Road Technique Aims To Handle Heavy Truck Traffic In Oil Patch

A worker from ACME Concrete Paving finishes a layer of concrete that is being added to U.S. Highway 2 near Williston on Tuesday. The concrete overlay is expected to stand up better to heavy truck traffic. Amy Dalrymple/Forum Communications

WILLISTON, N.D. – A new technique being used in some North Dakota road repair projects aims to smooth out rough spots more quickly and with longer lasting results.

The North Dakota Department of Transportation is placing a concrete overlay on top of existing asphalt to better handle heavy truck traffic in the Oil Patch and elsewhere.

The technique, sometimes referred to as white topping, should eliminate the ruts that have been occurring on some northwest North Dakota highways, particularly at intersections, said Robert Seghetti, vice president for ACME Concrete Paving.

ACME, of Spokane, Wash., is using this technique in a road rehabilitation projects on U.S. Highway 2 north of Williston. ACME also is doing work near New Town.

“It should be a long-term solution to the rutting problem they have in North Dakota,” Seghetti said.

In addition to improving load-carrying capacity and safety, the technique also is cheaper and can be completed more quickly than other resurfacing methods, said Clayton Schumaker, assistant materials and research engineering for the North Dakota Department of Transportation.

The NDDOT also used this technique in the Rugby and Hillsboro areas, Schumaker said.

The thickness of the concrete overlay ranges from 6 inches to 9 inches, Seghetti said. The concrete should require less maintenance and is projected to have a lifespan of 20 years or longer outside of Williston, he said. He estimated that the lifespan of the concrete within Williston would be 10 years or longer due to the stop-and-go traffic.

Williston City Commissioner Howard Klug said the time the technique saves is important for the community because of the heavy traffic congestion in the construction zones.

The concrete work on Highway 2 is expected to be complete during the first week in October and will open to the public later in the month, Seghetti said.