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County recycling road-paving materials

By Valerie Baldowski

vbaldowski@henryherald.com

Henry County officials say some of the county's blacktop is going "green."

To save money and time on some of its latest road-paving projects, the Henry County Department of Transportation (DOT) is using a process called Cement Stabilized Reclaimed Base Construction, according to Henry County Communications Director Julie Hoover-Ernst.

The process is useful for roads such as Hearn Road, Thurman Road and Airline Road, in north Henry County, said Hoover-Ernst.

"Hearn Road has so many potholes and cracks, the usual process of patching could take weeks," Hoover-Ernst said. The use of the Cement Stabilized Reclaimed Base Construction process can result in a newly-resurfaced road for less money and less time, she said.

Henry County DOT Construction Supervisor Tony O'Neal said in a statement that the process requires less fuel and discharges fewer emissions by avoiding hauling asphalt to and from the job site. The process also negates the need for the use of a landfill, by using recycled materials.

"The reclamation process uses the asphalt and base material plus a binder agent, in this case cement," O'Neal said. "These materials are mixed by a machine on the roadway, and nothing has to be hauled away. The traditional way of patching and resurfacing roads means we have to mill out existing asphalt in failing areas, haul it away and then haul new asphalt in, to repair the area.

"This method only repairs certain areas of the roadway, whereas the reclamation process rebuilds the base on the entire roadway. It is actually a much faster process and less labor-intensive than traditional patching and resurfacing."

O'Neal said that on Hearn Road, the materials alone for patching would have been more than $55,000 above the cost of the reclamation method, not including the additional six days it would have taken to patch the road.

The county is using the process on various other roads because of its advantages over traditional repaving methods, Hoover-Ernst said.