U.S. interstate system turns 60

As the U.S. interstate highway system turns 60 years old this summer, it faces increasing congestion, unprecedented levels of travel – particularly by large trucks – and insufficient funding to make needed repairs and improvements.

The nation’s most critical transportation link continues to save lives with its enhanced safety features and is largely well-preserved, but an aging interstate system will increasingly require more long-term, costly repairs, according to a new report released by TRIP, a Washington, D.C. based national transportation organization. (more…)

Feeling the heat

The central role of temperature in asphalt paving

tempsampling_webBy James Careless

When it comes to building an asphalt pavement, creating and then maintaining the product within the right temperature range is absolutely vital.

The reason is nicely described by what some call the “goldilocks zone.” To retain its compaction properties between the asphalt plant and being laid on the road, the asphalt mix cannot be too hot or too cold. Its temperature has to be just right.

“Temperature is the key,” said Jim Scherocman, a Cincinnati-based asphalt consultant with 54 years experience in the business. “It controls all aspects of paving: How long it will remain workable on the job site, and how much time you have to finish laying it down and compacting it?” He added that the thickness of each lift also matters. The thicker the layer, the longer it will retain its heat and remain compactable. (more…)