Skip to comments.Road Resurfacing Vanity
Posted on 08/27/2011 6:14:06 AM PDT by johniegrad
I live in the lakes country in northern Minnesota where the roads take a beating from trucks, salt, and hostile weather conditions. Road work is a constant feature of summer living here.
This summer a 25 mile stretch of two lane highway from Duluth to our cabin is being resurfaced. I am accustomed to seeing the roadbed excavated and new asphalt being brought in to fix the roads.
However, this year there appears to be a new process. Rather than bringing any new materials in, the process appears to make use of the existing asphalt by heating it and smoothing it out. There is a machine that heats one lane of the road at a time and appears to melt the surface material, either mixing it with something else, or simply reusing it to establish a better surface.
Driving on the finished product is certainly smoother but you can still feel the underlying unevenness of the road.
The only thing I can find on line that appears to describe the process is something called "hot in place recycling".
It doesn't appear to be a tremendous improvement in the road surface to me and it seems as though it is not something that would hold up very well.
Since FR seems to have a lot of experts out there on virtually every subject, is anyone familiar with this type of process? What are the advantages and disadvantages? It would certainly seem to be cheaper that other road repair methods but, from what I have seen so far, I question its durability.
Not typically a FR type question so sue it, it's a vanity.
all i know about road resurfacing is that it’s stimulus to unions and bullish for The Mob.
Our cabin is east of Duluth, in Wisconsin. We always "laugh" when we cross the state line and the roads improve 100%.
Is the road made of 100 percent recycled asphalt then ?
Eric, I think just the surface. There is road bed below.
I grew up in Superior, if I grew up at all, and know every lake and river in Douglas Country from fishing. The only summer I had off in medical school was between the freshman and sophomore years. I was on a Navy scholarship so they paid me full active duty pay and expected nothing in turn. Rather than get a second job, I went fishing every day. What a great summer. It’s been all downhill since then ;-)
I needed some class 5 for my driveway and called the guy who delivered last about 6 years ago. Before I identified myself, without thinking I asked him if he was still doing business as "XYZ Trucking". He asked me why I wanted to know.
Cheap resurfacing is preferred by politicians because it needs to be redone frequently, necessitating frequent campaign contributions to win contracts. A quality road lasts, so contributions are less frequent. And what politician really knows how long he’ll be around?
Fascinating procedure and it really works!
Cheapie resurface to make the politicians good.
Kinda like wetting yourself wearing dark trousers. Gives you a nice warm feeling, but nobody seems to notice.
There’s nothing wrong with the old material but it sounds like they’re just doing a crappy job.
I live near Michigan International Speedway and when they resurface that, they mill the old surface and it goes into the surrounding roads.
Apple, that process looks to be more thorough and involved than what is going on here.
Anyway....when the 54mpg rules kick in only outlaws will have V8's
the rest of the peons on Al Bores wooden bicycles.
When did you live in SoupTown?
BTW! Too frequently on FR, someone asks a legitimate question and all that result are irrelevant rants
I drove up every few weeks from the Cities (we lived in Prior Lake for 16 years.) My office was in St. Paul.
My job was to sell our oil (supplied mostly by Murphy) and delivery service to steamship lines. This put me on Northwest Airlines off to Cleveland and Buffalo quite a bit, plus Duluth for US Steel’s Great lakes Fleet. I left in 1997.
This job was one of the best...
As far as the remarks are concerned, I don't really care. Sometimes it's good to inject a little levity into the joint.
I don’t think it is necessarily cheaper to do this process.... but there are advantages, especially on mountainous roads or heavy traffic roads. It’s faster to do, so it less impact on traffic. They don’t have to break up the old road and haul it away in dump-truck loads which takes time, requires a lot of extra working space and holds up traffic more while they are working.
They told me that the success of the end result depends greatly on the project chemist getting the mixture right. As their machine breaks and grinds up the old surface, the on-site chemist tests the ground up stuff and determines the proper mixture for the new surface.... it is mixed right there, added to the machine and the procedure continues.
Like I mentioned before.... this company is having great success here in Georgia. Maybe the Minnesota company needs to take a lesson from this GA company??
I grew up in Superior from 1953 to 1971 and then was off for education until 1971. Post graduate medical education and repayment to the Navy from 1979 through 1987 and then back here again to practice.
