I caught up with John Indrunas, construction supervisor for the City of Roswell, GA at Riverside Road on the banks of the legendary Chattahoochee River. It was ironic that the Cherokee Indians called this river "Chattahoochee" — River of Painted Rock. The road reclamation crews were up on the bank of this same river, "painting" ground up road base rock with foamed asphalt base stabilization.
In fact, this is the fourth foamed asphalt base stabilization project for Indrunas and the City of Roswell, and following covers the four-year evolution of how this tool in his road building toolbox has come to save so many tax dollars.
Roswell is a historic city founded in 1836 and incorporated in 1854. The sixth largest city in Georgia, Roswell has grown to over 85,000 people and is located at the northeast corner of Metro Atlanta in Fulton County. One ideal the city strongly promotes is recycling. With asphalt being the number one recycled material by weight in the United States today, it seems only natural the city would welcome road reclamation with open arms. However, this didn't happen overnight.
"When I went to the first ARRA (Asphalt Recycling and Reclaiming Association) meeting in Atlanta in spring of 2000, I took along my Director of P ublic Works, Jack Seibert," says Indrunas. "I knew if I could get my managers involved with the training that was available, it would be easier to sell to our council when the time came to utilize this technology."
Based on the ARRA seminar that year, Indrunas initiated the first reclamation project for Roswell in 2001. Bids were accepted for Houze Way reconstruction, a major cut through around the Highway 9 corridor.
"Blount Construction was the successful low bidder for this project and we went to work on traffic control immediately following the pre-construction meeting," says Indrunas. "As the road was traveled by over 16,000 cars per day, we decided to run single lane traffic in one direction in the morning, then turn them around the opposite way that afternoon."
As the first city in the Southeast to perform foamed asphalt base stabilization, Indrunas clearly can be considered a pioneer in the road-recycling realm. Houze Way reconstruction went better than expected, and afforded Indrunas the opportunity to not only match the existing curb elevations on one side of the road, but also widen the eastbound lane an additional three feet at the same time.
Even with the success of the initial project on Houze Way, he attended another seminar on full depth reclamation at the GA DOT Materials and Research Lab in September 2001. It was there that he first heard John Emery speak on the benefits of reclamation with foamed asphalt base stabilization.
Emery, president of John Emery Geotechnical, was one of the featured speakers at that fall seminar. His firm provides technical support and mix designs for firms doing foamed asphalt base stabilization. Moreover, he and his staff are currently conducting a study on four years of foamed asphalt projects in the Southeast to determine an average layer coefficient for road design purposes. At this point the industry is using 0.40 as a layer coefficient for foamed asphalt stabilization based on test data from existing projects in other parts of North America. Another pioneer himself in the reclamation industry worldwide, Emery has been involved with foamed asphalt as well as cold in-place recycling since its inception into North America.
While still not fully satisfied that reclamation was the answer to his over-crowded and under-designed roads, Indrunas let a project for conventional construction in the fall of 2001 for Jones Road Reconstruction.
The bids came in at over $1.5 million to complete this work. This amount was well over the budget that the city had set aside for this road.