How La Crosse County, WI Improved Their Longitudinal Joint Performance

Wisconsin is one of the many states that are constantly looking for ways to improve their infrastructure. In the last 2 years, La Crosse County, Wisconsin has been working on improving the longitudinal joint performance of their pavements. By using a Void Reducing Asphalt Membrane (VRAM), like J-Band, they have been able to reduce the density at these joints, which in turn leads to a decrease in air voids and an increase in pavement longevity.

VRAM is a highly polymer-modified asphalt cement that is placed at the location of a longitudinal joint before paving. As HMA is paved over it, the VRAM melts and migrates up into voids in the low-density mix, making the mix impermeable to moisture while sealing the longitudinal joint itself. 

This 17,500 ft project on County Road PI in La Crosse, WI ran from Highway 162 to the Vernon County line, approximately 0.5 miles north of County P Highway.

VRAM was scheduled to be applied on the centerline of a new level binder course. After arriving, they noticed that the surface mix was a fine graded mix and the application rate was lowered.

ProTack, the applicator, heated the VRAM to 320°F and began spraying 1.6 miles south of Highway 162.

VRAM’s unique nature and chemistry has helped roads last longer in over 21 states across the U.S.

The Paver used on this project was Cedar Rapids CR451. Breakdown roller – CAT CB54, 12 ton, static up and back, 4 passes. Intermediate roller – Hamm GRW280i, 15 ton, pneumatic, 4 passes. Finish roller – Ingersoll-Rand DD-90, 8 ton.

J-Band Is A Sustainable Solution That Saves Time, Money and Lives.

An investment in protecting the longitudinal joint helps roads last up to 5 years longer and delivers a return on investment of 3 to 5 times its cost. An Indiana DOT life cycle analysis showed that an investment of $12.5M in J-Band would result in a $39M in savings (approximately 3:1 ROI). While the use of J-Band adds initial cost to the road, it delivers a significant return on investment of up to five times its cost.

We believe that these types of projects will motivate project teams to collaborate to achieve better outcomes. Test and control sections should provide an objective measure of sustainable performance, which will draw attention to the good work being undertaken by counties like La Crosse County, WI.

J-Band® is a VRAM product from Asphalt Materials, Inc. and was created in the labs of the Heritage Research Group. J-Band has been helping roads last longer since 2002 and is currently in 21 States and The District of Columbia.

Visit our Resource tab here to view other state studies that recommend VRAM as a solution to building longer lasting, safer roads:


Wisconsin DOT Research Recommends Extending Roadway Life with VRAM
Meet the J-Band Team: Jeff Tidaback