At just under 879 miles, the stretch of U.S. Interstate 10 that crosses Texas is the longest continuous untolled freeway under a single authority in North America. The Texas DOT is constantly looking for ways to conduct maintenance with as little disruption as possible for the 200,000 drivers who use the road every day.
That often means fixing potholes instead of reconstructing pavement. It also means working at night; contractors must ensure that any repairs made from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. are strong enough to handle traffic by 6 a.m.
In summer 2012, Allen Concrete of El Paso was brought in to address eight miles of concrete pavement in the city. The repairs ranged from 2 to 4 feet wide and long and approximately 6 inches deep. The contractor created a straight edge all around, 6 inches deep. The company completed three to four each night using six to eight pallets of Rapid Set Cement. Developed by CTS Cement Mfg. Corp. of Cypress, Calif., the hydraulic cement is mixed with water and aggregates to produce high-strength concrete, mortar, and grout mixtures that gain structural strength within an hour and compressive strength of 8,000 psi after 28 days.
After placement, the patch was finished using a trowel/broom finish. Curing blankets were used to cure the material in the 70° F to 80° F temperatures. Ultimately, about 18,000 bags of Rapid Set were used.
All lanes were successfully open for traffic each morning.
To learn more and watch a video on three other new quick-fix pothole materials visit go.hw.net/PWpotholes.