It’s hard to believe, but this week we’re seeing our tax dollars at work. After more than a decade of patching cracks, potholes and depressions in the road in front of the Inn, the county is completely repaving our street. It will be a several week process, but the end result will be worth it!
The reason we felt that this was a blogworthy event is more about how the road is being repaved than the fact that it being repaved. Specifically, the crew is not just slapping a thin layer of asphalt down on the roadway, but they are using modern road-building technology to be as efficient as possible through the process of deconstructing, and then reconstructing the road. It seems that recycling has literally, “hit the road”, and that is what they are doing.
To back up a step, according to one of the crew foreman, a core sample of the actual road construction is taken in several locations several weeks prior to any work to be done. This sample is then analyzed for material content and a specific formula is created to indicate what ingredients need to be added to the existing roadbed once it’s recycled and before it is reapplied. The really cool part of all of this is the function of the “Mill”, which is the large white piece of equipment pictured above to the right of the Black Sheep Inn sign.
The “Mill” uses carbide cutting heads to tear up the existing asphalt road surface to a depth of around 2”-4”. Once the material is removed from the road, it is mixed with whatever the pre-determined formula requires, which is fed to the Mill by the Tanker truck directly in front of it in the photo above. The Mill proceeds to mix this aggregate and deposit it on the road surface trailing behind it and preceding the Paving machine. The Paving machine then scoops up the newly prepared asphalt material and loads it into a large hopper using a conveyor system integrated into the machine. Once in the hopper, the asphalt composite then gets a little more mixing before it is spread evenly on the roadway at a width of around 14 feet. According to the foreman, the Mill can recycle asphalt road surface at about 30 feet per minute, depending on the hardness and depth of the asphalt.
There are, of course, several remaining steps before you can drive on a racetrack smooth road with crisp new striping, but we’re more fascinated by the recycling component of the process. I guess the moral of the story is that recycling is not just a “feel good” fad for hippies, but an important principle in the efficiency of resources, and a methodology to lower overall costs, as is the case with our new road. Here at the Black Sheep Inn and Spa, we recycle just about everything, from all of the wine bottles you leave us, to the paper maps and literature you no longer need. In F.L.A.V.O.R. Studio, we utilize all sorts of recycled and repurposed items in our art as well. Next time you’re here at the Inn, be sure to schedule a hands-on Mixed Media class in the studio, and we can show you how to create with recycled and repurposed items to give them a new life.
See you out on the road!