Best idea: Trying a new pavement mixture

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MARK MASSARO, PE
DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC WORKS
ORANGE COUNTY, FLA.

Mark Massaro moved to Orange County in 1984 and put down roots. In the 27 years since, the New Jersey native has worked as a housing development review engineer, design engineer, traffic engineering manager, and in the Roads and Drainage Division. He became public works director four years ago.

While working on roads and drainage, Massaro began to wonder what to do with the county's 230 miles of dirt roads. “Every time it rained the dirt would go into the swale and ditches, and the roads would have to be re-graded within a week to 10 days,” he says. “It was a constant, labor-intensive battle.”

He won the County Commissioners' approval to pave the roads with a 3-inch, cold-mix asphalt mixture the U.S. Forest Service uses to pave logging roads in Washington State: a combination of emulsion, latex modifiers, and 1 to 1.5 inches of #57 limestone aggregate, a large stone that allows rain to filter through. “We'd drive a portable pug mill paver over the stabilized dirt road, spit out the mixture, and roll it,” says Massaro. “It was a godsend because it reduced a lot of manpower and equipment and was environmentally sound.”

His department paved all the roads with the mixture between 1996 and 2000 for about $12 million. They're all still in existence and require minimal maintenance.

WEB EXTRA

For complete details on this project, read our April 2007 article, "Holey Success."