As California faces a growing crisis of crumbling roadways, it turns out there is a way to tackle our aging, broken up streets without going broke or sending another bond measure to the voters.
Cold-in-place recycling (CIR), a solution already used by many cities and counties throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, is a road rehabilitation technique that recycles the top 3-6 inches of existing pavement to improve roadway surfaces.
CIR recycles your existing road, without the need for grinding or new materials, which eliminates waste sent to landfills and all the truck trips that go along with it.
And, CIR is more affordable than traditional remove and replace methods.
Graniterock’s CIR business uses the Wirtgen 3800CR, a highly trained crew, and a Caltrans-certified mobile laboratory to rehabilitate roadways while reducing material waste and extensive trucking needs typically seen on base repair and overlay projects.
Cold-in-place recycling has become an increasingly popular alternative to conventional road maintenance methods, for five big reasons:
1.) Saves 20%-40% of your road maintenance budget
2.) Cuts greenhouse gas emissions by 52%
3.) Reduces truck traffic 90%, creating a safer working environment
4.) “Zero waste” approach to pavement rehabilitation
5.) Faster construction times compared to traditional remove and replace methods
The City of San Jose Public Works Department, responsible for 6,000 lane miles, has incorporated CIR as part of its pavement maintenance program for the past six years.
Along with Caltrans, San Jose has created its own CIR specification to use on a project-by-project basis.
“The main reason we like CIR is because it minimizes the traffic impact and the number of trucks coming in and out of the project site,” San Jose’s Associate Engineer Frank Farshidi said. “We don’t have to close the road and residents really like that. We’re not hauling new material from the plant, which makes it a more sustainable process.”
Several engineers from the City of Santa Clara visited a recent Graniterock CIR job on Vistapark Drive in San Jose to watch the process and determine if it’s something that would help chip away at the backlog of crumbling streets.
“CIR is a brilliant solution to one of our biggest problems – really old and aging residential streets,” said Jim Parissenti, principal engineer for the City of Santa Clara Public Works Department. “The CIR method will actually let us catch up on our backlog.”