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County looks at new equipment to cut down cost of road repairs

A GRADY COUNTY fire truck sprays down the reclaimed asphalt and compacted base mixed with concrete as part of a demonstration.

Grady County administrator Carlos Tobar arranged for the demonstration of some new equipment that he said could potentially save the county hundreds of thousands of dollars on road repairs, but on Tuesday he said the results were “disappointing.”
Last Thursday, officials with Asphalt Zipper Inc., of Pleasant Grove, Utah came to Grady County to demonstrate the full-depth reclamation capabilities of the Asphalt Zipper first-hand on a county road in likely the worst condition.
On a 40 foot x 20 foot section of Open Pond Road, the Asphalt Zipper was put to the test.
Thomas County officials also came to see the demonstration and also brought a rubber tire roller to be used as part of the demonstration.
According to Tobar, the Asphalt Zipper pulverizes the existing asphalt into a reusable form. The section of road was then graded and reshaped using a motograder and hydrated with a county fire truck. The rubber tire roller from Thomas County was then used to compact the base with concrete added to form a new surface.
Tobar had consulted with civil engineer Stacy Watkins who recommended digging down eight inches and introducing seven percent concrete in the demonstration. However, the company representative only went five inches below the existing road and Tobar estimates used five percent of concrete in the test.
“Spots are very gooey. The repair did not work and we’re very disappointed about that,” Tobar reported Tuesday.
The county administrator said the unit brought in for testing seemed to be operating under a strain and he would be interested in seeing a demonstration by the larger model of the Asphalt Zipper.
Tobar also questioned whether had the advice of the county’s consulting engineer  been followed would the results have been more satisfactory.
“I’ve asked Stacy (Watkins) and (Grady County Road Superintendent) Stanley (Elkins) to take a look at it and see if we can figure out what happened,” Tobar said.

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