The Solution to Rising Road Repair Costs and Shrinking Budgets
In today’s economic environment, Texas county commissioners are facing some very serious challenges when it comes to providing their taxpayers with safe, smooth roads. Not only are actual budgets declining in terms of absolute dollars, but categories within the budgets are not stable, including items such as fuel and asphalt. How can doing full-depth recycling with the Asphalt Zipper help ease those problems while delivering the best possible value to the taxpayers? The answer is lower mobilization and operating costs.
The Zipper tows behind a pickup truck and can be at numerous job sites during the day. Its universal bucket mounting system allows it to be used with any loader. It consumes less fuel, between seven to 12 gallons an hour, and can do up to a mile or more of road during that hour. In addition, the Zipper can be used to rehabilitate asphalt, chip seal, or gravel roads.
Bill Davis of Wichita County reported a savings of three days of labor for every half mile of road. That type of labor savings goes a long way toward paying increased fuel costs.
Full-depth recycling with the Zipper addresses the real maintenance problems. By reconstituting the base and getting a good recompaction, the repair will not only last longer, but with chip seal or gravel it will also be smoother and safer with the additional benefit of less dust.
Even in tough budget years, taxpayers expect a certain level of service. The Asphalt Zipper is the least expensive and most cost-effective way to deliver a superior level of service when it comes to your roads. Fix it Once, Fix it Right, and Forget it.
ERGON Asphalt & Emulsions
Road and Bridge Spotlight: Bexar County
A new chip seal emulsion is helping counties preserve their roads and lower their total costs. Chip seals involve spraying a road’s surface with asphalt emulsion, covering the emulsion with stone, embedding the chips into a uniform high-friction surface, and sweeping away any excess chips.
With over 2 million square yards of chip sealed roads, Bexar County is heavily invested in Pavement Preservation.
“Chip seals are our program,” says Tony Vasquez, streets and drainage manager for Bexar County.
Bexar County is using the Cationic Rapid-Setting High-Float (CHFRS-2P) manufactured by Ergon Asphalt & Emulsions. The emulsion is BASF’s polymer-modified Butonal® 1122, which is specially designed to provide improved adhesion, resistance to weather, and long-term durability. Myles McKemie, vice president of Ergon’s South Mid Continent Region, stated, “CHFRS-2P combines the significant advancements in polymer and cationic chemistry with the traditional benefits of high float emulsions. We expect it to save money for our customers from construction throughout its service life.”
The unique chemistry of CHFRS-2P provides a very quick set. This allows the county to open roads to traffic much sooner than with conventional emulsions.
“We don’t want to inconvenience our residents,” Vasquez said. “We want to treat the road quickly, and then move on to the next road.”
Using CHFRS-2P, Bexar County can increase its roads’ lifespans to a degree that would have been impossible with conventional emulsions.
“We typically plan to treat each of our roads on an average of eight years,” Vasquez said. “The new emulsion and quality stone we’re using should allow us to extend that to meet our budget restrictions and improve our roadway network condition.”
The Railroad Yard
Robertson County Replaces Collapsed Concrete Culvert with Half-Tank Car
Robertson County Pct. 1 Commissioner Keith Petitt had a problem on his hands. An old concrete box culvert had collapsed on Red Hill Road between the towns of Calvert and Hearn.
“I don’t know if the culvert collapsed due to age, or if it was heavy equipment crossing over it,” Petitt said.
While attending a county government conference, Truman Starr of The Railroad Yard began telling Petitt about the newest drainage solution that was not only affordable, but relatively easy to install.
“Truman told me about the half-tank car culverts, and he said that the culvert was exactly what I needed,” Petitt declared. “I was not disappointed when it arrived. There were strong weld seams from one end to the other, and no spot welds; the culvert was everything Truman had said it was.”
Starr was an Anderson County commissioner for 12 years as well as a past president of the North & East Texas County Judges and Commissioners Association. He had done it all, from installing bridges to culverts. Thanks to his experience serving the State of Texas as a county commissioner, and his knowledge of drainage solutions, Starr is now serving as a vice president of Texas sales for The Railroad Yard.