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NEW ROAD MATERIAL TO BE TESTED ALONG AIRPORT ROAD AND MIDDLE RANCH
Rough, uneven asphalt and billowing clouds of dust along Catalina’s private roadways in the interior may soon become a thing of the past. Beginning the week of June 22, the Conservancy will begin testing two environmentally friendly liquid polymer-resin products that will result in pothole-free, highly durable driving surfaces.
The two test sites will include a two-mile stretch of the Airport Road between Summit Vista and the Middle Ranch turnoff, and in Middle Ranch from Pimu’s enclosure to the Quail Valley bridge.
A machine like this Caterpillar RM-500 Cross-Shaft Pulverizer and Stabilizer from Pavement Recycling Systems of Mira Loma, California will be used to install the test roadways along Airport Road and Middle Ranch Road.
Photo courtesy of Pavement Recycling Systems
The Conservancy asks Island Residents to limit their trips into the interior from Monday, June 22 through Saturday, June 27. Flagmen will be diverting traffic on the Airport Road onto one lane during that time. Middle Ranch Road will be closed completely on Saturday, June 27. Access to Little Harbor and Two Harbors will not be possible via Middle Ranch Road on that day.
The test will last through the rainy season well into 2010.
The two products to be tested are PX300 from the G.M. Boston Company, and Soiltac from Soilworks, LLC.
“We’ve been looking for a long-term sustainable solution to our road issues,” said Mel Dinkel, Chief Operating Officer and Treasurer for the Conservancy. “This method and process may offer solutions to the entire Island including Two Harbors. Even the city of Avalon has to ship over hot asphalt to rejuvenate its streets. These products offer a solution to asphalt at a fraction of the cost with the added advantage of being environmentally friendly.
The test is being funded through a $500,000 grant from Los Angeles Supervisor Don Knabe and road access fees from the Conservancy’s Road Fund. The Conservancy will also be assisted by Erik Updyke and Greg Kelly of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works.
The material and process are relatively easy to apply, Dinkel said. The existing road surface— either asphalt or dirt—is broken up to a depth of 5- to 6-inches either using a pulverizing reclaiming machine or by using 36-inch discs pulled by a tractor. The polymer liquid is applied directly to the roadway. Then the polymer and road surface material are mixed then compressed using a vibratory steel drum roller. Curing time is less than 24 hours.
To lay the new roadway, the Conservancy’s Facilities Department will use a specialized grinder/mixer that will be brought over to the Island from Pavement Recycling Systems in Mira Loma, California. Dinkel said a third test will be held starting at the Middle Ranch turnoff to Pump Station #2 using only equipment owned by the Conservancy.
The polymer in these products will result in highly compacted with low permeability – meaning water can’t seep into the material causing potholes. The products are non-toxic, non- carcinogenic, non-flammable and non-combustible. They are non-polluting and will not leach dangerous chemicals into the dirt below the roadway.
“These products are very eco-friendly,” Dinkel said. “We can even lay a temporary road, and then plow it under later with limited impact to the land.”
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