USH 12 Middleton Bypass | Middleton, WI

Cold In Place Recycling Gaining Steam in the Midwest

Quirin Klink, PE | with 0 Comments

Cold In Place Recycling Gaining Steam in the Midwest

Cold-in-place recycling (CIR) is gaining steam in the Midwest for reconstruction of deteriorating asphalt roadways. Cost-effectiveness, durability and environmental benefits are leading to the increase in popularity of CIR. 

CIR is completed with several machines working together in what is known as a “paving train.” These machines remove three to four inches of existing Hot Mixed Asphalt (HMA) pavement, crush it to a specific size Recycled Asphalt Pavement (RAP), and mix it with a foamed asphalt. Once adequate coating is applied to the RAP material, the CIR machine sends the coated RAP via conveyor to a separate asphalt paver machine, which trails behind at the end of the train. The finished product created by the CIR process can carry traffic shortly after roller compaction has been completed.

After a specified curing process, the contractor typically covers the CIR material with traditional Hot-Mixed Asphalt (HMA). The thickness of the final HMA layer is thinner than what would normally be required over normal-base aggregate, because the CIR material is a stronger, more durable base. The thinner HMA layers and the durability of the resulting pavement results in major cost savings for highway departments and municipalities as they reconstruct and maintain their roads. 
County Highway H in Sauk County, Wisconsin was the first project in Wisconsin to utilize a specialized type of CIR machine (pictured above) that combines several of the CIR elements into one machine. The Sauk County Highway Department used the CIR process for another county road 10 years ago and the highway commissioner estimates that the process has reduced roadway cracks by 50%. The County Highway H project is one of the first CIR projects administered and bid through WisDOT. 

Many interested Wisconsin Department of Transportation engineers and an asphalt industry magazine attended a field day, to view first-hand this flagship CIR project that was designed by MSA Professional Services, Inc. Mathy Construction, parent company of the project's contractor, DL Gasser Construction of Baraboo, Wisconsin, hosted the event. Check out these photos from the field day.

Residents depend on municipalities to develop and maintain safe, convenient transportation infrastructure. Would you like more information on CIR or other transportation solutions? Contact MSA's Quirin Klink.


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