Partner to Prosper

I n September, I had the pleasure of attending the Midwestern States Regional In-Place Recycling Conference in Schaumburg, IL. Hosted by the National Center for Pavement Preservation, the meeting brought together contractors and suppliers in order to educate engineers and agencies about the different types of in-place asphalt recycling techniques that are available for their pavement preservation toolbox.

The meeting included a field trip to a road near O’Hare International Airport where three contractors, Gallagher Asphalt, Dunn Company and Rock Solid Stabilization & Reclamation, volunteered not only their time, but their crews and equipment, to showcase hot in-place recycling (HIR), cold in-place recycling (CIR), full-depth reclamation (FDR) as well as a chip seal and micro surfacing (a.k.a. cape seal) demo.

In addition to being able to get out of my office for a day and see first-hand these great preservation techniques, the meeting also educated us on some trends, including cold central plant recycling (CCRP).

CCRP consists of milling an existing road and stockpiling the reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) in a central location close to the project.

The recycled material is processed in a central plant setting where it’s blended with an emulsion. Trucks then haul the cold recycled material to the paving site, where it’s paved with conventional paving equipment.

It seems CCRP is getting a lot of attention; NCAT is now testing the process and several states are using the method too. Check out the article on page 30 which discusses Nevada’s use of CCRP.

With some of our best materials already on the road and a limited supply of aggregates and bituminous products, it’s imperative to take care of the roads we’ve already built.

Conferences and demos like the one put on in Schaumburg last month are important to educate agencies and engineers on the various types of asphalt paving, production and preservation techniques.

It’s also important for you, as an asphalt contractor, to become the expert partner to these folks. It’s hard to imagine when you live and breathe asphalt, that some agency people may not know what’s available or what their best options are.

Become involved in your local asphalt association. Get to know the decision makers who are choosing the processes and designing the specs, and help guide them into making the right choices for our roads.

With your partnership, agencies can stretch their dollars. And if you guide them correctly, you’ll have a trusting relationship that may build repeat business for your company. Overall, it’s a win-win.