How Williamson County, Illinois is Extending the Life of Roads with VRAM.

About this project:

A road construction project utilizing a Void Reducing Asphalt Membrane (VRAM) project took place on October 25th in Williamson County, Illinois. (Note: in Illinois VRAM is often referred to as LJS).

This project covered the distance from 0.1 miles south of Washington Street to Jacksonville Road. VRAM was applied with a targeted 18” wide band (as seen below) to the centerline joint on a recently milled and tacked surface.

This was an Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) project.  

Pictured above: VRAM applied on the centerline joint.

The applicator for this project was Road Fabrics Inc (RFI).

The prime paving contractor was E.T. Simonds.

The VRAM application for this 22,941-foot project began on October 25th, and the project finished with hot mix asphalt (HMA) paving on October 26th.

Asphalt Paving Operations:

The next day following the VRAM application the paving process began. Paving began in the eastbound driving lane paving eastward. The width for the paving process was 12 feet wide.

The paving equipment for this portion of the project consisted of:

  • A Roadtec SB 2500c MTV
  • A Vogele Super 2000-3i paver
  • 2-CAT CB13 12-ton breakdown rollers
  • A CAT CB 534D 12-ton intermediate roller
  • An Hamm HD-120i– 12-ton finish roller

The 2 breakdown rollers were working in tandem. The breakdown rollers were making 3 vibratory passes along with 5 passes with the intermediate roller.

Pictured above: The asphalt paving operations on one side of the road taking place after the VRAM application.

The road was paved with 1.5” mm of PG 64-22, D-mix, N=70 surface mix. As mentioned earlier, this was over a recently milled and tacked surface.

VRAM can Help State and Local Agencies Achieve Several DOT’s Strategic Objectives

Agencies are now being asked to build more resilient and sustainable transportation systems to benefit and protect communities. VRAM can help achieve many of these objectives. VRAM can help improve the resilience of at-risk infrastructure by building longer-lasting, safer roads. Historical data from previous VRAM projects shows that 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.

J-Band® is a VRAM product of Asphalt Materials, Inc. with a long performance track record dating back to 2002. J-Band was created in the labs of The Heritage Research Group in collaboration with state and local agencies and industry experts.

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). Every dollar invested in J-Band® can save at least two dollars in avoided and deferred maintenance costs. This means that more agency dollars can go to new projects, and less to maintenance and repairs.

Applying VRAM to the centerline joint aids in protecting the most permeable part of the road from air and water, which will damage the pavement as they work down into the pavement.

J-Band® is unlike other methods, because it is a materials approach to fixing the age-old problem of longitudinal joint issues. It is a highly polymer-modified asphalt cement that is placed along the location of the longitudinal joint before paving. Below is a video explaining how J-Band works.

You can also learn more about Asphalt Material’s mix application product line AMIBIND™, by visiting our website:

Editor’s Notes: VRAM, Void Reducing Asphalt Membrane, is referred to in Illinois as LJS, Longitudinal Joint Sealant.

Centerline joints and longitudinal joints are often used interchangeably in describing the area of the pavement where two sections come together.

Depending on the situation VRAM can be sprayed at different widths. It should be noted that 18” is a typical application width for centerline applications.

J-Band®, CCAP ®, and T-BOND® are registered trademarks of Asphalt Materials, Inc.  AMIBIND™, AMIBOND™, AMICYCLE™, AMIGUARD™, and AMISEAL™ are trademarks of Asphalt Materials, Inc.

IIJA Helping to Build Resilient Transportation Infrastructure
IDOT Constructing Roads with VRAM to Protect the Roads