Transportation Builder: Innovative Solutions Protect the Weakest Part of Pavement

An excerpt from the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA)’s July/August 2023 Transportation Builder issue. 

Have you ever heard the expression, “A chain is no stronger than its weakest link?” The adage can be applied to road construction. No matter how strong and durable your materials, if one component is breakable, the rest are compromised as well. 

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Registration now open for AEMA’s 2024-2025 LEAP program

Registration is now open for the Asphalt Emulsion Manufacturers Association (AEMA)’s 2024-2025 LEAP program. LEAP is a 12-month immersive program aimed at developing members of the asphalt emulsion industry and is intended for AEMA Members looking to increase their knowledge of the asphalt emulsion industry. The program includes general education requirements through the University of Arkansas, various jobsite and facility tours, and a report at the AEMA Annual Meeting upon program graduation.  

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Why You Should Consider a Career in the Asphalt Industry

At AMI we are driven to be the best team in asphalt, and we use each day to grow and reinforce our reputation for exceeding expectations. Our greatest asset is our hardworking team who works together to make a real difference in the world. The asphalt industry may be a fit for you if you strive to build things that matter and enjoy learning and problem-solving as a team. Trade jobs offer great career potential and provide good pay and stability. The asphalt industry needs skilled workers interested in opportunities to grow. 

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Stay Safe this School Year with these Bus Safety Tips

Students across the country are heading back to school now, which often brings changes in traffic patterns and additional considerations on the road. Millions of students nationwide begin and end their day with a trip on a school bus. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), less than 1 percent of all traffic fatalities involve children on school transportation vehicles. Buses are designed with special safety features like large mirrors and flashing lights to keep students safe, but students can still be at risk when approaching or leaving a school bus. It is incredibly important for drivers, parents, and students to understand bus safety to keep everyone safe.  

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Asphalt Magazine: A Complete Approach to Pavement Sustainability

Pavement sustainability continues to be one of the most crucial areas of research in the asphalt industry. While it is common to understand sustainability in a purely environmental context, truly sustainable products and innovations also have positive economic and social implications. 

Below, industry sustainability thought leader and Sustainability Engineer at the Asphalt Institute, Dr. Chait Bhat, details the appropriate scope for comparing Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) per the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards language in Asphalt Magazine. His article follows a previous article from Dr. Mark Buncher covering the appropriateness of comparing material EPDs. 

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MnDOT finds PMBs Extend Road Service Life by Six Years

Many highway agencies recognize the benefits of using modified asphalts to reduce pavement distress and increase service life. A recent study from the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) found that asphalt pavements with polymer-modified binders (PMBs) perform better than pavements with unmodified asphalt binders. They also found that modified binders are more cost-effective, even for local low-volume roads. While pavements with PMBs may cost more initially, performance is improved in the long run. 

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Happy National Air Traffic Control Day

National Air Traffic Control Day, July 6, is a day to recognize and appreciate the men and women who work hard to keep us safe in the skies! Air traffic controllers are responsible for ensuring safe flights by navigating, monitoring, and guiding aircrafts around airports throughout the United States. The next time you are on a flight, thank your flight attendant and pilot for all they do to keep us safe while travelling.

On this day, we highlight the work it takes to keep all aspects of air travel safe, including runway construction and maintenance. One such project recently took place at Coles County Memorial Airport (MTO). Just like many roads, airport runaways may experience longitudinal joint failure. When runways are poorly paved with insufficient materials, cracks can form over time. This is why it is important to apply a Void Reducing Asphalt Membrane (VRAM), such as J-Band®, to ensure a long-lasting, safe runway.

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18-Month Project Review Shows VRAM Significantly Reduces Permeability

After beginning in the Midwest in 2002, VRAM has now been used in 23 states and The District of Columbia. VRAM stands for Void-Reducing Asphalt Membrane. Pavement maintenance due to longitudinal joint cracking has long been a problem for not only road construction engineers and applicators but also drivers. VRAM fills air voids and significantly reduces permeability at the longitudinal joint and the area on each side of the joint.

Recently, West Virginia’s Division of Highways (WVDOH) has encountered the issue of high permeability at the longitudinal joint and subsequent failure of their asphalt pavements. Longitudinal joint issues can arise when hot and cold lanes fail to adequately bond with one another. WVDOH is responsible for constructing, reconstructing, and maintaining more than 35,000 miles of state roads. So, it is evident that the issue of high permeability can create big, expensive problems for their division of highways and taxpayers.

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