VRAM Strengthens Rice Lake Road in St. Louis County, MN

Project Summary  

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 and reduces the joint’s vulnerability to the elements and 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, we work with local and state departments of transportation to monitor each product application, including this project in St. Louis County, Minnesota. 

2023 Project Review                             

Applicator: ProTack 

Prime: Ulland Brothers                 

Location: St. Louis County, MN 

Date Constructed: August 14-15, 2023 


Weather Conditions: 60 F 

The project took place on 1.8 miles of Rice Lake Road in Duluth, Minnesota, from E. Central Entrance to Public safety Drive. VRAM was applied on two longitudinal joints and the turn lanes. Personnel from ProTack, Ulland Brothers, St. Louis County and Asphalt Materials, Inc. (AMI) were present on the project.  

VRAM application began at 7:47 a.m. The width of J-Band on this project was targeted at 18” wide with a rate of 0.95 lb./ft., and the surface course is a 2 3/4” fine graded mix. Totals for the day were 2790 gallons (23,237lbs) applied over 24,091 feet for an average of 0.96 lb/ft. VRAM application was finished being applied on August 15.   


Weather Conditions: 70 F 

Paving began on August 14 at 9:45 a.m. The first paving pass was in the north bound lane through to Pecan Street. A BOMAG CR652RX paver, CAT steel drum roller and a Hamm steel drum roller were used. The vibration was on the rollers, and each made five passes before finishing with a rubber tire roller. The average temperature for the 2 3/4” fine graded mix was 285°F with an average migration of 1/2″ migration. 


At AMI, 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.  

Explore our interactive map to see more projects that have utilized VRAM at the time of construction and learn how longer-lasting roads save money, time, and lives here  

J-Band® is a VRAM product of AMI. To learn more about J-Band, or to connect with our team, you can email us at: Marketing@Asphalt-Materials.com

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