A facelift for Florida

Oct 03, 2016

N Port What do three years, nine phases, $40 million, 266 centerline miles and “good for the environment” have in common? That would be the City of North Port’s massive pavement resurfacing program designed to address the needs of this growing area in Florida.

North Port is located one-half hour southeast of Sarasota, one hour south of Tampa and only 20 minutes from the scenic Gulf of Mexico. Despite its prime location and beautiful weather, the city’s roadway infrastructure was not so beautiful prior to 2014. In fact, its roadway system was failing. Matt LaChance, technical marketing at Ingevity, explains: “The city had ignored their infrastructure for many years before realizing that much of their 800 mile network was on the verge of failure. North Port leaders chose to bond $46 million to reconstruct or resurface 266 miles of selected roadways across the city so that the road network matched the beautiful scenery.”

Once the bond passed, the city had to ensure that the money was well spent. This is when engineering consulting firms HDR and VHB were brought on board to develop a specification and bid documents, as well as manage the projects and the public works staff. During the specification development phase, the consultants suggested that the city require the use of warm mix asphalt (WMA) to be both ecologically responsible and to gain greater road life by lowering temperatures. In order to ensure the lowest temperatures possible, the specification called for a chemical additive from the approved product list of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). Matt explains: “Because the specification also called for the use of a liquid anti strip, Ingevity’s Evotherm® WMA technology was the natural choice for Ajax Paving, one of the asphalt producers that won bids.”

Ajax embarked upon what would become a much-needed facelift for the city’s roads: a 100,000 mix ton county—residential overhaul using Evotherm. Ajax produced a PG 58—28, 40% RAP, 9.5 mm surface mix terminally blended with Evotherm. The project began at 7:30 a.m. when the ambient temperature was in the mid 70s, quickly increasing to 93ºF. Mix was produced at 275ºF with minimal temperature loss over the 30-minute haul.

Rusty Reynolds of Ajax is emphatic that “the ability to produce this type of mix at 275ºF and achieve consistent density, texture and aesthetics during a 30-minute haul with minimal temperature loss is outstanding. This was a reality because we used Evotherm.”

The result of Team Ajax—North Port is an outstanding roadway that’s a testament to both partner’s openness to innovation and their tireless commitment to the environment.