Hauenstein Road. It’s not just any road. It’s one of the busiest commercial thoroughfares in Huntington, Indiana. The main access road for Walmart, a myriad of commercial businesses, and a large apartment complex. It provides the single access point to most of the business and residences located along the road. And it was in serious disrepair. Reconstruction was the only solution. But as the City of Huntington contemplated reconstruction of this major road, they faced some worrisome roadblocks: First, though they did indeed have some funding in reserve, it was not nearly enough to reconstruct the full stretch of road needing replacement. Second, shutting down the road for the period of time required for traditional reconstruction would create a severe disruption of commerce. It would cause damaging financial hardship to the local businesses and long-term frustration to residents of the apartment complex, adding to their work, school and other commute times.

The City turned to SME for options. To determine the project’s viability, SME visited the site and sampled pavement materials at 10 locations and performed geotechnical evaluations on existing subgrade conditions. Pavement conditions ranged from fair to good. This determined there was sufficient asphalt, stone base thickness, and soil support to propose the full depth reclamation (FDR) process. Based on anticipated traffic, existing subgrade conditions, and the planned thickness of new hot mix asphalt, FDR would be a sustainable solution for the Hauenstein Road reconstruction.

Use of FDR would reduce overall construction costs and allow the City to remain within the limits of their available funding. In addition, FDR would not only provide the quickest method of reconstruction, but it would also allow continuous access to the businesses and apartments with minimal disruption to the citizens. Using the FDR process, existing asphalt and stone are recycled on site, significantly reducing or eliminating the need to haul material off site for disposal in a landfill. These benefits are unique to FDR and would not be realized through traditional reconstruction methods.

SME performed geotechnical engineering and provided the City with an FDR design that optimized pavement performance and minimized project costs. We also provided quality control and quality assurance to the City of Huntington during reconstruction of the roadway.

According to Mr. Goodnight, the biggest benefit of using FDR was the ability to maintain access to all businesses and residential areas for the full duration of the reconstruction process. Although traffic was limited to a single direction, he reported there was minimal disruption. In addition, SME’s design saved over 6 weeks of traffic disruption as compared to typical disruption time associated with traditional reconstruction techniques.

“The FDR process was the best solution for the failing roadway. FDR allowed the City to maintain traffic to the most highly traveled commercial district in the city with businesses that only have one access to their property. Compared to traditional reconstruction methods this process was by far a much smoother and quicker alternative. We anticipate that we saved roughly $300,000 over traditional methods.”

Anthony Goodnight, Director of Public Works and Engineering Services
City of Huntington