Triple Milling Machines Tackle Illinois Interstate

Gallagher Asphalt uses three cold mills in echelon to mill I-57 in Kankakee County, Ill., south of Chicago.

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Late in 2009, a pair of new W 210 cold mills from Wirtgen America were joined by an older W 2000, and a Vision 5200-2 paver from Vögele America, to mill and pave I-57 in Kankakee County, Ill., south of Chicago.

"We are resurfacing I-57, from the Will/Kankakee County line to Ill. 50, an 8.5-mile stretch," said Jim Trost, superintendent of operations, Gallagher Asphalt Corp., Thornton, IL. "It's a 4-inch-deep grind over two lanes, plus a 4-foot inside shoulder and 10-foot outside shoulder, and we are replacing that with a new base course and surface course."

The shoulder base course is a 70-gyration Superpave mix with PG 64-22 liquid, and the surface on the shoulder is a 90-gyration Superpave mix with a PG 64-22 liquid. The main line bottom lift is a 90-gyration Superpave mix with polymer modified 70-22 binder, and a 90-gyration Superpave mix with polymer modified 70-22 binder and steel slag for skid resistance.

 Cold mills worked in echelon

The new W 210 was part of a group of three big cold mills working in echelon, if not in sight of each other once work began in earnest.

"For the outside shoulder we used a W 210 in echelon with a W 120 4-foot machine, which has left the project," Trost said. "Together they cut the 10-foot shoulder. Now we're cutting the 12-foot passing lane, and the 4-foot shoulder, with the two W 210s and the W 2000. We're taking a 16-foot-wide swath 4 inches down."

The biggest challenge is keeping all this equipment running at the same time, Trost said.

"We have to have good equipment in good shape," he says. "We've prepared the equipment and it's ready to go. If one shuts down it will pretty much stop everything.

"The other challenge is trucks," Trost said. "We have to make sure we aren't waiting for trucks on any of the machines. We have 30 trucks planned for tonight."

Gallagher's three Wirtgen mills would not be grinding at full bore that night. "We are limited by the length of lane closures we are allowed," Trost said. "Because we are only allowed a five-mile lane closure, we are limited in how far we can mill in front of the paver."

Tracked pavers provide flexibility

After milling was completed, the Vision 5200-2 10-foot tracked paver would be placing asphalt with a Carlson EZ-IV screed set to 16-foot wide.

"We have screed extensions and auger extensions on the left hand side to catch the 4 foot shoulder, and the hydraulic screed extension on the right," Trost said. "We will be paving at 350 tph."

The asphalt plant began shipping mix at 6:40 p.m., and paving would begin at 7 p.m. "They'll ship until about 5 a.m., because we have to be off the road by 6 a.m.," Trost said. "We can keep one lane closed during the week, but both lanes must be open Friday through Sunday."

"We have three of the Vision machines: two 5200-2 10-footers, and one 5100-2 8-foot machine," explains Trost. "All are tracked machines. We've standardized with tracked machines because of their flexibility to do jobs on both stone bases and milled surfaces. Standardization gives us the flexibility to put any paver on any project, not have to juggle machines, and allowed us to get by with fewer pavers in the fleet.

"Our guys have picked up on the Niveltronic grade and slope controls very well," he added. "We've had success with pavers and screeds in a variety of jobs from parking lots to subdivision streets to highways and interstates with transfer devices and hopper inserts."