Interview with Derek Snead, P.E., Jones County Engineer
We sat down with Derek to hear his professional take on the problems he and his peers face concerning aging asphalt pavements. What are some of the current trends or changes you've seen in pavement management since you've been on duty here? Derek – I think typically in the past there wasn't such an emphasis on shortage of funding so it was a practice of use the existing pavement 'til it's completely deteriorated (then) tear it up and put new back down. Recently the amount of existing pavement that is past its useful life is so broad and we have such a short fundage--short amount of funding--that tearing it up and repairing all the existing ones just isn't an option. How are things different now (you touched on the limited budgets we have) and how have people dealt with roads in the past in maintenance and such? Has it been more reactive or proactive? Derek – I would say it probably varies, but the majority of it has been reactive. When you do have a shorter budget you have some tough choices to make. A lot of times you try to use the existing pavement as long as you possibly can before replacement, and that's one way of looking at it, or the second way would be to utilize some of the existing strength of that pavement. (Would you) say keeping a pavement flexible would be a benefit to helping survive some of the stress that's put on it? Derek – Particularly if you have a flexible pavement like asphalt is, in order to make the life of it last longer, you want to keep it that way (flexible). It's not designed to be a rigid pavement. If it turns into one, then the lifespan of that (pavement) deteriorates. We are a very rural community here. We have a lot grain carts, a lot of heavy equipment going back and forth on our roads. They (pavements) weren't necessarily designed for types of loads that are going over them currently. So heavy loads and weather are the two main factors in deterioration of our existing pavements. So, we're trying as many ways to prolong the existing ones (pavements) as we possibly can. So to prolong the life of the existing pavement that we have so far, this GSB® was one solution we looked at to try to offset some of the replacement (cost) with extending the life of some of our paved roads here in the county. So far we are very happy with the product (GSB®).