Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s consistent investments to “fix the damn roads” (#FTDR) reminds us of the importance of using innovative technology to build longer-lasting, safer roads. By applying a Void Reducing Asphalt Membrane (VRAM) at the time of construction to longitudinal joints, local and state departments of transportation can ensure their roads are less vulnerable to elements like rain and snow. VRAM fills pavement voids in the longitudinal joints and helps create stronger, safer, and more sustainable roads.
Below outlines a VRAM application project in Michigan along US-31 with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). The project is part of a larger effort in Michigan this summer to #FTDR. MDOT plans to invest $2.5 million total to repave US-31 (Division Street) in Traverse City and Garfield Township from the Grandview Parkway to 10th Street, and 14th Street to South Airport Road.
2023 Project Review
- Owner: MDOT
- Applicator: Specialized Construction, Inc. (SCI)
- Prime Paving Contractor: Team Elmer’s
- Location: Grand Traverse County, MI
- Date Constructed: June 4-5, 2023
2023 Project Observations
Our Specialty Products team assists, observes, oversees, and inspects projects that utilize Asphalt Material Inc.’s (AMI) VRAM product, J-Band®. Our team recently helped with a VRAM application June 4-5, 2023, in Grand Traverse County. The project covered almost 3 miles of US-31 from Airport Road to Bay Street. Personnel from SCI, Elmer’s, MDOT, Asphalt Pavement Association of Michigan (APAM), and AMI were present on the project.
June 4, 2023
Weather conditions: Ambient 67°F
VRAM was applied at 8:45 p.m. at the northbound joint between travel and pass lanes at 18 inches. It was also applied at 9 inches at the center of the middle turn lane from Airport Road to Market Place Circle on a milled surface. Total gallons for the day were 1,730 (14,791 pounds) applied over 13,364 feet for an average of 1.10 pounds per foot.
Paving began at 9:30 p.m. using two CAT AP1055 pavers, two CAT CB13 steel drum rollers, and a Sakai 4000 VPM steel drum roller. The rolling pattern for the two breakdown rollers consisted of six vibratory passes and one static pass. The finish roller worked in static mode across all lanes.
June 5, 2023
Weather conditions: Ambient 73°F
VRAM was applied at 8 p.m. at the northbound joint between travel and pass lanes at 18 inches. It was also applied at 9 inches at the center of the middle turn lane from Airport Road to Market Place Circle on a milled surface. Total gallons for the day were 1,870 (15,988 pounds) applied over 13,364 feet for an average of 1.19 pounds per foot. Paving began at 9:15 p.m.
Observations over the past 20 years have shown that pavements utilizing VRAM last 3-5 years longer than those not constructed with VRAM, delivering positive long-term economic, social, and environmental benefits to road construction projects.
At Asphalt Materials, we understand that longitudinal joint deterioration has long been a problem for engineers, applicators, and the driving public. VRAM was developed to help create longer-lasting, safer roads through a collaboration between state transportation agencies, industry experts and the laboratories of The Heritage Research Group.
Since 2002, this approach has improved the performance of centerline joints and entire pavements in more than 23 states. To learn more about J-Band®, or to connect with our team, you can email us at: Marketing@Asphalt-Materials.com.