Hot, Cold and Green
(and the 3Es)
In-place pavement recycling meets a variety of needs.
By Tom Kuennen, Contributing Editor
Green construction now is the No. 1 theme in roadbuilding, and hot-in-place pavement recycling (HIR) and cold-in-place pavement recycling (CIR) have taken on the “green” mantle big-time as the industry positions itself to new customers.
While reuse of materials and fuel savings always have been major sales themes of HIR and CIR recycling, the environmental benefit of these two processes has waxed large as green construction rises in desirability among road agencies.
In the regions where HIR and CIR specialty contractors operate, in-place recycling has been recognized as an environmentally sound road reconstruction application by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, via AASHTO’s Center for Environmental Excellence (http://www.environment.transportation.org/).
In-place recycling, both hot and cold, is likewise encouraged by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) as it implements its environmental stewardship policy.
In-place recycling (instead of conventional hot-mix asphalt paving) now is being encouraged in regions where air quality is an issue. For example, in 2011, California’s wine country agencies of the City of Napa and County of Sonoma are teaming up to promote cold-in-place recycling technology as a means to reduce carbon emissions. And the in-place recycling contractors are putting money down to support this interest.
Late last year, the national association that represents HIR and CIR specialty contractors among others – the Asphalt Recycling & Reclaiming Association – launched a new research center for asphalt recycling technologies. The Pavement Recycling and Reclaiming Center (PR2C) opened Oct. 1 and is a partnership between ARRA, California State Polytechnic University (Cal Poly) and the state Caltrans agency.
Feds Boost HIR, CIR Recycling
HIR and CIR processes are among the road reconstruction methods encouraged by the Federal Highway Administration as being exemplary green roadbuilding processes. This follows FHWA’s policy of encouraging recycling and use of recycled materials wherever possible in roadwork (http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/legsregs/directives/policy/recmatpolicy.htm).
“In-place recycling is another technology that we are promoting very heavily within federal highways in conjunction with our partner around the country, ARRA,” says Steve Mueller, P.E., pavement and materials engineer, Federal Highway Administration Resource Center, Lakewood, Colo. “There is cold-in-place recycling, and hot-in-place recycling, as well as full-depth recycling, so there is a lot more that we can do [to recycle building materials] with the material right on the road, instead of having to bring in new materials.