Many of the components at the Fort Wayne facility are proprietary – constructed via local manufacturers in the Fort Wayne area. "We have some components, like Gencor silos, Kolberg conveyors and ALmix baghouses, that come from our usual suppliers," says Brooks. "But we farmed out many of the components as a cost savings and the ability to easily change designs as necessary.
"There are a few additional cold feed bins for RAP, but otherwise it looks like any other," Brooks says. "We really wanted our design to be flexible so we could include other products in the future."
The facility does incorporate a thermal oxidizer on its incinerator to eliminate any blue smoke during the drying/heating process. Preliminary tests show that emissions of this facility are at or below current plant standards in Indiana and are far below the plant that it replaced. Projected plant energy consumption is either neutral or negative when taking into account the energy consumed from the quarry to the paver using more traditional hot mix methodologies.
The new plant is expected to produce asphalt at the same rates as traditional facilities.
Eye on new technology
Recycling isn't new to Brooks Construction.
“We were the first and only local company to take advantage of landfill waste gases to help drive our Fort Wayne asphalt plant," Brooks says.
Brooks Construction endeavors to use as much recycled concrete as possible for aggregate base on paving projects, allowing the company to pass cost savings to customers and reduce landfill usage. The company has integrated steel slag into asphalt. The steel-mill by-product, combined with traditional RAP and a bit of virgin binder, produces a very high quality and great looking surface.
Processed shingles, rubber and glass have reduced consumption of virgin natural resources. Warm and cold asphalt mixes are also used, significantly reducing energy consumption and plant emissions.
"There's always a demand for pavement," says Brooks. "Mother Nature makes it necessary to maintain our roads, and when the funding levels aren't there, like the situation we have today, then you have to develop new technologies to get there.
"It's tougher to develop new technologies and overcome these challenges in down times, but it's the new technologies that will help you grow and thrive," he continues. "You can't just close your eyes to the advantages of new technologies."
Brooks says they think HyRAP can be produced with warm mix processes, but the company is not yet ready to try the combination.
"We're going to continue investigating every niche and not stay complacent," he says. "We're going to keep doing what we've always done, which means as we see things to improve our business and customer relations, we'll do it."
While HyRAP may not be highway-ready, it has been used on several projects. Here are two examples:
- Bishop Dwenger Catholic High School parking lot. This school needed a new parking lot, so Brooks Construction offered the new HyRAP product. The project used about 800 tons of the product with no particular challenges, says John Brooks. The mix laid well, and there was a combination of hand work and machine work to finish. "There was a learning curve with the crew as far as when to roll," he says. "With this product you can roll faster than traditional mixes."
- Street project in Fort Wayne. This industrial street had a lot of semi-truck traffic and needed a durable mix. "The rejuvenator and RAP in the HyRAP product acts like a modified asphalt and not a standard mix," says John Brooks. "The mix is very stable and offers very little movement. It also allows you to get traffic on the pavement faster, which was necessary with this project."