Asphalt Recycling Process – Additional Detailed Information

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The asphalt recycling process currently being used by the City of Macedonia is commonly referred to as Single Pass Cold-in-Place Recycling.  This is because each part of the existing pavement is recycled into a new asphalt base in one single pass of the recycling equipment.  That is all mixing of liquid asphalt emulsion, additional limestone, and compacting of recycled asphalt occurs in this one single pass.  There is no heating up of the existing asphalt pavement.  Finally, all of the recycling processes actually takes place right in its current location.  The material is not transported off of the road or off of the site.  All of these items result in the fact that the road will remain open throughout the construction process, and with minimal impact to traffic.  Please see the attached photos for additional information.

Once the new asphalt base has been created through the completion of the recycling process, the road is inspected for any further base failures or deterioration.  If any issues are detected, full depth asphalt repairs are made in such a location, which will further increase the structural stability of the new asphalt base.  Perforated underdrain may also be installed at some full depth repair locations.  This underdrain will help to carry moisture away from the pavement and into the roadside ditch.

The next step in the process is to lay down the intermediate course of asphalt, on top of the new asphalt base.  This intermediate course is sometimes referred to as a “leveling” course.  The leveling course helps to achieve a proper crown on the road, which allows rain water to flow off of the asphalt, and into the roadside ditch (or nearest catch basin).  The leveling course also helps to achieve a smoother road profile, and as such as smoother ride for motorists upon completion.  The leveling course installation is followed by the placement of the top coat of asphalt.

It should be noted that it is important to create a smooth transition between the newly paved road, and all drive aprons.  This is achieved by one of two methods.  Two to three inches of existing asphalt will be milled off the top roads with an existing concrete curb, prior to the start of the recycling process.  This milling will allow for the completion of the recycling and the leveling course, and then for the top coat of asphalt to be installed and evenly meet the existing concrete curb.  Roads without a concrete curb will generally not receive such a milling of existing asphalt.  As such, the first two feet of each driveway will be milled off.  This will create a slot in which a new asphalt top coat will be installed, thus resulting in a smooth transition from the new road, to the existing driveway.  This driveway mill will occur after the leveling course, and in most cases the slot will be filled at the same time as the top coat is installed on the road.

After the top coat of asphalt is in place, a gravel berm will be installed along the side of the road.  This berm will only be installed on roads without a concrete curb.  The purpose of the berm is to help provide lateral support for the new asphalt, and to provide support for vehicles which may drive off of the new asphalt.  The berm is basically protection for the edge of the new asphalt.  The final step in the road program process is to re-establish any pavement striping that existed prior to the start of the work.

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