St. Joseph County’s Infrastructure Dollars Go Further as the Roads Last Longer With VRAM 

About this project:

This Void Reducing Asphalt Membrane (VRAM) project took place on June 23rd in St. Joseph County, IN. It ran on State Road-23 from Gumwood Road to Bittersweet Commons East, a four-lane road with multiple turning lanes. The applicator was Illiana and the prime was Milestone for this project. Milling took place before the VRAM was applied, and the overall band width on this project was targeted at 18” wide. Illiana shot the centerline for the travel and passing lane, along with the travel and shoulder seam.

Pictured above: Illiana spraying VRAM on SR-23.

Milestone had a water truck on site to apply water to the VRAM band at intersections for crossing traffic. Due to the high ambient temperatures and because this area was a high-traffic shopping area, the water was sprayed to help the VRAM cool quicker.  

Pictured above: Milestone watering VRAM band for crossing traffic.

The Science Behind VRAM 

VRAM is a breakthrough discovery that helps roads last up to 5 years longer than roads that do not have the addition of VRAM. It delivers a return on investment of 3 to 5 times its cost. As roads last longer, the infrastructure dollars go further, and as a result, leads to a more resilient and reliable infrastructure and supply chain overall.

Pictured above: an infographic representation of how VRAM is applied and how it works. The estimated 18” VRAM band is sprayed and dries within no more than 30 minutes. The VRAM works its way up to the surface, filling any holes and voids.

Why Utilize VRAM? 

Road managers know that on the road, the first part of the pavement to fail is the longitudinal joint. As a road’s most permeable part, this specific joint is susceptible to the elements such as air and water. These elements will work down through the gap which results in the deterioration, cracking, and potholing of the joint. Once the longitudinal joint fails, the rest of the road soon follows which begins triggering the need for maintenance in the near future. 

By utilizing VRAM, it protects the road from deteriorating prematurely, saves tax dollars, but also saves the environment. With longer lasting roads, it reduces the need for constant repairs and touch-ups, which in the end saves natural resources and reduces emissions that arise from the construction equipment.  

More than 22 states across the nation now have experience with VRAM and have conducted studies to test the true benefits of utilizing VRAM. The state of Minnesota conducted several studies around the state and concluded with the creation of a special provision of VRAM.  

The issuance of MnDOT Special Provision 2331 was a huge step for the state and the drivers. Following Minnesota’s DOT Special Provision, local areas began road work across the state, which concluded in the usage of innovative, proven technology to protect its roads.  

To read more about this Special Provision, click the link below:

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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