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Full Depth Reclamation Makes Paving Project Both Budget and Environmentally Friendly

12.03.15   Anthony B. Thomas, PE | More by this Author

Full Depth Reclamation Makes Paving Project Both Budget and Environmentally Friendly

An 11.4 acre airport parking lot was in poor condition due to years of neglect. Downtime for repair was a crucial factor, as every day that the lot wasn’t operating would cost the owner $14,000. Traditional reconstruction would require complete removal, disposal and replacement of the existing pavement and base material. The high cost of traditional reconstruction combined with the daily loss of thousands of dollars during downtime for construction made this option cost-prohibitive and unappealing.

SME’s pavement experts came up with another solution – using Full Depth Reclamation (FDR) and recycled materials. The site was first evaluated using a falling weight deflectometer (FWD), followed by cores and borings. The existing aggregate base consisted of blast furnace slag intermixed with clay. Lime kiln dust was used as a modifying agent prior to stabilization with cement. In other words, recycled material was used to recycle the slag; a recycled material itself!

Construction was completed within 85 days, at least a month less than required for traditional pavement reconstruction. SME monitored the FDR operation to verify proper materials, mixing, and compaction. After construction, FWD testing was provided as a baseline for long term life cycle analysis of the pavement system.

SME’s design provided enormous benefits for the owner:

  • Environmentally-friendly design – More than 30,000 tons of existing aggregate and asphalt were reused on-site rather than disposed of in a landfill;
  • Substantial cost savings - SME’s solution resulted in an estimated total savings of at least $900,000 as compared to the cost of traditional reconstruction; and
  • Shortened construction time - Use of FDR over traditional reconstruction shortened construction time by about one full month.

The cost of the paving portion of the project was about $2.1 million. SME’s fees for design and construction monitoring were about $87,000. Based on the estimated total savings from SME’s innovative solution of at least $900,000, the owner’s return on investment in SME services was more than 10 times our entire fee!

For more information, contact Tony Thomas.


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