Pavement Maintenance Trends in 2019
BY ARRA’s Eric Baker
MAP-21, Environmental Product Declarations, and the launch of roadresource.org continue to impact pavement maintenance trends. Roadtec’s Eric Baker, Asphalt Recycling & Reclaiming Association president, shares his thoughts.
From the Asphalt Recycling and Reclaiming Association (ARRA) perspective, some of the key developments for the best use of recycled asphalt materials in preservation methods this season are coming from the federal level.
The biggest game changer for ARRA was really the MAP-21 Highway Bill that was enacted back in 2012. The bill required states to develop and implement an asset management system and through this we have seen states shift their focus to preventative maintenance and preservation of the national highway system. This has created substantial growth for our member companies and new markets that did not exist prior to this.
The other development at the federal level is what are called Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs). You can think of these like nutrition facts for food, but in this case it is the environmental impact from cradle to grave of a pavement process. Asphalt pavements and their ability to be recycled in so many ways excel in these sorts of declarations and the higher the recycle content, typically the better you are going to do in these, which really plays into the ARRA disciplines and pavement preservation.
The biggest thing that our members are specifically doing is building awareness of our disciplines through our new website roadresource.org. This site is quickly becoming the one stop shop for agency personnel who want to learn how to prolong the life of their pavements by using cold planing, cold-in-place recycle, hot-in-place recycle or stabilization and full depth reclamation. We hosted “Super-User” training in March for representatives of our member companies who will be utilizing the site in their day-to-day discussions with specifiers and designers. This will allow them to train these people to use the powerful tools on the site such as the different life cycle cost calculators and selection guides.
With some state agencies still reluctant to allow high RAP contents the closer we get to the surface of the pavement, it stands to reason that we are going to generate more RAP than we can put back into the mix. Therefore, we have seen some new creative uses for RAP such as using it as aggregate out in front of a CIR process to improve the structure of the resulting mix. We have also seen a growing interest in cold central plant recycling either utilizing a mobile train in a stationary setup, a dedicated CCPR plant or modifying a hot mix plant to produce cold mix. These are just a few of the creative best uses of recycled asphalt.
Eric Baker is the 2019-2020 ARRA president. He has been at Roadtec Inc., Chattanooga, for 15 years working in different roles in the marketing and sales department covering all product lines. Some of his duties include managing sales, training, product management and product development. For ARRA, he previously served as the Cold Planing Technical Subcommittee chair as well as on the board of directors. For the National Asphalt Pavement Association, he currently serves on the Associate Member Council as well as the World of Asphalt committee. Baker attended Iowa State University and has his Bachelor of Science in computer engineering. He has three kids with his beautiful wife Courtney and lives in Chattanooga.