Better Roads

June 2014

Better Roads Digital Magazine

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Page 12 of 31

Better Roads June 2014 11 Applications & Innovations Applications Applications A recently completed project on the heavily traf- fi cked I-94 between Minneapolis and St. Cloud, Minnesota, provides an example of how one state Department of Transportation (DOT) is fi nding ways to do more with less. The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) used a variety of concrete repair techniques that were staged in order to minimize disruption to the public, maximizing longevity of the roadway as well as reducing the cost and hassle experienced by taxpayers. They also challenged several business-as-usual repair prac- tices in order to optimize their results. In the end, MnDOT achieved a high-performing surface on this stretch of I-94 during a four-year span using a variety of concrete pavement restoration (CPR) techniques – and did so cost-effectively. "Today, the public is not investing as much into our roads, which means it is almost impossible to build or rebuild 65 miles of two-lane interstate in two years as was done when this stretch of I-94 was originally constructed," says Dan Frentress, a pavement preservation consultant to the Interna- tional Grooving and Grinding Association (IGGA). Frentress points out some pavement repair techniques that have been used in the recent past have effective life-spans of only eight or 10 years and the math doesn't add up: When repairing short sections of interstate highways during a number of years (as is usually done for budgetary reasons), the earliest fi xes may be in need of repair again before the later stage work has even begun. "So new solutions have to be found – and they need to vary in their expected design lives in order to avoid having constant repair projects within a given stretch of roadway." State DOTs are now tasked with fi nding solutions that last at least 20 years. Fortunately, an array of new technologies and techniques – ranging from state-of-the-art diagnostic tools and heavy equipment to innovative fi eld procedures – are enabling industry professionals to come up with creative combinations of repair solutions. The I-94 corridor provided a testing ground for many of these 21st century approaches to road repair. One state's journey with aging interstates In 1973, the MnDOT began construction on a new section of I-94 between Minneapolis and St. Cloud. MnDOT District 3 engineers used the footprint of the existing Highway 52 Corridor to build the new roadway, advertised at the time as one of the few diagonal interstate highways in the country. They constructed 65 miles of 24-foot wide, nine-inch thick concrete pavement with 27-foot panels using skewed dow- eled contraction joints and completed the project in 1974. Using myraid concrete pavement restoration techniques, this state DOT minimized cost and traffi c disruption while maximizing longevity and optimizing results. Using myraid concrete pavement restoration techniques, this state DOT minimized cost Minnesota's New Solutions for Aging Pavement I-94 is completed with diamond grinding on the westbound lane. The eastbound lane was experiencing typical Sunday afternoon traffi c. A&I_BR0614.indd 11 6/2/14 9:56 AM

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