A new innovative paving project -- the first of its kind in Georgia -- was launched in McDuffie County on Sept. 30.
Officials from several surrounding counties attended a presentation that was offered by Reeves Construction Co. in Augusta to demonstrate how FiberMat can save money when it comes to paving and repairing roads.
In addition, it is expected to significantly reduce the need for repairs as often.
A 1.8 mile stretch of Randall Road near Dearing is now the first example of such paving in the state, according to McDuffie County Public Works Director Eric Reisinger.
"It was a winning situation all the way around," Mr. Reisinger said in an interview with The McDuffie Mirror . "This is a savings to our taxpayers of about $80,000. And it's going to increase the lifespan of the road another seven to 10 years."
The presentation, alongside Randall Road where workers actually applied the new FiberMat product, included officials from McDuffie, Columbia, Jefferson and Burke counties. Representing the McDuffie County Board of Commissioners was Paul McCorkle, who said he was impressed with what he saw. Also attending the presentation were officials with the Federal Highway Administration and the Georgia Department of Transportation.
Mr. Reisinger said he had studied the new FiberMat idea long before he decided it was the best way to go.
Originally, members of the McDuffie County Board of Commissioners had approved of spending $204,000 of funds derived from the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax to resurface Randall Road.
The new FiberMat paving will only cost $125,000, which included striping the roadway as well, Mr. Reisinger said.
"When I was studying the best way for the county to go, I knew it would be foolish to spend a lot of money and not get out of it what we wanted -- less repairs and less taxing on the people of this county," Mr. Reisinger said. "I was looking for an alternative application method and I think we've found it."
Randall Road, which runs off the Old Augusta Road, is a smoothly traveled road now that the new FiberMat paving has been completed.
Mr. Reisinger said he had several conversations with Charles Boyd of Reeves Construction Company, who was most helpful in informing him all about the new FiberMat idea. Another company representative was John Cosgrove.
"They were very helpful," Mr. Reisinger said. The county public works director said he also spoke with Nelson Wesenberg, external sales manager for Colas Solutions, the parent company of Reeves Construction.
The FiberMat process is designed to significantly reduce cracks in road surfaces, which are costly to repair, according to a Colas Solutions' website about the process.
FiberMat is a specially formulated polymer modified crack resistant membrane comprised of highly modified asphalt emulsion residue reinforced with engineered fiberglass strands. They form a high tensile matrix within the membrane upon application.
The FiberMat system is installed by a specially developed machine that in a continuous application uniformly applies the controlled length fiberglass strands, sandwiching them between two layers of modified emulsion prior to application of an aggregate cover.
The final product is then rolled to seat the aggregate into the surface.
"I believe it was a very smart decision on the part of our county commissioners to do this," Mr. Reisinger said. "I think the commissioners made a real educated decision after I spoke with them about what I had learned."