The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) recently completed a repaving project funded by the state lottery on State Route 330 in Yalobusha County.
Stretching from Interstate 55 to Whitten Plant Research facility, the five-mile project completely rehabilitated the highway. Utilizing a technique called “full-depth reclamation”, the existing roadways was pulverized and mixed with cement to form a new roadbed.
“It’s like a giant garden tiller. The reclaimer breaks up the existing asphalt and roadbed to about one foot,” said Brian Ratliff, MDOT Chief Engineer. “It allows us to recycle the existing material to build a stable roadbed. We save time and money by not hauling out old material for disposal and then hauling in new material.”
After the reclaimer tills up the road, engineers test the material to make sure rocks and asphalt are broken up to specified sizes. Then the reclaimer comes through a second time to mix in cement. A water truck moistens the material before the reclaimer makes a third and final pass.
“Once the cement and water are mixed in, we compact the material to form a solid roadbed,” Ratliff said. “Once it cures, it’s ready for the surface course of asphalt.”
The whole process takes a few days versus weeks to use new material. The construction process fixes roadbed issues that cause the roadway to crack or rut, issues that can’t be adequately addressed with a standard overlay.
In the case of SR 330, several sections were severely rutted, causing the highway to hold water in rainy conditions. Full-depth reclamation levels the road and the surface asphalt creates a highway that should have a service life of 20 years or more.
“This is exactly what we need,” said Commissioner John Caldwell, Northern Transportation District. “Resurfacing projects like this provide a safer riding surface for the transportation of people, goods and services. Without the legislature providing these new monies, projects like this would still be undone. The $2.8 million project was awarded to Lehman-Roberts Company, of Memphis, in August and was completed in October. That is phenomenal.”
Funding for the project was provided by the Alyce G. Clark Mississippi Lottery Law which was enacted in the August 2018 special session. It created the Mississippi Lottery Corporation to oversee the sale of lottery tickets. The law designated the first $80 million of net lottery proceeds annually for state roads and bridges. The Mississippi Transportation Commission designated MDOT’s lottery proceeds for pavement restoration projects.
For more information about MDOT projects and current road conditions, visit MDOTtraffic.com, download the MDOT Traffic mobile app and follow @MississippiDOT on Facebook and Twitter.