Wyoming Demonstration Project: Wyoming Hwy 196 – Buffalo South/WMA Overlay Project
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Wyoming Demonstration Project: Wyoming Hwy 196 – Buffalo South/WMA Overlay Project

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    The Buffalo project was both WYDOT and the contractor’s first experience with additive based WMA. Prior to this project, WYDOT had undertaken a WMA project (foaming based) near College Drive, Cheyenne, WY. On this project, WMA and HMA overlay of 4.79 miles of a secondary two-lane highway was carried out. The project, located south of Buffalo, Wyoming, involved pavement rehabilitation on Wyoming Highway 196 in Johnson County from milepost 294.63 to milepost 299.42. The last rehabilitation of this section of roadway, excluding the maintenance patching, was carried out in the late 1950s. This project received 80 percent Federal funding and 20 percent State funding. Wyoming DOT undertook this project anticipating that the properties of WMA will allow for easier and better compaction, lower permeability, and reduced segregation, resulting in better long-term pavement performance.The innovative technologies deployed on this project were 1) warm mix asphalt (additive and foaming methods), and 2) 6:1 taper. A suite of laboratory testing was conducted by WYDOT to evaluate the concerns related to WMA’s potential for increased rutting and moisture damage. The Hamburg Wheel Tracking (HWT) test results indicated that the WMA mixtures have the potential to exhibit higher initial rutting (i.e. consolidation during initial stages after construction); however, their rate of rutting accumulation stabilizes over time and is comparable to that of HMA at later years. The HfL performance goals on quality and safety aspects of this project were met. The user satisfaction survey conducted by the WYDOT indicated that a high percentage of the local residents and traveling public were satisfied with the project. The contractor received a net bonus of $32,621.98 for mat density, aggregate gradation, asphalt content, and smoothness. Cost comparison between WMA and HMA, based on the winning bid, indicated that the unit prices (i.e. $/ton) that the actual tonnage cost of WMA was 9.4 percent higher than HMA. Since the placement of HMA and WMA would have required the same construction time, there would be no differential user costs between the traditional and as-built scenarios. Hence, the computation of user costs was deemed not necessary. WYDOT had no cost associated with the Warm Mix aspect of the project except what is reflected in the bid prices. Also, the contractor received no incentive except for those related to QA
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