Rio Grande Trail to use recycled asphalt |

Rio Grande Trail to use recycled asphalt

Pete FowlerGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. People biking on the future Rio Grande Trail segment south of Glenwood Springs might be biking on pieces of Grand Avenue, or even Interstate 70.Recycled asphalt is why.”We’re using something people used to throw away, which is great,” said Mike Hermes, director of properties and trails for the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority (RFTA). “People used to just bury chunks of asphalt everywhere, and now they’ve come up with this process to grind it up and reuse it.”The leg of the trail under construction is from the intersection of Highway 82 and County Road 114 – near the Thunder River Market – to 23rd Street in Glenwood Springs. It stretches about 5.1 miles along the old railroad right of way. The trail will be 12 feet wide including one-foot shoulders, and the $1.8 million segment should be ready for use Sept. 15. That will mark the first time that cyclists could make the trip from Glenwood Springs to Aspen without riding on Highway 82.Hermes said the trail will use a six-inch layer of recycled asphalt as a subgrade. That layer will support a three-inch layer of regular, nonrecycled asphalt on top of that.Recycled asphalt doesn’t work well for the top layer, he said, because it’s more challenging to get the consistency and the heat right while laying it down.The recycled asphalt comes from various projects in the area, including the Glenwood Canyon concrete pavement project completed in spring and the Grand Avenue Paving Project.”Lafarge has a giant pile of this stuff from all the various projects around the valley,” Hermes said.He said the asphalt just goes through a grinder.RFTA will use 6,420 cubic yards of recycled asphalt for this segment of the trail.”It is getting to be common in trail projects,” Hermes said.The decision to use it depended on hauling costs. RFTA didn’t use it in a portion of the trail constructed last year. A pit for road base was closer than a pit with recycled asphalt, so it would have cost more. This time, a Lafarge pit with recycled asphalt was closer, Hermes said.The recycled asphalt is slightly cheaper than road base, he said. In this case, Hermes could choose between $8.55 per ton of recycled asphalt and $8.80 per ton of road base.Contact Pete Fowler: 945-8515, ext. 16611pfowler@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO

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