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OHMPA ‘Road Tour’ talks asphalt, potholes, initiatives

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May 13, 2014 by STAFF REPORT

About 150 industry experts took part in the Ontario Hot Mix Producers Association’s (OHMPA) Road Tour seminars, which wrapped up on May 6 in Mississauga, Ont. The initiative brought together asphalt producers, suppliers, consulting engineers and municipal and provincial road owners. 

The Road Tour made stops in Guelph, Kingston, Sudbury and the GTA. “This year’s seminars stimulated some very engaging conversation, especially in Kingston where Queens University Professor Simon Hesp attended our roundtable discussion regarding the quality of asphalt cement,” said Doug Duke, OHMPA’s executive director.
OHMPA’s Technical Director, Sandy Brown, addressed the hot topic of 2014 – potholes. “It’s been a spectacular winter,” said Brown. “We’ve had polar vortexes, flash freezes, thunder snow; things I had never heard of before. It has taken a toll on the pavements. However, when it comes to preventing potholes, it all starts with the design of the pavement, ensuring proper drainage and the thickness of the pavement lift is crucial.”
Using two-by-four planks of pine and pressing down on the wood, Brown demonstrated that it bends significantly until the wood is turned on its side to make it thicker. He also brought out another wood sample glued together, and showed that the same principal applies to using tack coat to strengthen pavements.
“The molecular structure of the oak is stronger than the pine, but I can get the same strength by having a thicker piece of pine or gluing two together.  The same goes for asphalt cement.  Contrary to current hyperbole, there is no garbage in Ontario’s asphalt cement and one way to improve the quality of pavements in a cost effective manner, is to have thicker lifts and use tack coat,” he said.
Other highlights from the seminars included: Ministry of Transportation regional reports and updates on provincial initiatives, the introduction of the draft contract language on the MGAC specification addressing asphalt cement quality, municipal presentations on best practices for improving longitudinal joints and an update on OHMPA’s new and upcoming marketing and communications initiatives.

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