Harnessing the Power of VRAM to Fix the Damn Roads in Michigan 

Before Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer took office in 2019, she promised to “fix the damn roads” (#FTDR). As she progresses into her second term, improving Michigan’s infrastructure continues to be one of her top priorities. She regularly urges Michigan residents and businesses to share their experiences with Michigan’s infrastructure on social media with the hashtag #FTDR, and residents will see new projects being worked on throughout the summer.  

Michigan’s continued investments to #FTDR remind us how important it is to use innovative technology to build longer-lasting, safer roads. Recently WPBN-TV (ABC Traverse City) shared that the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is utilizing Void Reducing Asphalt Membrane (VRAM) on US-31 in Traverse City this summer. 

For this project, MDOT will remove and repave about two inches of asphalt on US-31 and apply VRAM underneath the new asphalt joints before paving to make the joints last longer, which will make the entire road last longer.  

Importance of Protecting the Middle of the Road 

The longitudinal joint is the Achilles’ heel of every paved road. As a road’s most permeable part, air and water work down through this gap causing the joint to deteriorate, crack and pothole. After application, VRAM is covered with hot mix asphalt and migrates upwards filling voids that can be penetrated by air and water, which prevents the damage before it starts.  

As voids are reduced, density increases, and permeability decreases. This extends the life of the joint, which improves the performance of the entire pavement and extends the life of the pavement up to five years longer.  

J-Band® is a VRAM product from Asphalt Materials, Inc. and was created in the labs of the Heritage Research Group. Our business has been helping build longer-lasting, safer roads since 1956. We also like to #FTDR & are excited to see MDOT investing in innovations like VRAM. 

VRAM has been used to save infrastructure funds in 23 states and DC with even more projects underway across the country. View our interactive map to see other projects from across the country.  

VRAM still protecting roads in Wayne County Over Four Years Later  
VRAM Still Paying Dividends for I-81 in Schuylkill County Pennsylvania