For more information, contact Fred Frecker, 614-221-5402
(Canton, Ohio) State and national industry leaders claim a new type of pavement currently under construction on a stretch of I-77 will eliminate construction-related traffic jams and save tax dollars in the future. Engineers and road construction industry officials from around the state and nation gathered at an open house event in Canton today to learn more about Ohio’s first Perpetual Pavement.
“Perpetual Pavement is going to change the way we build roads in Ohio,” said Fred Frecker, president and executive director of Flexible Pavements of Ohio. “The type of congestion you see on I-77 as they replace the worn out pavement will not be repeated. Transportation Departments won’t have to dig up and replace a Perpetual Pavement because it won’t wear out. This means a curtailment of construction-site traffic jams and eventually big savings in the long run.”
The event, sponsored by the Ohio Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration, Flexible Pavements of Ohio, the Asphalt Paving Alliance, Northstar Asphalt, and the Ruhlin Company featured educational sessions and a tour of the construction site, which stretches from Portage Street (exit 111) north to the Akron/Canton Airport (exit 113). Work on the northbound lanes will continue through the end of this construction season. Work will begin in the spring on the southbound lanes.
This project is the first Perpetual Pavement built in Ohio, one of only a few around the country. The Ohio Department of Transportation agreed to build the new pavement as a demonstration project as it considers Perpetual Pavement’s merits for future projects. Many industry experts believe it will soon appear on roads all over Ohio.
“It doesn’t make sense to keep building roads that we know are going to wear out,” said Roger Sandburg of the Asphalt Pavement Alliance, a national trade group. “In the past the construction industry has designed roads to handle a certain amount of distress before wearing out. This pavement is designed never to exceed that critical level of distress, and therefore to never wear out. This is a pavement that with minimal maintenance is going to last a lifetime.”
The pavement is constructed in 3 layers, designed to force distress to the surface where it can be quickly and easily maintained. Maintenance involves a process of grinding off the surface layer, recycling the removed material, and replacing it with a fresh layer of asphalt. This work can be done without inconveniencing motorists by doing it when roads are used the least, including night hours, leaving all lanes ready for traffic by rush hour. The cost for this periodic maintenance pales in comparison to the cost of completely removing and rebuilding a road, which is necessary when distress reaches the base of the pavement.
Flexible Pavements of Ohio is an association for the development, improvement and advancement of quality asphalt pavement construction. As the trade association for the Hot Mix Asphalt Paving Industry in Ohio, Flexible Pavements provides technical information and training for its members and customers on asphalt pavement design, production and construction. Visit www.flexiblepavements.org for more information.