Full-Depth Pavement Reclamation At Airports….

More Economical, Environmentally Friendlier & Faster Than Total Pavement Reconstruction Methods

Published in Midwest Flyer Magazine December 2022/January 2023 Digital Issue

When full-depth pavement “reconstruction” isn’t financially feasible, and a mill and overlay will only provide a short-term solution, airports often find themselves in a bind.

To minimize disruption of airport operations and keep cost down, Bolton & Menk, an engineering firm with offices in Mankato, Minnesota, and elsewhere in Minnesota, North Dakota, Iowa, North Carolina, and South Carolina, applies the full depth “reclamation” (FDR) process to reconstruct the pavement at airports. FDR is the process of pulverizing the existing thickness of asphalt surfaces and blending it with the underlying aggregate base layer to form a reclaimed asphalt base layer. This layer is then shaped, graded, and compacted with a new asphalt surface paved over it. Bolton & Menk uses the FDR process to recycle existing materials to provide a high-quality product at substantially lower cost than complete reconstruction methods.

The FDR Process

Step 1: Evaluate the Pavement
• Evaluate the existing asphalt and aggregate based thickness to determine if
FDR is the best approach.
Step 2: Reclaim the Existing Pavement
• Pulverize the existing asphalt layer and blend it with the underlying
aggregate base layer to create a reclaimed asphalt base layer.
Step 3: Grade, Shape, and Compact The Reclaimed Base Layer
Step 4: Pave New Asphalt Surface Over Reclaimed Base

Why FDR?

Bolton & Menk uses the FDR process to recycle existing materials to provide a high-quality product at a substantially lower cost. The company first worked with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in 2015 to allow utilizing the FDR process on airports before it became officially allowed.
• Using the FDR process reconstructs pavement with a substantially lower construction time and cost, resulting in little downtime for the airport.
• Pavements reconstructed utilizing the FDR process are environmentally friendly by greatly reducing emissions from dump trucks.
• Pavements reconstructed utilizing the FDR process have shown to perform as well as full-depth reconstructed pavements over their 20-year design life.

The History of the FDR Process

• 2015 – FAA allowed the City of Hutchinson, Minnesota to reconstruct Runway 15/33 utilizing the FDR process.
• 2016 – FAA allowed the City of Litchfield, Minnesota to reconstruct Runway 13/31 utilizing the FDR process.
• 2017 – FAA allowed the City of Willmar, Minnesota to reconstruct taxi lanes utilizing the FDR process.
• 2018 – FAA created its own specification for full-depth reclamation.
For more information about the FDR process, contact Silas Palmer at Silas.Palmer@bolton-menk.com (www.bolton-menk.com).

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