Better Roads

October 2013

Better Roads Digital Magazine

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Page 27 of 82

HighwayContractor industry successfully worked through the challenges unique to these projects." In an interview, Chris Handley with Tullis Inc., the private contractor that built the LLAP project near Red Bluff, says the challenge of a new and complex pavement strategy was daunting at first, but eventually the challenges were overcome. "I think we were not quite prepared for all the work that must be done in advance to prepare for this job," Handley notes. "This is not the type of job where you are going to have a mix design in a couple of weeks. You have to identify your reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP), get samples and then get the test results. There was a lot more to do than a regular paving job." Handley says the mandatory pre-job meeting Caltrans held for the project was helpful, but the key event that contributed to the success of the project was when the UCPRC's Dr. James Signore invited him to visit their lab to see first-hand how they were handling and testing samples. "That was huge for us," Handley says. "He really opened our eyes. I remember thinking, 'Wow, this is going to take some work.'" Working closely with Caltrans to clarify various provisions in the specifications that needed interpretation, constantly communicating with the UCPRC and their own testing lab, Pavement Engineering, Handley says his company was able to work though the issues and keep the project on track. Unlike the Weed project, the Red Bluff project was more of a standard long-life design, with three pavement layers – a rich bottom layer, a mid-layer utilizing 25 percent RAP and the top layer that used the standard 15-percent RAP permitted under regular Caltrans specifications. The rich bottom proved to be the most problematic, Handley says, because it was the first layer subject to testing. It was a plant-produced, continuous mix that was consistent, but hitting the target values was difficult at first. The data points that were being returned initially varied widely, but everyone worked together to figure out what the test results were telling them and developed a plan to proceed. "Everyone worked together and realized we have a project to do and need to move forward," Handley says. "At the end of the day, everything worked out. It was expensive, however, to identify and fix the problems." One important lesson learned was the oil contained in the RAP mixture; once the RAP level rose above 15 percent, it created havoc with test results. The compaction targets and other Better Roads Magazine is proud to announce the launch of the new mobile version of Stay up-todate while you are on the go, with the latest news and products in the road building industry along with insight from our awardwinning editorial team. 26 October 2013 Better Roads SP11638-CMG Mobile Website Print Ads-HP-BR.indd 1 HighwayContractor_BR1013.indd 26 3/25/13 10:30 AM 9/30/13 3:38 PM

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