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The Wisconsin Asphalt Industry Insider is a platform for WAPA members to share what's new and exciting at their companies with pavement owners, operators, and contractors across our state. We hope you find this information useful! 

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Paving With a Politician: Walbec Group Welcomes State Senator

Rachael Cabral-Guevara

State Senator Rachael Cabral-Guevara recently visited a Northeast Asphalt | A Walbec Group Company project with the Wisconsin Transportation Builders Association and got to experience it up close.

She was surprised when Walbec invited her to operate the paver!

On Walbec’s Highway 15 project between Greenville and New London, WI, the senator spent 30 minutes on the paver, learning how it works and engaging with the operators to learn more about what they do.

Senator Rachael Cabral-Guevara said, “I would do this every single day if I had the opportunity. Everybody plays a role, and it’s a finely oiled machine to get these roads out, and I’m hoping to not take them for granted in the future.”

#TeamWalbec was proud to have shared their pride with Senator Cabral-Guevara and show her how they work. By taking these opportunities to speak directly with lawmakers, we can help them gain a better perspective and make informed decisions that impact our communities.

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AMI Leads National Roads Research Alliance Study on Rumble Strip Durability

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Asphalt Materials, Inc. (AMI) is leading a National Road Research Alliance (NRRA) study in Wisconsin to prioritize preserving the safety-enhancing benefits of centerline rumble strips. The study will take place through 2024 and aims to determine whether proven technologies like a void reducing asphalt membrane (VRAM) and rapid penetrating emulsion (RPE) can extend the life of rumble strips as safety tools.

During the 2023 season, AMI worked with three Wisconsin county highway agencies to build research sections using AMI’s VRAM product J-Band® and AMIGUARD™ RPE.

Highway projects constructed by Rock, Sheboygan and Wood Counties included the treated sections as well as control rumble strips with no treatment. All sections will be cored for laboratory evaluation and monitored for field performance for years to come.

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The study includes critical lab and field support provided by Heritage Research Group and Behnke Materials Engineering. Local contractors such as Rock Roads, Payne and Dolan, Surface Preparation Technologies and Champaign Asphalt made this a true industry-wide collaborative effort.

These counties add to the growing list of agencies in Wisconsin that are finding value in J-Band® and AMIGUARD™. For more information on this project or the benefits J-Band® and AMIGUARD™ can offer, visit www.thejointsolution.com or contact jbandinfo@thgrp.com.

AMI is also proud to introduce the newest member of the J-Band® team, Field Support Manager Candice Kohn. Candice supports the specialty products team across Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa.

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Husky Asphalt is now Cenovus Asphalt

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MSA Finds Value in Use of VRAM in Wisconsin

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Void Reducing Asphalt Membrane (VRAM) has been used for decades by many states and communities across the United States, but hasn’t taken hold in the State of Wisconsin — until recently.

VRAM is a longitudinal joint sealant manufactured by J-Band® comprised of a mix of asphalt binder and modifiers. It is an economical preventative maintenance product that inhibits and auto-seals longitudinal crack propagation in pavement from the bottom up to improve performance and extend its useful life. VRAM is spray-applied as an 18-inch-wide heavy fluid membrane on top of the intermediate binder lift longitudinal joint as part of the normal HMA construction process. It quickly cures in place after which it is topped with the HMA surface layer. As the pavement ages, the product remains pliable, so when surface cracks develop, the VRAM continues to inhibit propagation and self-seals over time.

Longitudinal joints have been an area of concern within the industry for opening up and developing fissures over a roadway’s lifetime, which allows for water infiltration, structural degradation and corresponding deformations. Utilizing a product like VRAM delivers reduced asphalt permeability at the joint, a high bond strength, and added protection against several common distresses. As such, it greatly extends the life span of roadways and reduces annual maintenance time and cost.

This solution is gaining traction and support in Wisconsin municipalities; in fact, the City of Baraboo utilized VRAM on two phases of a recent large residential development and is now requesting that it be used on a WisDOT urban roadway project within their community.

