KINGSFORD — Reduce, reuse, recycle is a common theme around the U.P. and it’s made its way to road repair.
The Pine Mountain Road – Westwood Avenue project is using an avant-garde type of road construction that reuses asphalt. The hot–in–place (HIP) recycled pavement and warm mix asphalt (WMA) innovations are cost effective options that are more environmentally friendly and save time.
“The idea is that we keep the existing asphalt,” said Dickinson County Road Commission Engineer Lance Malburg, “just heat it up and add a little bit of oil to rejuvenate it and then lay it back out. It’s green, we don’t bring in new stone, it doesn’t take as much oils as it does to make new asphalt, you don’t have the trucking involved. It speeds up the time because you don’t mill first, you don’t have all of the paving lifts, it’s a one step – one shop process. It’s a very unique process for the area. We don’t do recycling up here that I’m aware of.”
A presentation was given to help people from surrounding areas decide if this type of construction would be beneficial for their county.
“This is another tool in the toolbox,” added Malburg, “it’s not really well used up here. We’re really just trying to let people know this is out there and available. There’s been a lot of interest from the day we proposed the project and it’s a way that instead of having 100 people on the site at different times we can have a meeting and show them what’s going on, how the process works, and what it is.”
The city of Kingsford will monitor the performance of the 4.2 miles that is being recycled and repaired over time and evaluate if it is a viable option to use on future projects.