Research Reports

Use of Fly Ash for Reconstruction of Bituminous Roads

Principal Investigator:

Craig Benson, Tuncer Edil, Paul Bloom, Ali Ebrahimian, Brian Kootstra, Lin Li

August 2009

Report no. Mn/DOT 2009-27

Projects: Use of Fly Ash for Construction of Bituminous Roads

Topics: Asphalt, Pavement design for cold climates

Recycling part or all of the pavement materials in an existing road during reconstruction is an attractive construction alternative. When reconstructing roads surfaced with hot mix asphalt (HMA), the HMA, underlying base, and a portion of the existing subgrade often are pulverized to form a new base material referred to as recycled pavement material (RPM). Compacted RPM is overlain with a new HMA layer to create a reconstructed or rehabilitated pavement. This process is often referred to as full-depth reclamation. Similarly, when an unpaved road with a gravel surface is upgraded to a paved road, the existing road surface gravel (RSG) is blended and compacted to form a new base layer that is overlain with an HMA surface. Recycling pavement and road materials in this manner is both cost effective and environmentally friendly. However, recycled base materials may contain asphalt binder, fines, and/or other deleterious materials that can adversely affect strength and stiffness. To address this issue, chemical stabilizing agents can be blended with RPM or RSG. Use of industrial material resources for stabilization (e.g., cementitious coal fly ash) is particularly attractive in the context of sustainability. The purpose of this study was to develop a practical method to design local roadways using stabilized RPM or SRSG as the base layer and Class C fly ash as the stabilizing agent. The design method was developed in the context of the "gravel equivalency" (GE) design methodology employed for local roads in Minnesota.

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