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Big Reclaimer Serves Up Stabilized Tennis Courts in Iowa

Thu April 26, 2007 - Midwest Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

In May a WR 2500 road reclaimer — predecessor to today’s WR 2500 S — of Manatt’s Inc. quickly stabilized a 4,200-sq.-yd., multi-court tennis facility being reconstructed at a city park in Ottumwa, Iowa, in the southeast part of the state. And while a series of tennis courts may be among the least taxing jobs for one of Wirtgen’s brawniest machines, it’s a critical enough application for the contractor doing the work and the city which owns the facility.

“Roadbuilders often are limited to the resources within the right of way,” said David Schnickel, manager, Stabilization, Seal Coat and Subdivision, Manatt’s Inc., Brooklyn, Iowa, a major road contractor in the state. “Tennis courts have the same problem.”

And while Iowa is known for its fine agricultural soils, pavement projects can begin with classic loamy, high-organic soils, quickly change to glacial till, and then change to a seam of sand, Schnickel said.

“The glaciers seem to have laid material out in layers, and as you cut down through them, you find pockets of different materials,” he said. That’s why Manatt’s depends on its big WR 2500 to tame expansive soils that seem to have a mind of their own.

In Ottumwa, the Dan Stagg Tennis Courts was slated for complete reconstruction. After the asphalt had been removed, Manatt’s stabilized the courts’ subbase using fly ash deposited by a company distributor truck.

“The application figures out to 59 pounds per square yard,” said Jeremy Rucker, foreman of seal coat and stabilization. Weight restrictions were limiting the distributor trucks to half load only.

“We reclaimed the cracked asphalt surfacing, and we are incorporating Class C fly ash 12 inches deep to stabilize the soil,” said Kurt Kelley, reclaiming foreman of Manatt’s.

“It’s being mixed in grade by the reclaimer at about 1.7 percent per cubic foot.”

Following the stabilization, a Hamm 3412P (for padfoot) vibratory roller compacted the stabilized base, followed by motorgrader. Finish compaction was by a Hamm 3412 smooth drum roller, to approximately 97 percent. The courts will be topped with a least 2 in. of asphalt.

“The Hamms work very well for us,” Kelley said. “We really like them; they’re nice and quiet with no problems to speak of.”

And of the WR 2500, Kelley could no say more.

“I love this machine,” he said. “It’s the best machine on the market as far as I’m concerned. It’s got plenty of power, and is foamed asphalt capable, which we do. It’s quiet with a cab, so I’m not eating the dust.”

On occasion Manatt’s will do cement stabilization, but most of the work is fly ash, deposited directly on the base.

“Fly ash is really the up-and-coming thing,” Kelley said. “Everybody wants it, and sometimes it’s hard to get. The price is going up, along with fuel. Like everything else, when one thing goes up, everything goes up.”

(This story appears courtesy of “Wirtgen Technology” magazine.)

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