Friday, November 8, 2013

Do Over

Sunderland Road, North Amherst

As any of you North Amherst natives know Sunderland Road was repaved last year using the environmental "green" technique of "Recycled Hot Emulsified Asphalt Treatment,"  or "ReHeat" for short.

The efficient ReHeat technique chops up old pavement, adds in hot asphalt emulsion additives and puts it back down ... all in one quick pass. 

The method even costs a little less than the traditional approach.  Except in the case of Sunderland Road, it didn't work.  Potholes started appearing even before the first winter was done.

So the DPW is doing it over and Gallagher Asphalt of Thornton, Ill. repaid the town for most of the projected cost.  Other problems were discovered not related to their original work, and the repaving job they did on North Pleasant Street and University Drive seem to be fine.

I'm told the road repaving is scheduled for Thursday, barring any snow.  Businesses in the North Amherst Village Center will be pleased.


Anonymous said...

Question: Is this technology appropriate for rural roads?

Asphalt is an organic hydrocarbon which is broken down by sunlight. That's why asphalt used for roofing is protected by rocks -- colored course gravel on household shingles, pea gravel on flat "tar" roofs.

Roads in urban areas take a beating from (a) more traffic, (b) more start/stop & turning traffic, (c) more heavy truck traffic, and (d) more street openings. Hence a well-maintained urban street is going to need to be repaved more often, and as the street openings were covered with new pavement, a significant percentage of the excavated pavement is going to be the patches to these holes and hence with even less exposure to sunlight.

Contrast this to the rural road which -- if well built & properly drained -- will last far longer because it has far less traffic on it. Hence will have spent far more years out in the sun, absorbing the same solar radiation that damages human skin.

One could rationally expect it to have fewer of the long-chained hydrocarbon molecules because they are what the sunlight "breaks down" into shorter molecules which evaporate, wash away or leach into the soil.

Hence there are fewer asphalt molecules per pound of ground-up pavement -- fewer to reheat, emulsify, re-emuslfiy, whatever -- and fewer in that re-used surface going down onto the road. Hence it would stand to reason that it would be less resilient, more likely to break and all the rest.

Question: While this technology may be quite appropriate for urban streets, has the asphalt deteriorated too much for it to be used for rural roads?

Is this like paving the bike path with a mixture that included broken glass? (The wrong application for an otherwise good idea.)

I'm all for recycling when it makes economic sense -- "waste not, want not" -- but would it be wise to use this ground-up pavement to surface hiking trails and such? Places where you want a packed surface but not pavement, sorta like how stone dust is used.

Anonymous said...

The pavement has answered. It says, "no."

Walter Graff said...

Just pave the road already with what works and stop "saving the earth".

Anonymous said...

From "It's True: You Talk Too Much", in the Wall Street Journal, 4 October 2013:

People with Asperger's tend to give monologues about their obsessions, which can be problematic socially. It's hard to get a date after you've just told a girl all the subway stops in North America.

Been dating much lately, Ed?

Canoez said...

So, will they eventually do the whole road or just the half from Cowl's Road to 116?

Larry Kelley said...

According to a reliable source:

"Next year we will do a thin overlay over the cowls to meadow section. This section is not that bad."