2012 OPERA Projects
Evaluation of Deicing and Anti-Icing Technologies
The City of Grand Rapids assessed the operational efficiency of two alternative deicing technologies: tailgate spreaders and an Epoke bulk spreader. The city compared the performance of the spreaders on two equivalent routes, specifically examining the difference in material usage, time to complete the route, and roadway condition after deicing.
Sustainable Pavement Rehabilitation Using Thin Bonded Overlay Constructed with High Taconite Mix
The City of Duluth constructed three roadway test sections to evaluate the performance of thin bonded overlay mixes containing taconite tailings, a locally available mining byproduct.
Snow and Ice Products for Bituminous Trails in Recreational and Critical Areas
To improve winter maintenance service delivery on segments of residential bituminous trails and sidewalks, the City of Waconia began treating these areas with anti-icing and deicing winter maintenance liquids. The project included the creation of an application unit as well as the use of a blending station for winter maintenance liquids. Overall, the project allowed the city to reduce material use and staff time and to eliminate trail closures and safety issues.
Development of Aggregate Loss Factors for Rural Gravel Roads
Itasca County began collecting field data to measure gravel loss caused by traffic and winter maintenance activities. After four years of data collection, the information will be used to develop aggregate loss factors that can be used to predict annual gravel needs for a variety of roadway characteristics.
Greener Bituminous Pavements
Lake County developed potential reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) mixes containing imported, high-quality aggregates that could be tested in a low-volume pavement project. These mixes allowed the county to reduce costs by using less new asphalt while also using surplus RAP material available from local surface renewal projects. The addition of high-quality aggregates also provided a more durable bituminous surface than current mixes.
Implementation of an Anti-Icing Calibration Unit
The City of Golden Valley purchased an anti-icing calibration unit so its trucks could be calibrated for consistent salt and sand application. The goal of the project was to reduce the city’s material use, resulting in both a cost savings to the city and benefits to the watershed and surrounding environment.
Skid Loader Bituminous Screed
Murray County built a wide-screed skid loader attachment to improve the quality of its bituminous patching over large areas. The screed slides on hydraulically maneuverable skids that can be raised or lowered depending on the desired thickness of the patching material.