IDOT utilizes VRAM in Massac County, Illinois

Project Details

A road construction project utilizing a Void Reducing Asphalt Membrane (VRAM) project took place on November 8th in Massac County, Illinois. (Note: in Illinois VRAM is often referred to as LJS).

This road construction project runs from Teague Hill Road to Benton Road. VRAM was applied with a targeted 18” wide band (as seen below) to the centerline joint on a recently applied binder lift. The application was the 1.5” 9.5mm fine graded surface mix.

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 distributor began shooting the VRAM onto the road. The distributor was shooting from the driver’s side, beginning at the north end of the project heading south.

The VRAM application for this 19,300-foot project began in the early morning of November 8th, and the project finished with the hot mix asphalt (HMA) paving later this day.

Asphalt Paving Operations:

Once the VRAM application was completed, the paving process began. Paving began in the northbound lane paving southward. The width for the paving process was 11 feet wide.

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

  • A Vogele Super 2000-3i paver
  • A CAT CB34D 12-ton breakdown roller
  • A Hamm HD120i – 12-ton intermediate roller
  • A Hamm HD130i finish roller

The breakdown rollers were making 5 vibratory passes along with 3 passes with the intermediate roller.

Pictured above: The asphalt paving operations 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.

The road mix was 1.5”mm and utilized IDOT 9.5mm fine graded PG64-22, D-mix, N=70. As briefly mentioned earlier, this was applied over a recently applied binder lift.

Upon completion, the project came to a successful wrap in the afternoon.

Benefits of Void Reducing Asphalt Membrane (VRAM)

With the utilization of VRAM, Marshall County is helping to create a more resilient and reliable infrastructure and supply chain. Not only is it helping to create a more resilient and reliable infrastructure and supply chain, but also preserving the lifespan of the roads. By building roads that last longer with the utilization of VRAM, multiple benefits follow. One main benefit includes being environmentally friendly. Since asphalt is the most recycled material over paper and cans, it is an important contributor to a circular economy. A circular economy is when products are used, recycled, and then reused repeatedly.

The Power of VRAM

As road managers know, the first part of the pavement to fail is the longitudinal joint located at the centerline of the road. This joint is extremely susceptible to the elements, such as air and water. These natural elements will work down through the gaps in the road, which results in pre-mature deterioration, cracking, and potholing of the joint. And once the longitudinal joint fails, the rest of the road soon follows, which eventually triggers the need for maintenance of the entire road.

However, by including the addition of VRAM, it ensures the protection of the road from deterioration, saves tax dollars, and even saves the environment. With the presence of longer lasting roads, it ultimately reduces the need for constant repairs and touch-ups, which in the end saves the natural resources and reduces the emissions that arise from the construction equipment.

J-Band®, Asphalt Material’s, Inc. VRAM product has a 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. In fact, an Indiana DOT life cycle analysis (LCCA) 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, because roads last longer.

VRAM creates longer-lasting, safer roads which leads to a more resilient, reliable and sustainable infrastructure. And when roads last longer, infrastructure dollars go further. Learn more about how longer-lasting roads save time, money, and lives by reading the several studies about VRAM that we have posted on our website. You can access them by clicking this link: 

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® is a VRAM product of Asphalt Materials, Inc. that was created in the labs of The Heritage Research Group.

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

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