Lake County, IN is Helping Create Longer-Lasting, Safer Roads by Using VRAM

A two-day project took place on July 5, 2022, in Lake County, IN on West 153 Street from Morse Street to Clay Street. This is a two-lane road with multiple side streets and residences. This project included the application of a Void Reducing Asphalt Membrane (VRAM) to improve the longevity of the pavement.

Creating a Resilient & Reliable Infrastructure & Supply Chain

With the utilization of VRAM, Lake County is helping to create a more resilient and reliable infrastructure and supply chain. Building roads that last longer with VRAM is just one of the benefits. Other benefits include being environmentally friendly. Since asphalt is the most recycled material, it is an important contributor to a circular economy. A circular economy is when products are used, recycled, and reused repeatedly.

The video above demonstrates what VRAM is, how it helps and why it is extremely beneficial for the life cycle of the road.

About the Project:

The project lasted two days, with the application of VRAM occurring on the first day. The application width of VRAM on this project was targeted at 18” wide. During the application of the VRAM, a watering truck followed the truck applying the VRAM, to help cool the band more quickly. At the end of the first day, the total material applied covered over 39,577 feet. Illiana was the applicator and Rieth Riley was the prime on this project.

Pictured above: The application of VRAM completed from Morse Street to Clay Street.
Pictured: Paving on top of VRAM at the Lake County Project.

Paving took place on the second day of this project. On-site, there was a CAT AP 555F paver, CAT CB34B steel drum roller, and a CAT CB64B steel drum roller present. The CAT CB64B roller was operating as the breakdown roller, and the CAT CB34B roller was working as the finish roller, both in vibratory mode. There was a ¼” – ½” movement upwards of the VRAM, with a shadow present. This validated that the VRAM had successfully filled many of the air voids from the bottom up.

Results and Recommendations of Research involving VRAM

Reducing mixture permeability at and near the joint is identified as the most promising method to improve joint performance. A Wisconsin research team recommends that WisDOT continue its current standard practice regarding joint geometry and testing of the joint density, but to also consider the evaluation of other alternatives that show a significant reduction of the risk of premature joint failures. Based on published data and review of case studies, implementing and evaluating Void Reducing Asphalt Membrane (VRAM) during the construction process is recommended.1

1 – Final Report of Material Specifications for Longitudinal Joint Construction, Remediation and Maintenance1 :

J-Band® is a VRAM product from Asphalt Materials, Inc. and was created in the labs of the Heritage Research Group. VRAM has been helping roads last longer since 2002 and has been used in 22 States and The District of Columbia.

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

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