When I was a kid, there was a legitimate shipping industry out of the ports including grain trucked in from the Dakotas, coal, limestone and other minerals, and, of course, iron ore.
The steel industry has its natural cycles of prosperity and decline and is in the process of finding ways to recreate itself. Grain, however, is being barged down the Mississippi to New Orleans. It must be cheaper to ship this way. The railroads are shrinking here due to reduction in the demand of these industries and the population base is slowly eroding as young people have to go elsewhere to find work.
It is truly amazing to watch the antibusiness attitudes that exist in an area clearly on the decline for decades now. None of it makes any sense.
This is a nice place to live if you have a good income. Good outdoor activities, relatively low cost of living, nice although reserved folks, safe place to raise kids, good schools. Thank God the medical profession has been relatively recession proof throughout my career and that I am now partially retired.
But God help the young folks trying to find work here.
The Georgia company sounds great.
The steamship folks were first class hard working folks, from the oilers on up to the captains.
We bought all of Murphy heavy oils and brought rail tank cars from Mandan and elsewhere plus 50,000 bbl tankers fom Sarnia. Our storage was at the foot of Winter Street on the Cutler-Magner Lime facility. The business was 80 percent N6 fuel or blended N6.
There is a curious, anti-business, almost suspicious attitude toward any kind of commercial endeavor in the north country. I noticed this attitude in the Arrowhead, around the mines where I also did business. It was no surprise that this was solid Wellstone Country.
You found "Hot inplace recycling." There's also a cold inplace recycling process. The difference is in whether the road surface is heated before it is ground off.
I've seen a lot of cold in place recycling here in the south (Florida and Georgia). The results depend on how deep they grind and the quality of the road bed below the road.
The process grinds off the surface of the road, reheats it, mixes it with some new binder material, then feeds that recycled asphalt into a paving machine to reapply it to the road.
This process will never fix underlying issues with the road bed. If you have frost heaves that go down to the road bed, the result will be a smooth wavy surface that follows the damaged roadbed.
Also, the deeper they grind, the better the resulting surface seems to be and the longer it will last. Depending on the machinery and how it is set, it's possible to grind as little as 2 inches off and recycle it, or as much as 6 to 8 inches. Deeper grinding usually results in a better quality result. How deep you can go depends on how thick the pavement is on the road. Obviously, you can't grind off 6" of pavement if that's all there is on the roadbed. Usually, it's not wise to grind more than half the pavement off for the process. If the pavement is only 8" thick, then 4" is about all that can be done.
Sorry, no personal knowledge of the repaving process.
I’ve been spending a lot of time in Rochester, NY as my sister is in hospice care in a home within the city. Last Wednesday, everyone had to have their cars off the street so they could resurface it. It sounds like it might be similar to what you have there. The surface is bumpy, and there are still a lot of loose stones after more than a week. When you drive down the streets that have undergone this process, clouds of dust fly everywhere. You have to watch your speed as it feels you are driving on a road of loose gravel, and your wheels slip if you try to accelerate. It’s horrible. I was told they’re using this technique to save money. They might be saving cash, but it’s ruining the finishes on people’s cars. Everyday when I leave the home, my car has a layer of dust all over it.
This sounds a lot like what they’ve done recently to Alabama Route 24 between Moulton and Russellville. And not for the better, I might add. The new surface is so noisy, I drive in the left lane for miles at a time.
Sounds like what they’ve been doing up here in Washington for non-major roadways. They put up signs that they will be doing “chip sealing” and then lay down what my dad called “oil matte”: layer of crushed rock followed by a coat of oil sprayed on it.
Until it gets weathered and worn, it is dusty and the rocks fly up and chip the finish on the cars, not to mention what it does to the undercarriage. They claim it’s much cheaper than full asphaulting. And probably is. Doesn’t last as long, though. First good freeze in the winter and the pot holes start forming when it thaws.
In our county, it was -and has been - well known since way before the 70’s that the “road” funds/taxes are shifted to other purposes, ones that seem to put money into local politicians’, bureaucrats’ and selected contractors’ pockets. (Graft and corruption? No! How could you think of such a thing. It’s Government efficiency and patronage.)
We call the melting in place process “summer” here in Arizona...:^)
108 F in Tucson yesterday...
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