Enhanced productivity, improved efficiencies and cost savings are but a few of the benefits attributed to Transportation and Public Works new 30-foot long, 16,000-pound asphalt milling machine. The milling machine is an affordable alternative to addressing the current $134 million backlog of road maintenance projects within the City’s 509-mile street system. Asphalt milling is an affordable solution for asphalt pavement repair and is often used as a less costly alternative to complete road reconstruction.
When asphalt pavement needs replacement, you cannot simply continue to add new asphalt layers over the existing pavement. If you did, the pavement height would be increased to the point that gutters, curbs and connecting pavements would be dramatically affected. Instead, the old pavement needs to be removed so that the height of the pavement remains correct. There are two methods of removing the existing pavement. Heavy equipment can be brought in to remove it, or it can be removed through milling.
The milling process involves grinding up an asphalt surface, anywhere from a couple of inches to a full-depth removal, to provide a smooth and even surface for repaving. Asphalt milling is most appropriate for pavements which have widespread surface damage like cracking, raveling, or uneven slope. When preforming surface repairs and the subbase is intact, there’s no need to conduct a full demolition and repaving. Instead, the affected layers can be removed with a milling machine and replaced with new hot-mix, actually repaving the damaged portion of a street as opposed to just patching potholes. This process is faster than saw cutting and removing the material with a backhoe, reducing costs by saving time as well as materials.
The milling machine is currently milling and filling utility trenches in Roseland along Dutton Avenue in preparation for the county’s pavement project on Dutton and Corby avenues as part of the City/County Roseland Annexation agreement, where the county agreed to overlay Dutton Avenue when was annexed to the City. Funding for the $250,000 milling machine was achieved as City staff evaluated current fleet inventory and level of usage to identify older, less efficient city equipment that was then sold-off to fund the new milling machine.
Milling offers several advantages over traditional methods of removal.
With milling, the amount of pavement removed can be very precise. For Example, if only the top layer requires replacement, the milling machine can be set to remove just that layer. With traditional removal methods, all layers of the pavement are typically removed.
Milling is usually faster than removing pavement the traditional way. This means that streets can be open sooner and that there will be less disruption to traffic.
Milling is more economical than traditional removal.
- Because just the affected layers can be removed, it will be less expensive to repave.
- The costs associated to haul and deliver will be reduced as less material is removed.
- City recycles the milled asphalt.
- Improved efficiencies reduce the labor hours required to complete the job.
- Reduction in large truck usage means less carbon emissions.
For more information on the City’s Pavement Management Program, visit https://srcity.org/568/Pavement-Management-Program