Hot, Cold In-Place Recycling Gets Boost at Western States Conference

Pavement Preservation Journal, Spring 2015, Vol. 8, No. 1

By Tom Kuennen

A technical conference last year gave needed focus to hot in-place recycling (HIR) and cold in-place recycling (CIR), and its implementation from coast to coast.  The 2014 International and Western States In-Place Recycling Conference was held Aug. 5-7 in Denver, and drew delegates from the Eastern seaboard to the West coast, and from Alaska to New Mexico. A panel of presenters from other countries gave overviews of in-place recycling from China, South America, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands and Norway.

With a theme of Revitalizing In-Place Pavement Recycling Technologies: Gaps, Barriers and a Path Forward, the conference served a pent-up need to discuss the state of the practice in in-place and full-depth recycling, and answer the question of why HIR and CIR aren’t utilized more widely than they are.

The conference set a direction for increased use of the processes in the years to come, and underscoring this effort was a conference-concluding workshop conducted by the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M University, which examined the future of in-place recycling and how to get it more universally specified.

While in-place recycling has been around since the 1930s, it wasn’t until the Arab oil embargo of the 1970s that a financial incentive – skyrocketing prices of petroleum – appeared to favor in-place recycling. After a huge boost from 1970s into the 1980s, in-place recycling technologies improved incrementally since the 1980s, with no great leaps in implementation or utilization, and with some agencies using in-place recycling less.

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