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Recycling Pavement

On a four-mile section of Virginia’s I-81, a major north-south freight corridor, the pavement was 43 years old, well past its intended design life, and heavier volumes of truck traffic were taking a toll.

The Virginia Department of Transportation moved forward with a $10 million project that reused existing materials from the underlying road structure, while the driving surface received a new overlay of asphalt. The road construction method was not only environmentally sustainable — it reduced construction time by about two-thirds and saved Virginia millions, compared to the cost of conventional reconstruction. Traditional pavement construction would have required building another travel lane and would have taken one to two years to complete. By using in-place recycling, the project time was cut to seven months, resulting in significant cost savings, and reduced traffic disruptions.

Courtesy Virginia Department of Transportation

Courtesy Virginia Department of Transportation

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