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Marshall County gives closer look at road repaving process

PLYMOUTH, Ind. - A couple months after Marshall County neighbors discovered the highway department was repaving their roads, the supervisor gave ABC 57’s Jess Arnold an exclusive look into its relatively unique process.

The key ingredient in this process is the county’s recycled asphalt.

“We’re taking recycled asphalt and we’re bringing it back, separating it out, and making a paving material out of it,” said the Marshall County Highway Supervisor, Jason Peters.

That means all the recycled material is free.

“I don’t think there’s a lot of counties around that’s going to that extent that we’re doing it,” said Peters.

Peters says they use a five step process:

  • Mill and fill—Employees take up the old asphalt from the roads, which they’ll use to resurface it later.
  • Haul—After milling the asphalt, workers haul it back to the highway garage, where they stockpile it.
  • Separate—Loaders put the asphalt through the separator, which grinds it into small pieces.
  • Pugmill—Workers dump these pieces into the hopper of the Pugmill, which is where they start to make materials that they’ll use to pave the roads.
  • Pave—The department lays down the material they processed at the garage.

The recycled asphalt becomes flex pavement instead of the traditional hot mix that causes cracks in the roads.

This product costs a lot less to make than if the department had to buy its own material.

The recycled asphalt costs about $25 a ton to lay versus $48 to $60 a ton to buy hot mix.

The department supervisor says repaving one mile with the recycled material adds up to about $34,000, whereas other counties could be paying more than double.

“I guess you can’t say you’re actually saving money. You’re getting more miles, road miles done, so the money’s still there, we’re just making it go a little bit further,” said Peters.

This year, they plan to cover up to 80 miles of road throughout the county, using about 100,000 tons of their recycled asphalt.

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