Developing a time line
Application dates were scheduled for four days beginning July 23, reportedly the best potential days for good weather. From experience we knew that advanced planning and a sequenced series of target action dates would be needed to assure that everything came together at the right time in the right place and in a usable condition.
We developed a time line to have materials produced, tested, purchased and shipped; equipment checked out, loaded with necessary supplies (a variety of hose connections, spare application tools and a new spreader box) and shipping arrangements scheduled; and travel accommodations reserved.
- Aggregate samples were crushed, tested and samples sent to CPM and to Petroleum Sciences Inc. in Spokane , WA , who would perform the mix design. On acceptance of the gradation the aggregate was produced.
- Firm shipping commitments were arranged for the RoadSavers so they would arrive in Fairbanks by July 18.
- A supply list was drawn up for material, tools and equipment that would accompany the RoadSavers.
- Travel arrangements were booked.
- Recommended specification changes were submitted to the Air Force upgrading aggregate, emulsion and mix design requirements.
- Aggregate production was completed and shipping to the Air Base arranged.
- Two RoadSavers were selected, checked out in the shop and prepared for shipping.
- Supplies (spreader box rubbers, squeegees, burlap, tools, assorted hose connections and reducers for water hydrants, etc.) were packed into 55-gallon drums and loaded into the RoadSavers along with a new spreader box.
- All materials were submitted to the testing lab for the final mix design.
- Mix design was completed and submitted to the Air Force. (All materials passed; the six-day soak test came in at 24 grams loss — 75 grams is the maximum allowed — showing strong performance.)
- During this time frame we also had to locate and ship aluminum sulfate which was not available locally. We wound up shipping it back as the mix design reduced the quantity recommended. Paving Products secured the cement locally.
The first load of emulsion left Portland for Fairbanks , a 2,300-mile haul over sometimes desolate, rough roadways. Everyone crossed their fingers.
Francis, Charlie and I flew to Fairbanks . Our first stop was at Paving Products where we checked out the RoadSavers, reviewed our game plan with Cal and took a look at some old slurry machines stored in the back lot. We heard that Young Machinery made a continuous machine back in the 1980s (self loading, self propelled), but none of us had ever seen one. Here was a well preserved one hidden in the back lot next to a vintage SB1000, also a Young product. It seems the weather extremes keep rust at bay, both units were fairly well preserved. When Cal said they used to do slurry, I had no idea they used a continuous machine.
Preparing the slurry machines
We spent two days in Paving Product’s yard unpacking the RoadSavers, assembling the spreader box and installing the diverters and side shifts that had been removed for shipping. We also calibrated the trucks for aggregate flow at the Fairbanks Sand & Gravel yard next door.
Once the calibration charts were completed, we set the RoadSavers mix design tolerances by adjusting aggregate flow to produce the desired asphalt content and set the cement flow to produce the required cement content. With temporary Alaska registrations on board and the RoadSavers ready to go, we proceeded to Eielson AFB to go through the inspection and documentation process necessary to be allowed on base.
Meanwhile Paving Products had secured a stockpile on base, hauled in all the aggregate we would need, purchased cement, set up a hydrant water source, repaired (filled cracks and other deteriorated surface areas) the roadways we would seal, and posted and notified the residents.