For years, the town of Milford, MA has been using pavement preservation techniques to make their roads last longer and stretch taxpayer dollars further. In addition to traditional hot mix paving, they have relied on Crack Sealing roads every few years, Micro Surfacing or Chip Sealing roads with minor deterioration, Mill and Fill, Hot In-Place Recycling, or Full Depth Reclamation (FDR) on roads exhibiting deeper distresses. In August 2018, they put a new treatment to work and recycled 4 lane-miles (1 centerline mile with 4 lanes) of Rt. 109, the town’s main commercial thoroughfare right off Interstate 495, using Cold In-place Recycling (CIR).
Scott Crisafulli, the Highway Surveyor for the Town of Milford for the past 14 years, described the decision:
For me, it was an easy decision. The road’s rough condition and its heavy traffic volume made it an ideal candidate [for CIR]. I had seen CIR perform well in other local towns and it was over 60% less expensive [than traditional methods] for our taxpayers. Plus, it’s better for the environment to recycle.
The decision might have been easy, but the problems facing the road were complex. The road was in poor condition with cracks as deep as 4”. Crisafulli wanted to keep the 7” curb reveal and maintain existing drainage patterns. In addition, original road construction included block-built manholes and a pavement depth of 7” to 9”, much thicker than most town roads. A typical 1.5” to 2” mill-and-pave job would have addressed the road’s surface but would not have prevented the deeper cracks from reappearing within a couple of years. Full Depth Reclamation, the norm for heavily cracked roads in the region, would have solved the pavement distress problem but would have been much more costly due to the complications and design of the road, and much more disruptive to traffic.
Resident and Business Impact
Finally, Rt 109 is a very high-traffic road, and CIR’s ability to minimize inconvenience to the community was an important consideration. The CIR stabilization method selected utilized foamed asphalt cement because of its rapid curing properties which allow a quick return to traffic. The project only took two weeks from start to finish including application of a 1.5” hot mix asphalt wearing course. The CIR “train” of equipment was a novelty to the community and the fact that it allowed the traffic to continue to flow during recycling was a welcome surprise. Resident response was very positive, appreciating the quick construction time, the quality of the road, and the ability to recycle existing road material to significantly reduce the amount of construction-related truck traffic and environmental impacts.
Two years after reconstruction, the road is performing as expected, with no cracks or wear appearing. Based on these results, Crisafulli plans to further integrate CIR into their arsenal of pavement preservation practices – with 3.4 lane miles (1.75 centerline mile with 2 lanes) slated for this summer. He believes CIR is an effective tool that rounds out his toolbox with an important in-place offering that saves time, money, the environment, and downtime to the traveling public.