Will Concrete Innovations Drive Road Longevity?
Monday Jun 4, 2012
Building highways that last has never been an easy task. Concrete and blacktop simply don’t last long, especially when it’s not perfectly smooth. After four or five years, the road takes a pounding and traffic tears it apart.
Such was the case with Interstate 70 in Kansas. But innovative repairs to more than 30 miles of asphalt may signal a new standard for building and fixing highways. After the previous asphalt treatments broke down after just five to seven years, the Kansas Department of Transportation opted for a smooth concrete overlay that should last up to 20 years, according to an article on BetterRoads.com.
Kansas chose a 6-inch bonded concrete overlay that will span nearly 31 miles. “Last year, [a construction firm] milled out 6 inches and slipformed two projects with concrete on 15.1 miles of four-lane interstate,” the article explains. Until now, what most companies would do when the road gets this bad is tear it up and start over. However, these guys are doing something different. They’ve figured out a way to redo the way they put down concrete that comes out smoother. They’re putting down 6 inches of good stuff on top, and they don’t have to mess with everything underneath.
The company will complete two similar projects this year. In all, the work will cost approximately $42 million.
The overlay is cut into panels that are 6 feet square, and on some good days, Koss has paved a mile per day working in a width of 30 feet, which is incredibly fast. Andrew Gisi, a geotechnical engineer with KDOT, said that the state expects to get 20 years of life out of the overlay, with some minor repairs required around the 10-year mark.
Source: Better Roads, May 2012