PCA Study Shows Full-Depth Reclamation Is Cost-Effective

Staff | September 28, 2010

A recent Portland Cement Association (PCA) study says full-depth reclamation (FDR) with cement can cost-effectively extend pavement life.

In FDR, failed asphalt pavements are pulverized, then reclaimed in place, using cement to stabilize the pulverized materials and form a new pavement base.

The cement-stabilized base is then surfaced to provide a new, long-lasting pavement.

Although FDR has been used for more than 20 years, this is the first study of its long-term performance.

The new PCA report evaluates more than 75 projects in eight states, using a pavement-condition index that rates the type, extent and severity of damage. The average rating for FDR projects was 88 percent to 97 percent, indicating excellent performance.

In no case did the cement-stabilized reclaimed base lead to severe road distress.

The PCA says FDR can cost 30 percent to 60 percent less than conventional reconstruction and can be completed faster and without as much traffic disruption.

FDR's lower cost, says the PCA, has helped highway agencies reconstruct up to twice as many projects (with the same budget) as they could have using conventional methods.