WDAY: The News Leader

Published August 04, 2010, 04:05 PM

Crews use a polyurethane mix to prevent a complete reconstruction on area bridges

(WDAY TV) - You've probably seen crews working these past two days along bridges on I-29, but the work they're doing may surprise you. They're injecting the road with a polyurethane mix that raises the road, fixing bumps you hit when entering and exiting the bridges.

Between 40 and 50 thousand vehicles drive up and down 1-29 every day, putting a lot of stress on the road and causing it settle, but on bridges it's a different story.

“The bridge doesn't go anywhere, so then you get your, boom-boom, boom-boom and people don't like that. It's not easy on trucks and vehicles.”

The solution is to give the road a face lift. Steve Molstre takes measurements of problem areas, marks them, then the drill goes to work. The hole is filled with a polyurethane mixture, a fairly new practice. The chemical reaction forms a solid, strong substance that gradually lifts the road.

“Less invasive, you barely notice we were here. The holes are 5'8ths inch. When we leave you can barely tell that we're here, except that the ride will be smoother.”

Just to give you an idea, this is the old mixture used to inject the roadways. It's a very heavy sand and cement mix. Now this polyurethane mixture, even though it's extremely light, it actually works better because it flows easier and expands and fills the holes better than before.

Preventative work like this saves the DOT a lot of money in the long run. This project runs about 600 thousand dollars.

“Just make sure we maintain what we have before it becomes too distressed and does become a complete reconstruction. A reconstruction here would probably cost three to five, maybe more times what we're paying right now.”

A cost effective fix, that should last years, keeping your commute running smoothly. The project should be finished by the end of September.