US-41 Recycled

By Aram Kalousdian, Editor | September 28, 2010

A $6.3-million resurfacing and widening project on US-41 (M-28) from Negaunee to west of M-95 in Michigan's Upper Peninsula involved milling off approximately 1-1/2 inches of asphalt, placing one surface course of 1-1/2-inch thick 5E3 asphalt from Negaunee to Ishpeming, a 1-1/2-inch 4E3 asphalt leveling course, and a 1-1/2-inch 5E3 asphalt surface course from Ishpeming to M-95. Concrete approaches and concrete curbs and gutters were also placed in Ishpeming. Payne & Dolan was the prime contractor for the project.

Approximately 16,000 tons of existing asphalt was removed and 8,000 tons to 12,000 tons of the existing asphalt was put back down into the new mix. Approximately 10,000 tons to 12,000 tons of 22A gravel base course was also placed on the project.

The road ranges from two lanes to five lanes. The project began in May and it was expected to be completed in September, according to Tom Piekarz, project manager for Payne & Dolan.

"We milled off 1-1/2 inches on most of the project and then we pulverized a portion of the shoulders on the west end of the project and we pulverized the approaches," Piekarz said. A CMI RS-500B pulverizer was used on the project.

"Pulverizing is a good way to go because you utilize the existing asphalt and give the base more strength. You're recycling what is there," Piekarz said.

"We usually pulverize 2 inches to 3 inches into the gravel and we mix the asphalt and the gravel together. This provides more strength in the base and you can re-grade and match the existing grade."

Approximately 2,000 feet of road was widened from two lanes to five lanes in Ishpeming. New 8-foot shoulders were added from Ishpeming to M-95. Approximately 17,000 tons of 13A mix was used on the shoulders.

Carrying out the project while maintaining traffic was a challenge. "The biggest challenge we have on all of these projects is traffic control," Piekarz said.

Subcontractors on the project included A. Lindberg & Sons (grading); Arrow Construction (concrete work); and Snowden Inc. (seeding and sod). Piekarz said that the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) made the project go smoothly.

The project was expected to be completed approximately one month ahead of schedule. "MDOT was a big factor in how well the job went. If it weren't for their help it wouldn't have gone this smoothly," Piekarz said.