Which Approach to Pavement Preservation Do You Take?
In order to have efficient conversation regarding pavement preservation, it’s probably best that we get on the same page in regard to the types of maintenance being undertaken. Regardless of how little or well-prepared any agency is, they probably take part in each of the three types of pavement preservation related to managing the assets that are your roads.
Whether it’s replacing blown tires or readjusting vehicle alignment, the cost of just maintaining a healthy operating vehicle can be exhausting. But what you may have not realized is that the condition of the roads you are driving on could be adding to that cost. In fact, according to The Washington Post, the average urban driver spends $515 a year on car repairs as a direct result of poor road maintenance. (more…)
UPM®, Permanent Pavement Repair Material
Demonstrating UPM® in High Volume traffic and Heavy Loads. Install Conditions: Wet Below 40º Pavement Conditions: Poor Installation Date: February 15, 2012 Time Elapsed: 4 Months Location: Stromsburg, NE, 6th & Washington
Heavy farming equipment with light industrial
UPM®, Permanent Pavement Repair Material
Demonstrating UPM® in High Volume traffic. Install Conditions: Wet Above 40ºF Pavement Conditions: County Road Installation Date: February 2012 Time Elapsed: 2 Months Location: City of Stanton, KY, Peter Trace Road
UPM was used to repair several potholes in an area where the county has made MULTIPLE re-repairs. These repairs were made without removing the water prior to product application.
Kold Flo®, Modified Asphalt Emulsion Crack Filler
Demonstrating Kold Flo® in at a Municipal garage. Install Conditions: Dry Above 40ºF Pavement Conditions: Asphalt parking lot with linear ¼” cracks and alligatored areas Installation Date: April 26, 2012 Location: Menifee County, KY, County Park
Repairs were made to a busy entrance for Menifee County Park. Open to traffic in 25 minute with zero tracking.
Demonstrating UPM® permanent pavement repair material in High Volume traffic on an industrial road. Install Conditions: Wet Above 40ºF Pavement Conditions: Brick road, repair filled with water Installation Date: October 15, 2011 Time Elapsed: 3 Months Location: Winchester, KY, Industrial Road
This repair was immediately opened to truck and passenger vehicle traffic and endures constant high traffic daily. The rain water was not removed from the repair area.
The push for energy efficiency is everywhere—and now it is working its way underneath our roads. Solar panel roads are one of the latest technologies making the transition from testing to implementation. Although the technology itself is well researched and effective, it poses many issues for daily use. Overall, the cost and complexity of solar panel roads make them a frivolous option next to the traditional paving materials used in concrete or asphalt roads.
Given that the current expense of maintaining roads is already an issue, increasing the cost of roads up to 40 times with solar panels is hardly economical. By the time the costs of maintenance and repair are factored in, the process of repairing a simple pothole will pale in comparison. In theory, though, solar panel roads could come with a whole variety of extra features.
Some of the benefits that solar panel roadways could offer include:
As nice as these may sound, though, they will likely fail under inclement conditions.
Solar Panel Roads, Asphalt Roads, and Winter Damage
One of the strongest arguments against solar panel roadways is the question of their effectiveness in winter weather. Firstly, a thick layer of snow will render the solar panels, and all of their added perks, useless. The energy to power the roads will then have to be pulled from the electric grid, making it less than energy efficient.
Snow plows offer little help in this situation. The process of clearing snow with a large metal blade will deteriorate solar panel roads and their uneven glass surfaces. Plus, potholes in glass roads will have sharper edges and cause more damage to car tires. In general, solar panel roadways are too delicate and elaborate to function well in harsh settings or under the stress of constant use.
While progress towards energy efficiency is always positive, it is important for researchers to recognize these practical, everyday flaws. The research on solar panel roads is an exciting advance for the paving industry, but testing and redesign are necessary. Until then, though, traditional asphalt roads will continue to get the job done.
Read more about Unique Paving Materials’ energy efficiency initiative, which has been a part of our paving solutions business from the start. Unique’s pavement repair materials and cold mix asphalt are sustainable, long lasting solutions to road damage.