New Asphalt Mixes Boost Life of Roads, Race Tracks and Qualifies for LEED Credits

Aerial view of overpass

No matter how essential pavement construction or repairs may be, commuters and businesses alike detest travel delays — not to mention the increased costs of fuel and other associated business expenses.

With over 40 years of experience with asphalt materials and industry applications, my colleagues at Golder and I have collaborated with leading Universities and suppliers to develop new technologies offering significant time and cost savings over conventional asphalt. You may want to consider one of these pavement material technologies for your next infrastructure/asphalt project:

1. Perpetual Pavement: This is an ideal pavement structure for high volume areas such as busy highways, where closing the road regularly for maintenance and rehabilitation is not an option. By designing a long-life pavement structure — over a 50-year life — only the surface requires replacement. In comparison, a conventional asphalt pavement structure often requires major rehabilitation within a 20-year period.

Golder has extensive experience in the use of perpetual asphalt pavements and, as a result, won the prestigious Consulting Engineers of Ontario’s Willis Chipman Award for the 7.5 kilometer Red Hill Valley Parkway in Ontario.

2. Race Track Asphalt Mix: Prompted by race track owners’ issues with deteriorating asphalt requiring repairs as early as a month after installation, Golder worked with experienced suppliers to develop a mix design that could withstand the demands of race track applications. The newly developed mix installation is still performing well and has not required repairs nearly three years after construction. Special testing and product development resulted in an asphalt mix that provides excellent resistance to very high shear forces, particularly at sharp turns and high heat. Not only has the Formula One and NASCAR track owner enjoyed maintenance-free asphalt for over 30 months, drivers on this track report shaving several seconds from their race times.

3. LEED-Qualified Light Color Pavement: Earning LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification credits with a pavement installation traditionally required using a “porous design” or concrete pavement. Golder has carried out extensive research regarding the development of an asphalt mix design that can achieve the light color pavement requirement of a “solar reflectance index” (SRI) of 29. Typically, an asphalt pavement would have an SRI of almost zero. The SRI of 29 easily qualifies for LEED credits. A light colored surface reduces the urban or tropical heat island effect, which can be an important step in the success of a project.

It goes without saying that any pavement project starts with solid geotechnical testing and ground engineering work. Selecting the right pavement structure is the next step and Golder has a wealth of knowledge to help you make this decision.

If you’d like to discuss your particular pavement needs, feel free to contact me at Ludomir_Uzarowski@golder.com.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ludomir Uzarowski, Ph.D., earned a master’s degree in Highway Engineering from Gdansk Technical University in Poland in 1974; a second master’s degree in Highway Engineering from University of Nottingham in United Kingdom in 1994 and a doctoral degree in Pavement Engineering from University of Waterloo in Canada in 2006. In addition to being a Willis Chipman Award recipient, Ludomir is a registered professional engineer in Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Waterloo in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. Ludomir personally consults with clients on a broad range of pavement and materials engineering challenges throughout North and South America, and contributes his expertise to Golder projects around the world.