The City of Baraboo utilized VRAM in 2022 and 2023 to construct approximately 7,000 feet of roadway in developing the Greenfield Reserve subdivision — a 60-acre housing project on the City’s east side off State Highway 33. Recognizing the cost benefits and low-maintenance nature of the VRAM product, city leaders are attempting to have it used once again by WisDOT on the reconstruction of approximately 1.75 miles of State Highway 33 through the center of the City, a 2-year project that is currently underway. This project is a full reconstruction to address deteriorating conditions and a conversion of an existing concrete four-lane undivided roadway into an HMA two-lane highway with a two-way left-turn lane in the center and associated utility upgrades.

MSA has been at the forefront of introducing VRAM’s capabilities to the City of Baraboo and encourages other Wisconsin communities, contractors, counties, and agencies to research and consider it for their future roadway improvement projects.

For more information, contact MSA Senior Public Works Project Engineer Nick Manke, Ph.D, P.E., at nmanke@msa-ps.com. nmanke@msa-ps.com.

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Experience Stationing Like Never Before With the All-New OnStation 4.0!

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Prepare to embark on an exciting journey into the world of digital stationing and uncover the impressive new features that define OnStation Version 4. This advanced platform is designed to streamline your digital stationing experience, offering collaborative tools that provide comprehensive location-based project records from the initial bid to the final close, ensuring clarity, expedited project timelines, enhanced safety, and increased productivity.

With a sleek and intuitive new design, our latest update has not only elevated functionality but has also made the platform more user-friendly than ever before. Your stationing experience is now taken to a whole new level!

Explore the cutting-edge features, improved functionality, and a user experience that's unrivaled in the industry. Stay ahead of the curve with OnStation 4.0!

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Benesch's Culvert Structure Replacement is an Alternative Delivery Success Story

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WisDOT needed to replace the box culvert structure carrying WIS125/College Avenue over Mud Creek in Appleton, WI. Originally built in 1953, the roadway/crossing is a major arterial carrying more than 30,000 vehicles per day and connecting I-41 to downtown Appleton, the Appleton International Airport, and major commercial districts. The structure had not only become structurally deficient, but it was critical to replace it before the start of the nearby I-41 expansion project. To make that happen, WisDOT opted for design-build delivery to accelerate construction, making it Wisconsin’s first design-build endeavor to be completed.

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As owner’s representative on the project, Benesch helped WisDOT navigate the complex alternative delivery process through both the design and construction phases. Key elements of this $3.8 million project included traffic mitigation during full closure; structure removal, replacement, and asphalt tie-in; construction around high-pressure gas mains; coordinating closures and access for numerous stakeholders; and keeping the highly aggressive schedule on track. Another important task included providing feedback and lessons learned to WisDOT for future design-build endeavors.

The project, following an accelerated two-month construction schedule, is slated to wrap up successfully and on time this fall. 

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American State Equipment Expands SAKAI Compaction Lineup

American State Equipment in Wisconsin is expanding our SAKAI compaction lineup with the following new products: The industry-first Guardman automatic emergency braking system for asphalt rollers and the SV414ND oscillatory soil compactor.

Guardman: This cutting-edge technology uses millimeter radar or 3D-LiDAR (depending on the roller model) to detect and automatically brake for personnel, objects, and equipment behind (and front for SW884/SW994 rollers) the asphalt compactor in an emergency. A sophisticated intelligent controller compensates for compactor speed and day or night visibility. This safety option even works through dust / steam and was designed to be used for paving next to walls without worry of false alarms. Guardman has been proven outside the US for years with commercial asphalt paving contractors. Now it’s available in Wisconsin.

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Guardman: This cutting-edge technology uses millimeter radar or 3D-LiDAR (depending on the roller model) to detect and automatically brake for personnel, objects, and equipment behind (and front for SW884/SW994 rollers) the asphalt compactor in an emergency. A sophisticated intelligent controller compensates for compactor speed and day or night visibility. This safety option even works through dust / steam and was designed to be used for paving next to walls without worry of false alarms. Guardman has been proven outside the United States for years with commercial asphalt paving contractors. Now it’s available in Wisconsin.

