Unpaved Roads Federal Funding

Federal Funding Available – Unpaved Roads That Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

In County Roads, Gravel Roads, Unpaved Roads by Steve Vitale

Environmentalism has always been a part of the conversation at Midwest. Bob Vitale founded Midwest over 50 years ago on the very definition of sustainability and its three folds. His vision continues to drive our innovation, as our arsenal of dust control and soil stabilization products aim to 1) improve the conditions of employees, 2) guard the environment against pollutants, and 3) provide you with lasting solutions that are cost effective. And we’re more than a suite of products, as Midwest offers a client-custom approach that involves localized soil analysis, climate studies, traffic patterns/types, budget goals, training, post-installation testing, online/phone support, and a customized maintenance plan. We continue to seek advantages for our customers, and unpaved roads federal funding is just the latest in a long line of such efforts.

Our commitment to environmentally friendly dust control and stabilization isn’t some empty promise. We have the certifications to prove it. Beyond our operational compliance with the EPA and OSHA, Midwest has a plethora of third-party certifications that attest to our sustainability pledge, such as the ISO 14034: Environmental Technology Verification and state authentications programs like those from the Pennsylvania Department of Ecology, Dirt, and Gravel Roads Program and the California Cal-Cert Program. You can read more about how Midwest’s environmental concern makes for better dust control in our article “The Safest Way to Road Dust Control”.

The Midwest Unpaved Roads Plan® Offers More Than Just Dust Control

Our Unpaved Roads Plan® is an example of one of our systems that exceeds known environmental standards, providing an all-encompassing solution. This road stabilization system begins by blending one of Midwest’s products into the upper 4-8” of your unpaved road, locking particulate matter into place to make aggregate stronger, perform better, and last longer. Many alternative dust control products are only applied to the surface of roads. Their limited reach makes them a temporary fix that will only create more costs for you in the long run.

The Midwest Unpaved Roads Plan targets two main components of your roadway to offer a complete solution customized to your native soils. Like our other stabilization systems, we stabilize the surface of your roads and/or the underlying base and sub-base layers. You can learn more about the Midwest Unpaved Roads Plan here.

But wait, there’s more! You may be eligible for UNPAVED ROADS FEDERAL FUNDING!

The big news we can share with you comes from another third-party test affirming the efficacy of our products and systems. This study was conducted by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology which studied the quality of our products when used to stabilize unpaved aggregate road bases AND their ability to lower CO2 emissions during the construction phase, making roadways of the present and future more sustainable.

Why does this matter? Because the Federal Highway Administration recently announced the Carbon Reduction Program which will make $6.4 BILLION FUNDS AVAILABLE to transportation projects committed to reducing carbon emissions over the next five years.

How the Testing Proves a Lower Carbon Footprint

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology evaluated 14 different soil stabilization products to see how they affected the mechanical properties of road aggregate. Following through with our commitment to a high-quality product, Midwest submitted three products in the synthetic polymer category: 1) Eco-Pave H known in the study as STB, 2) Eco-Pave E known as ACE-A, and 3) Soil Sement EF labeled ACE-B.  These three products are used within the suite known as the Midwest Unpaved Roads Plan.

In the first phase, each sample experienced repeated load triaxial testing (RLTT), a method used to replicate the effects of heavy traffic on different layers of road. RLTT analyzes resilient modulus (stiffness) and resistance to deformation.

Compared to the untreated control sample, Midwest’s stabilization products displayed a monumental performance leap. All three samples, STB, ACE-A, and ACE-B, show consistent performance in maintaining their resilience – or stiffness – while displaying a strong resistance to permanent deformation. When compared against the untreated sample, the study revealed just how significantly Midwest improves performance, with these products tripling the aggregate’s stiffness in dry conditions and nearly doubling the aggregate’s stiffness after freeze/thaw exposure, once treated.

Where Phase 1 involved dry testing, Phase 2 involved another round of RLTT testing while undergoing a series of freeze/thaw cycles. In preparation, the stabilized samples experienced 10 freeze/thaw cycles. During every freeze/thaw cycle, each sample was immersed for a 5-minute period before it was laid to dry for another 5 minutes. Following the initial submersion, the samples spent 24 hours in a freezer. When they were taken out, they were allowed to thaw according to room temperature. 

Like Phase 1, the Midwest product samples were measured for their stiffness and resistance to deformation. Also, like Phase 1, these products recorded amazing results. Each product not only proved it could withstand the damaging nature of freezing and thawing unaffected, but each showed improved mechanical performance in stabilizing aggregate after the samples experienced these freeze/thaw cycles. 

In testing aggregate under the stress of heavy traffic, the Norwegian University study proved all our submitted stabilization technologies could improve the overall stiffness of aggregates. With the increased stiffness, Eco-Pave H, Eco-Pave E, and Soil Sement were then subsequentially proven to limit the potential for deformation and stripping.

Perhaps the most important result from the Norwegian University aggregate study uncovered was the significant environmental impact of the Midwest Unpaved Roads Plan: 

These products create roads that can support the same level of traffic as an untreated roadway with just 50% of the normal thickness. By cutting road thickness from 20 cm to 10 cm, Midwest achieves long-term road stabilization while DECREASING CO2 EMISSIONS BY UP TO 53%.

How Thickness Correlates to a Positive Environmental Impact

As we’ve stated, the Midwest Unpaved Roads Plan requires less aggregate and, in some circumstances, stabilizes in-place soils (with no need for additional aggregate) for a better performance. This reduced amount of aggregate requires less traffic in delivering building materials to your road. With less traffic, you already begin cutting CO2 emissions while still in construction. Beyond this initial impact, a Midwest Unpaved Road also reduces CO2 in two long-term ways:

  • CO2 emissions continue to decrease once the road is installed. Vehicles that travel across treated roads experience reduced rolling resistance because of a Midwest-installed road’s smoothing quality. Without the added friction between the wheel and aggregate, traffic moves with less fuel consumption than on untreated roadways. 
  • Midwest unpaved roads also carry a longevity that eliminates the need for added maintenance. Without constant maintenance, you reduce overall traffic to the site, eliminating even more CO2 emissions. 

Full Stabilization and Dust Control Without the Full Cost

With a stabilization and dust control system like the Midwest Unpaved Roads Plan, you already begin experiencing long-term savings by choosing a quality product meant to drive the distance. Recent federal programming, however, now allows you to save even more when you choose Midwest. 

As a product found to reduce emissions, you may qualify to receive funding as an “[approach] to the construction of transportation assets that result in lower transportation emissions as compared to existing approaches” (FHWA). 

Under the Carbon Reduction Program, now you have access to unpaved roads that bring you full road stabilization and dust control without the full cost. With widespread benefits, and a competitive price to match, the answer to your unpaved road needs is only a phone call away.

For more information about the FHA’s Carbon Reduction Program, potential unpaved roads federal funding, our commitment to environmentalism, or any of our other dust control and soil stabilization systems, contact us today.