The Raleigh-based TGC spent a week early this year replacing a 14,600-sq.-yd. equipment lot with a cement treated base at Briggs Equipment in Charlotte, NC.
The material is as hard as concrete with a breaking point of 700 psi — enough to handle the wear and tear of constant heavy equipment traffic.
“What’s not going to happen is the surface being torn up by a dozer 10 to 12 inches deep,” said Wayne Thompson, TGC’s owner.
He said the process has been around in the southeastern United States for approximately 75 years, but, around the turn of the century, contractors seemed to walk away from it.
However, in the past two years in North Carolina, “I’ve seen a marked increase,” Thompson said.
Over that span, TGC went from one to three crews dedicated to cement stabilization and has been able to keep them busy building subdivision roads, parking lots and other projects that won’t be subjected to as much stress as the Briggs lot.
Before this job was completed, the lot was covered with crusher run, a surface that needed to be repaired every six to eight months.
But now, Thompson said the new surface will last two to five years and will require virtually no maintenance.
When the TGC crew arrived on the site, they were greeted with a muddy, pothole filled lot. They leveled the potholes and semi-graded the property to the proper elevation using the existing material.
Then, with a Wirtgen 2500, the crews mixed in 19 tanker loads of dry bulk cement and water (which activates the cement and starts the bonding process) to create a surface very similar to a concrete slab approximately 10 in. deep.
To complete the task, Briggs loaned the crew a Case motorgrader, a Case bulldozer, as well as two pieces of Hamm compaction equipment.
Cement treated base costs approximately $7 to $9 per square yard, but Thompson said it will save money in the long run, because of the minimal upkeep.
And for that reason, Thompson has seen more and more developers bring the process to the table when planning projects. He believes it’s a no-brainer for municipalities or departments of transportation to use this technique, as it eliminates a lot of dump truck traffic carrying material away from the job site and the impact that stress has on those roads.
In addition to the cost saving, Thompson said the job is usually completed faster than in more traditional road repair techniques. His crews are normally able to have 2,000 ft. of roadway ready for traffic in three days. CEG Staff