Colorado DOT impressed with HMA Asphalt

“We went with an HMA (hot mix) instead of a SMA (stone mastic mix) and we can really tell the difference.” – Martha Miller, Colorado DOT Engineer

(Eagle, Colorado) — The resurfacing of Interstate 70 from Eagle to Gypsum has gone smoothly. Literally…

Colorado DOT Engineer Martha Miller thinks that a new threshold may have been achieved. “I believe this eight mile section may now be the smoothest road in the State of Colorado. We went with an HMA (hot mix) instead of a SMA (stone mastic mix) and we can really tell the difference.”

According to Miller, the SMA mix is far more common, but does not produce quite as smooth a finished surface as the HMA. This particular mix called for a finer grade of gravel, helping to smooth the finished product even more. Another peculiarity of the job was the decision to only remove and replace existing asphalt in the actual traffic lanes. “The shoulders were left intact as they were in pretty good shape”, Miller remarked. “This created a unique challenge for the contractor. Lafarge had to match up with a seam on both sides as they laid the new material.” This was a first for a project under Miller’s watch.

“Lafarge did a great job, things went very well. Especially from a safety standpoint. It was a complicated assignment, and they kept everything moving without a hitch.”

Leaving the shoulder sections in place created a huge savings in the overall construction cost, another plus for the project.

The bulk of the work will be finishing up in the next week or so, right on schedule. The access ramps at the two interchanges were saved for last and should be done in a few days. Then there will be some fine tuning, striping and clean up to take care of. Nothing out of the ordinary, and that’s how Miller likes it. She has high praise for the general contractor and their work effort. ” I can’t say enough about how Lafarge has performed. This was a tricky project and they did very well. I think everyone is impressed with the quality of the finished product.”

By: Tom Buzbee


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