The longitudinal joints in pavements are often the weakest points of a road, but applying a Void Reducing Asphalt Membrane (VRAM) at the time of construction fills the pavement voids to reduce the joint’s vulnerability to the elements and reduce permeability. This ultimately leads to stronger, safer, and more sustainable roads and reduces the need for ongoing road maintenance.
Because VRAM delivers long-term economic, social, and environmental benefits to road construction projects, it is important to monitor the impact of VRAM on each project. We work with local and state departments of transportation to ensure each project undergoes an annual review, including this project on Illinois Route 29 (IL-29) in Sangamon County.
2023 Project Review
- Owner: Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT)
- Applicator: Road Fabrics, Inc. (RFI) and P.H. Broughton & Sons Inc.
- Location: Sangamon County, IL
- Date Constructed: Sept. 14, 18, and 21, 2017
- Date Reviewed: May 9, 2023
- Weather Conditions Day of Review: Sunny and 75 F
2023 Project Observations
Asphalt Materials Inc. Field Support Manager Jim Cunningham reviewed the IL-029 project in Sangamon County, Illinois, a two to four lane state highway. The road also features centerline rumble strips for most of the project. Rumble strips are a road safety feature that are applied along the direction of travel following an edge line or centerline, to alert drivers when they drift from their lane.
Pictured below is the Hackmore Drive Intersection of IL-29 on the first day of VRAM application in September 2017 and almost six years later in May 2023. The images show minimal cracking throughout the road where VRAM was applied. The review also found no cracking in the centerline rumble strip for most of the two-lane segment where VRAM was applied.
The VRAM performed very well after six winters. It protected the longitudinal joint by permeating the air voids and ensured the centerline, including rumble strips, were protected.
While centerline rumble strips are an effective strategy for reducing traffic accidents, they add additional stress to an already vulnerable part of pavements, the centerline joint. Rumble strips can reduce the life and performance of the road. Therefore, industry researchers are looking for ways that can help ensure rumble strips can be installed without compromising road life, including VRAM.
Applying VRAM at the time of construction, under the surface where centerline rumble strips will be installed, will reduce permeability in this most critical area. After placement of hot mix asphalt, the heat causes the material to migrate upward, filling voids and reducing permeability before the rumble strip is milled.
Asphalt Materials, Inc.
At Asphalt Materials, we understand that longitudinal joint deterioration has long been a problem for engineers, applicators, and the communities we live in. VRAM was developed to help create longer-lasting, safer roads through a collaboration between state transportation agencies, industry experts, and the laboratories at Heritage Research Group.
J-Band® is a VRAM 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: Marketing@Asphalt-Materials.com.
J-Band®, CCAP® and T-Bond® are registered trademarks of Asphalt Materials, Inc. AMIBIND™, AMIBOND™, AMICYCLE™, AMIGUARD™ and AMISEAL™ are trademarks of Asphalt Materials, Inc.
J-Band® was created in the labs of the Heritage Research Group (HRG) and is a product of Asphalt Materials, Inc. (AMI). To learn more about J-Band, visit www.thejointsolution.com.