PITTSFIELD — Blacktop is going green in Pittsfield.
For the first time, the city is using a decades-proven Hot-in-Place asphalt recycling method of resurfacing municipal roads. Highway Rehab Corp. based in Brewster N.Y., on Tuesday and Wednesday repaved the mile-long Dan Fox Drive, with a section of Crane Avenue and West Street next on the list.
Once resurfaced, a very thin finishing coat of new paving material will seal and protect the reused blacktop.
Developed nearly 30 years ago, the Hot-in-Place repaving process is considered eco-friendly and saves taxpayers money, in part by making the road last longer between major reconstructions, according to company and city officials.
"This will be as good as a mill and pave job; we should get another 10-15 years out of [Dan Fox Drive,]" said Pittsfield Department of Public Services Commissioner David Turocy.
Potential savings wasn't immediately available, but Turocy expected a lower than usual final cost as the city won't have to buy more expensive new blacktop.
With fewer construction vehicles needed compared to a typical repaving job, the project was less of an impediment to the traffic flow on Dan Fox Drive.
"The road has big shoulders so it was easier to get the traffic through." Turocy said.
Hot-in-Place differs from tradition milling of blacktop, loading it into dump trucks and hauling it away to be converted into new paving material.
Two truck-mounted surface recyclers running in tandem heat up the blacktop, a third specialized vehicle scrapes off the top one-inch layer of asphalt. The petroleum-based material is re-mixed with new emulsion and put it right back down in place, smoothed over with a compaction roller.
L B Corp. hired Highway Rehab. Corp. under the Lee-based company's $3 million paving contract with the city that includes $800,000 worth of paving through asphalt reclamation. In addition to Hot-in-Place, traditional milling/paving and cold mix paving have or will be used on several city roads.
"Our company is getting ahead with the times as you've got to get out of the cave-man way of paving," L B Corp. owner Thomas Garrity said.
Kelly Haynes, a foreman for Highway Rehab. Corp., said immediate re-use of the asphalt has proved successful throughout the Northeast helping extend the life of many roads susceptible to cracking and potholes in the winter and early spring months.
"The oil we use helps the asphalt expand without cracking," he said.
Haynes noted more states are relying on Hot-in-Place pavement to save money and cut down on the use of new, expensive blacktop.
"We just did a job in Maine of four miles," he said. "They liked the work so much, they gave us another 20 miles to do."
The city has invited public works officials from throughout Berkshire County to see Hot-in-Place in action.
"We're trying to educate others that this is another option for repaving roads," Turocy said.
Contact Dick Lindsay at 413-496-6233