A different approach for an I-90 facelift near Ritzville

By Ryan Overton

While many construction tasks round the state are simply getting underway, crews are near wrapping up work on I-90 among SR 21 and Ritzville. And in this project, we tried anything just a bit different.

Stone Matrix Asphalt. No, it does not contain Keanu Reeves – although that could be fantastic – but it is nonetheless fairly cool. But extra on that in only a bit.
Trucks line up on I-90 near Ritzville as part of a paving project nearing completion. This stretch of I-90
near Ritzville hasn't had a significant paving job in more than 15 years.

The final time this stretch of I-90 – protecting about 10½ miles – had a complete pavement grind and inlay of asphalt was 2002. There was a few minor reconstruction work in 2008 but total the freeway has remained incredibly unchanged for extra than 15 years. You would possibly have observed extra put on at the freeway within the previous couple years, with a few massive rutting and cracks causing the roadway to seem to be aged.

Typically the pavement cycle for resurfacing is set each 10 to 15 years, so 17 years is longer than normal. To prolong the life of this subsequent pavement cycle, we are utilizing Stone Matrix Asphalt, or SMA, for the by way of lane.
A look at the difference between Hot Mix Asphalt and Stone Matrix Asphalt

Generally a elementary asphalt blend is referred to as Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) or dense graded asphalt. The roadway is flooring down and paved over. The HMA, made from a mixture of sand, oil and aggregate stone among 3/8- to ½-inch in size, is poured at the road. It will get heated, pressed down and rolled into that tender floor all of us recognize and love.

SMA is same with its use of ½-inch rock. The other and extra tough edge is packing the rock down with the use of an awful lot less oil or sand. If you will be able to pack the rock down, over time you will be riding on rock exceptionally than a upper concentration of sand and oil. That skill with SMA, it is the rock – exceptionally than the sand and oil – that will take the brunt of the wear, permitting for a a lot slower breakdown of the roadway over time. This skill an awful lot less rutting and cracking of the pavement and an extended life of the roadway.
This 10½-mile stretch of I-90 will soon have a new layer of asphalt.

We've used SMA a number of different occasions on tasks round the state with some success and given the stage of site visitors in this stretch of highway, this appeared like a nice opportunity. The aim with an SMA roadway is to get 15 to 20 years of life out of it and have it final longer than with HMA pavement.

There's nonetheless a pair of weeks left at the mission but as soon as it is done, recent asphalt that ought to final longer might be in region to offer drivers a smoother experience on I-90.


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