Colorado Public Works Journal, Fall-Winter 2018

16 • Colorado Public Works Journal On a recent visit to Colorado Springs, I was invited by Schmidt Construction Company to take a tour of their plant. Austin Maher, a project manager at Schmidt, showed me around and told me how they are producing FORTA-FI® fiber-reinforced asphalt, which increases the strength and durability of pavements, for the City of Colorado Springs’ 2C program. Collectively, they are working on furthering 2C taxpayer dollars for the City of Colorado Springs. The 2C tax program includes a city-wide 0.62 percent sales tax that goes toward the city’s roads and road improvements. This year, the City of Colorado Springs and Schmidt Construction Company were both intro- duced to Pacific GeoSource, a pavement solutions company. They identified Pacific GeoSource’s FORTA-FI fibers as an innovative pavement reinforcement technology to utilize in Colorado Springs. FORTA-FI is a unique blend of two types of fibers: aramid and polyolefin. Aramid, the same material as the recognized brand name Kevlar, reinforces asphalt with its extremely high tensile strength, while the polyolefin ensures instant and maximum dispersion of the aramid fibers. By significantly reducing cracking and rutting, FORTA-FI ultimately extends the life of asphalt pavement and reduces future road maintenance costs. What does it all mean for Colorado Springs residents? Fewer cracks, fewer potholes, and smoother streets—all adding up to a safer and more enjoyable driving experience. The City of Colorado Springs and Schmidt Construction have teamed up with Pacific GeoSource and paved two projects with FORTA-FI so far this year. To learn more about the actual projects where this material is being tested, I talked with Mike Hensley, Streets Program Supervisor for the City of Colorado Springs. He told us this was their third season using Schmidt Construction, who won a competitive bid for one of two contracts for the city’s 2C program. Using Broadmoor Bluffs Drive, a residential collector street with a 2-inch surface mat, they did a side by side placement. Mike told me “We placed 2,155 tons of FORTA-FI mixed product on the northbound side of the road and 2181 tons of conventional mix on the southbound side. Total placement covered 26,000 square yards of roadway. We did this in June of this year. We will be monitoring the road over the next 2-3 years and comparing the rate of reflective cracking.” At the plant, I saw how simple it is to add the fiber in with the recycled asphalt pavement (RAP). Mike confirmed how easy it was to apply, with no interruption in production and no notice- able difference in placement. “We are hoping this material will mitigate reflective cracking, improve the overall performance and life cycle of the roadway, ultimately saving the city maintenance costs.” On Airport Road between Academy Boulevard and Chelton Road, the city applied 3,137 tons of FORTA-FI asphalt mix to the full length and width of the roadway, approximately 18,000 square yards. This is a high-volume/arterial road. They placed an average 3-inch mat to accommodate the traffic and will monitor this segment for reflective cracking and overall performance as well. Jo Taylor is the Managing Editor for CPWJ and she can be reached at by Jo Taylor Images © Pacific Geosource CITY OF COLORADO SPRINGS 2C Program