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SV414ND: Oscillating soil compactors are typically used in regulated no-vibe areas due to soil type and in situations where compaction must be achieved but with reduction in felt vibrations, noise, and damage to nearby structures. Like all ND-series models, oscillation AND vibration capability are user-selectable in the same drum. SAKAI oscillation is uniquely gear-driven -- as opposed to belt-driven -- saving equipment managers the time, hassle, and expense of belt servicing. The SV414ND is an 8-ton class, 67-inch soil roller powered by a Cummins QSF 2.8 with 74 HP and is built in Adairsville, Georgia along with many other dirt and asphalt rollers.

For more information, visit www.amstate.com or www.sakaiamerica.com

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Motion Engineering, Inc. Offers Expert Asphalt Plant Consulting Services

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We offer manufacturing consulting services for all stages of your asphalt plant journey. This includes new parts, previously owned parts, new and used equipment, and new plant planning. Planning and prepping for the erection of a new or used plant is integral, and we have the experience, knowledge, and hands-on expertise to help you. No matter what you need guidance with, we are your consulting partner.

We take your vision and turn it into a reality — an affordable reality. Give us your specs and your budget and we’ll work together to create a design layout and provide you with a custom solution that saves money.

Budgets dictate all kinds of plant development. Our asphalt plant manufacturing consulting services experts can help you get what you need at a fraction of the cost, whether it’s using your old equipment and refurbishing it, setting up an all-new plant, or using a combination of new and used parts and equipment that we’ve customized and retrofitted for you. We specialize in taking previously owned parts and equipment and putting an entire custom plant together including all the retrofitting. 

We offer consulting services in many other areas including:

  • Fuel conversion
  • Maintenance plans
  • Inspection services
  • Plant efficiencies
  • Specialty projects
  • Burner stretches
  • Silo inspections

  • Insulation services
  • Full plant inspections
  • Trunnion adjustment
  • Drum flighting
  • Thickness testing
  • Baghouse inspections

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FORTA FI® Fiber Performance Report -- U.S. Highway 51 in Wisconsin

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Project 1176-21-70 was a composite overlay of U.S. Highway 51 that was remediated in 2013. The distresses reported by WisDOT were “Full Lane Weather and Raveling,” and transverse and longitudinal cracking in both wheel-path and centerline. The contractor proposed to overlay the project with an 9.5-mm thinlay containing FORTA-FI® Asphalt Fiber on a section, while other sections were chip-sealed. The overlayed section containing FORTA-FI® extended the pavement life until 2022, when the project was reconstructed with a thicker asphalt pavement.

The pavement survey data and pictures show that a 9.5-mm thinlay mix with FORTA-FI® was effective, extending the life of the pavement by nine years. The thinlay mix performed much better than the chip-seal, which required crack-sealing and patching. The underlaying rubbilized concrete joints caused three to four times the reflective cracking in the chip-sealed sections. Review of the thinlay with FORTA-FI® showed that mix attenuated cracks from progressing across the lanes. The pictures & data show cracks that have appeared tend to be less than a quarter-inch wide, which do not require crack sealing by specification.

At FORTA®, we have one goal: to create tougher, more durable pavements, providing customers with the highest quality asphalt. Our asphalt pavement projects have been put to the test in real-world, head-to-head projects around the country, and have withstood the test of time.

The full report on WI U.S. Highway 51 is available upon request. If you’d like to learn more about asphalt fiber reinforcement, contact Dan or Cole Large with FRC.

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Registration is now open for TDA's Annual Meeting on November 15

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Thanks as always to all WAPA members who participated in this newsletter.

In closing, we would like to remind readers about our 64th Annual Conference and Business Meeting, to be held at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells on November 28-29, 2023.

Register to attend, exhibit or sponsor.

See the Conference Page for the full agenda and hotel information and make your plans to attend the asphalt event of the year in Wisconsin!

As always, please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or if there is ever any way we may be of assistance. Thanks again, and see you in November!

Deb Schwerman

Wisconsin Asphalt Pavement Association 



Wisconsin Asphalt Pavement Association | www.wispave.org