New highway repair techniques tested

Deb VanDeWoestyne
Henry County Highway Department employees are completing the Cold-In-Place Recycling (CIR) Project along County Highway 24, known as the Kentville blacktop. The project began at the end of May and was completed in the middle of June. Funding for the project was a result of Stimulus Funds from the Federal Government.

    Henry County Highway Department has recently completed the Cold-In-Place Recycling (CIR) project along two roads, County Highway 39 (known as Bishop Hill blacktop) and County Highway 24 (known as Kentville blacktop).   

    The CIR project, which began the end of May, was completed the middle of June.  Funding for the project was a result of Stimulus Funds from the Federal Government.

    The project consisted of recycling the existing asphaltic materials along both roads.  This was the first attempt at this type of recycling in Henry County.  The final phase of the road work was delayed due to the heavy rains during those weeks of scheduled work. 

    Experience in cold recycling indicates a need for obtaining optimum moisture content in the reclaimed asphalt pavement material so that the emulsified asphalt can be dispersed effectively in the mix. The recycled mixtures are usually susceptible to damage from moisture intrusion and abrasion by traffic. 

    According to Henry County Engineer Steve Brandau the moisture level needed to be below two percent before the final seal coat could be applied. 

    "We had to wait until the material had a chance to dry out due to the rainy period," he said. "This new type of process strengthens the base for roads that will be black topped in the future.” 

    Cold recycling of asphalt pavement is a method of recycling that can yield significant savings in labor and materials, greatly reduce a project's negative impact on the environment, and provide a sustainable answer to the problem of asphalt concrete maintenance.

    If the material performs like the county anticipates, the CIR process will be used on more Henry County roads next summer.  Other Illinois counties currently using this process include Mason, Sangamon and Tazewell.

    For more information, call the Henry County Highway Department at (309) 937-3346.