Better Roads

May 2014

Better Roads Digital Magazine

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Page 13 of 31

12 May 2014 Better Roads A number of problems have converged to create a perfect storm that threatens the con- dition of the United States' transporta- tion infrastructure. Many U.S. inter- state highways were built during the construction boom of the 1960s and 1970s, so a large percentage of those roads and bridges reached the end of their intended design lives at the same point in time. Most had experienced a greater-than-anticipated volume of traffic, which reduced their service lives. At the same time, the amount of funding available for repairs was not as great as had been originally anticipated and continues to be prob- lematic, resulting in a large number of roads and bridges being used past their design lives. Departments of Transportation are tasked with deploying new techniques and new products that will extend pavement life until funding for more extensive road replacement becomes available – and they are challenged to do so in timeframes that reduce traffic interruptions and lane-closure times. Rapid-hardening cement is help- ing meet this challenge, as it sets and gains strength rapidly. When rapid- hardening cement combines with water (hydrates), it forms crystalline compounds much faster than does portland cement, getting traffic back on the road in less time. Here are some projects that are us- ing state-of-the-art paving solutions to save taxpayer dollars, while providing more durable and safer road surfaces. Denver I-70 Bridge Repair In the late 2000s, the I-70 bridge be- tween State Highway 265 and State Highway 2 in Denver was one of 46 bridges in the metro Denver area that was being used past its intended de- sign life. The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) deemed it to be in imminent need of repair, since its 60 expansion joints had been cor- roded by water and salt and deteriora- tion of the reinforcing steel and sur- rounding concrete had resulted. With New technologies and products can extend pavement life to help address the chronic pavement problems of the highway and bridge building industry.

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