More Than Five Years Later, VRAM is Still Protecting The Centerline Joint on Ohio’s Roads

What if I told you, that you could add 5 years extra life to your roads! Would you do it?

We know that when roads last longer, infrastructure money goes further. This is a very important topic given the vast amount of dollars that are invested in America’s roads and bridges every year. With the recent passage of H.R.3684, or the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), these investments are expected to significantly increase in the next five years.

By reviewing projects from more than 5 years ago, we will show how future projects can be constructed with the goal of adding at least 5 years of extra life to your roads by investing in a proven technology.

2021 Project Review

Owner:   ODOT                                

Applicator:   Road Fabrics                            

Prime:   Gerken

Location:   US-20 in Lucas County; Swanton OH  (Starts at Fulton/Lucas County line and goes east)

Date Constructed:   10-18-2016

Date Reviewed:   12-8-2021

Weather Conditions Day of Review:   Cloudy, cool with temperatures near 27°F.

Test Section vs Control Section

As with many well controlled studies, it is important to compare and contrast a test section with that of a control section. In this particular case, the control section will show the project results to date without the variable of VRAM. The test section used VRAM and will show the results to date of this section.

Control Section (No VRAM)

This project includes both a west control section and an east control section. Both sections show 100% cracking. The west section has cracking with widths in the 1/2”-5/8” range, while the east section has 1/4” to 1/2” cracking widths. The east section turns into 3 lanes towards the end with all 3 seams of these lanes showing cracking. The two sections of control are on US-20 from mile marker 0.00 to mile marker 2.11 and from mile marker 6.11 to mile marker 8.02.

NOTE: These pictures were taken by Chad Crosby of Asphalt Materials on December 8, 2021. Both the test and control sections were constructed in October of 2016.

Control Section: No VRAM used at time of construction.
Control Section: No VRAM used at time of construction.
Control Section: No VRAM used at time of construction.

Test Section (with VRAM)

The test section of this project is 4 miles in length. The test section on US-20 in Lucas County, Ohio is from mile marker 2.11 to mile marker 6.10.

Test Section: VRAM used at time of construction.


Test Section: VRAM used at time of construction.
Test Section: VRAM used at time of construction.

Asphalt Materials – VRAM Experience Since 2002

At Asphalt Materials, we understand that longitudinal joint deterioration has long been a problem for engineers, applicators and the communities we live in. Collaboration between state transportation agencies, industry experts, and the laboratories at Heritage Research Group, VRAM was developed to help create longer-lasting, safer roads.

Unlike other treatments, VRAM, a Void Reducing Asphalt Membrane significantly reduces air voids in longitudinal joints. J-Band® is Asphalt Materials’ VRAM product. J-Band is a materials approach, applied prior to paving under the eventual location of the longitudinal joint. It migrates upward, fills voids, and reduces permeability as the hot mix is installed on top of it. Since 2002, this approach has improved the performance of centerline joints and entire pavements in more than 21 states.

J-Band® is a product of Asphalt Materials, Inc. and was created in the labs of Heritage Research Group. To learn more about J-Band, or to connect with our team, you can email us at:

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