporate sponsors here, this episode is sponsored by IPMA Academy – the world’s most comprehensive online learning platform for all things in place asphalt recycling, pavement preservation, and pavement management if you’ve ever had the burning desire to learn how to do more with less while saving your valuable infrastructure. This works out to be like a 941% return on investment. A couple cents a square yard to do pavement management, you save $10 a square yard by paying for the right treatment of the right road at the right time for the right reason with the right contractor. So thanks again to our corporate sponsor, IPMA Academy. More on that at http://www.ipmaacademy.com.
Announcer: Hey everyone, like what you just saw? Then you’ll love IPMA Academy! The most comprehensive online certification for pavement managers on this planet. Learn how to save your roads, and do more with less money and less carbon footprint. Head over to www.ipmaacademy.com for 3 free training videos. Thanks for watching!
Shelley Hansel: Hi I’m Shelley Hansel, the mayor of Wellington, Kansas. And we just had our first session with Blair Barnhardt of our pavement study. I have to say, it is probably the best money we have ever spent, as far as I’m concerned, in the city of Wellington. We now have a progressive roadmap, so to speak, of what we can do to improve the streets of our community. Without the Barnhardt group, we would just be fixing things willy nilly. But now we know what’s priority and what isn’t, and how to move forward and save our city money. I’m going to tell you right now, the Barnhardt group is the best decision you’ll ever make. It’s a progressive way for your city to move forward and have better streets, and happier citizens.
John Heese: Hi Folks, John Heese for Apple County. I usually do blooper rolls for Blair, I was hoping to make an exception this time. We brought the Barnhardt Group in last year, had them evaluate 25% of our overall network, had that done, put in street saver software. We’ve been doing pavement management for a long time, many years. We had a retirement and we thought this is a good time to look at our practices, take a close look at what we’ve been doing and see if we want to make changes. So we ended up doing 25% of the network, put it in the street saver software, we liked what we saw so we went ahead and did the other 75% this year. Blair is just wrapping up now today. With us we have the entire network, about 357 wide miles of our network in the street saver software. If you ever get a chance to work with the Barnhardt group, maybe on the last day you can talk Blair into sitting down with you like he did with us and going through all the reports. Real time, he’ll be there with you if your schedules work out, and you can have that back and fourth with him about what you’ve been doing and your decision tree and how all the various reports come out, how to get you to the PCI you want, and how much money it will take, all those good thigns. That’s a great opportunity if you get that chance. So we did that. Blair’s printing out his final report and we’ll be picking through that over the next several weeks and days. But yet, thumbs up if you get a chance to work with the Barnhardt group, I’d recommend it. Even if you can’t work with the Barnhardt group, I did read the book. If you get a chance to pick up the book it’s free if you just email email@example.com, he’ll send you a free copy of the book. Definitely worth reading, it’ll give you some ideas you haven’t thought of. So that’s it for me!
Hey Pavement Management RockSTARS all across this planet, here is another amazing IPMA™ Tip of the Week for you to watch and share with your employees and colleagues!
In this session, Blair discusses how to handle all those old “pipe farm” subdivision that are now coming back to life like Elvis coming back from the dead (hope we didn’t offend anyone there!)
There are some key takeaways here so that you don’t have to lie awake at night worrying about how to explain to your council or commission about why the brand new overlay down there at that fancy pants subdivision is already tearing up!!!!
Blair has promised Team IPMA™that now that 2016 is going to be the year that he produces more content for you folks than any and all other forces combined can produce in a lifetime (OUCH) so stay tuned for hundreds of all these really cool videos, blogs, podcasts, you name it, with behind the scenes interviews with many of the industries most thought changing leaders in public works and private sector!
There are many ways for you to get more involved with us as we grow as well. It all starts with the Book on Better Roads which is FREE! And then if you like what you are seeing here today in this video, you can learn a whole bunch more about other products and services that we offer like Pavement Managers Club over at www.blairbarnhardt.com
See you soon!!!!