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A forest road improvement project was completed in 1988, upgrading a heavily traveled surfaced road with a new aggregate surface course material which was treated at the time of placement with EMC SQUARED® Stabilizer. A copy of the letter from Gary McElroy, Road Engineer for the Ozark-St. Francis National Forest, summarizes the construction and performance of the stabilized road is provided on the following page. In review of this EMC SQUARED case study, the permanency of this stabilization treatment throughout a monitoring period of more than twenty years has been obvious and impressive. Moisture and frost susceptibility have been effectively addressed and the shale/aggregate blend has been strengthened to provide an all-weather running surface for truck and vehicular traffic. These service conditions are far more severe than would be appropriate for conventional stabilization treatments such as cement and lime; products which are rarely, if ever, used for stabilization of unpaved roads (much less a gravel surfaced road with grades in excess of 12%). Given the challenging conditions, as Road Engineer Gary McElroy commented during a review of the project, it is not likely that a six inch thick asphalt pavement would have survived a similar length of time with so few repair requirements on this winding road running through steep terrain.
According to a January, 2010, update from Gary McElroy, the original stabilized aggregate running surface was still intact twenty years after installation, with only a few localized repairs needed. Significant surface wear began only after twenty years following a major flood event in spring of 2008, and then an abnormally wet 2009 year when the area received approximately 32 inches of rainfall above normal annual rainfall. Other than accumulated surface wear and minor localized repairs, the stabilized road continues to support traffic loadings after 22 years.
These improvements have been achieved as the result of a single treatment with the economical and environmentally friendly EMC SQUARED Stabilizer product. The investment in application of stabilization treatment has been repaid many times over, just by the reduction in grading maintenance. The savings to road users in auto and truck operating costs and the safety benefits of the smooth running surface have been significant. The initial investment in construction costs and in gravel surfacing materials has been retained. Nearby streams have been protected from road generated sedimentation. This well designed and well constructed Forest Service project certainly deserves the title the USFS engineer gave it in his summary letter on the following page: Arkansas Success Story.