We spoke to the tanker driver bringing the emulsion several times on Friday as he worked his way the final 200 miles. We met him at Eielson, went through the paperwork and inspection process and secured the tanker on base. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief when Francis popped the lids on the tanker and found the emulsion to be in good condition. Of all the jobs we have done all over the world, we have never shipped a high-performance emulsion that distance overland.
Applying the slurry
Saturday, July 23, was the first day of slurry. Since we had not brought a full crew, Paving Products asked their chief mechanic Bob Schertz to assist us. Bob worked with us from start to finish and drove line (Bob was a natural, Francis wanted to keep him) while the machines were placing slurry. Several other crewmembers received instant training and performed work as either squeegeemen and/or traffic control people.
We loaded rock, oil, cement and water, did the final box adjustments to match the road crown, set the material spread rate and began to place slurry. It was apparent immediately that we had a good initial mix and within two truckloads we had everything dialed in. Slurry had arrived in Alaska once again, this time in a high performance (quick set emulsion) mode.
Working in the “Land of the Midnight Sun” offered a whole new experience. With 22 hours of sunlight a day we could have worked long hours had we not been working in a residential area. Although temperatures never exceeded 81 degrees while we were there, the sun was very intense and the modified slurry set quickly.
Being as far away on the supply line as we were, we had extra material brought in “just in case” and we finished four days of slurry with a little material left over. We asked the Air Force for a road that was in rough shape so we could demonstrate what a modified slurry could do. The road they gave us was an unpaved road surfaced with RAP (reclaimed asphalt pavement). We placed 1,000 linear feet of slurry on this extremely coarse road (requiring 24 pounds of dry aggregate per square yard of slurry), resulting in a much improved smoother surface. Our only traffic issue on this portion of the road was a wandering moose who took interest in our work.
With the work all done we packed up the RoadSavers, arranged to ship them home and said goodbye to the new friends we made in Alaska. Three weeks later the machines were delivered to our yard in Sacramento.