DODSLAND, Sask. — The province of Saskatchewan is experimenting with new technology, which they hope will make their roads safer and much more durable.
Highways and Transportation Minister Pat Atkinson was on hand yesterday, to oversee the paving of a 13.2-kilometre stretch of Hwy. 31, which will feature the new road surfacing procedure.
The technology involves blending a specialized cement material, Terracem, into the road subgrade to strengthen and stabilize highways. A blended layer is formed, consisting of Terracem, the existing oil treated surface, granular material and subgrade material.
The entire mixture is then watered down and compacted before various thicknesses of gravel are placed over the subgrade. The final touch is a sealed, dust-free surface.
“Saskatchewan’s thin membrane surface highway system was never designed to handle the increased loads and traffic it’s experiencing today,” says Atkinson. “We need to explore these new innovative strengthening initiatives, which are cost-effective and help to sustain these rural highways.”
The Highways and Transportation department has teamed up with the University of Saskatchewan to study the new developments, and they will keep a close eye on the stretch of highway to see how it works.
“This is an excellent opportunity for Saskatchewan to lead the development of advanced innovative road strengthening,” says Atkinson. “These methods appear to improve road conditions, which will enhance safety and the level of service for our drivers.”
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