August 17, 2011 – Mechanical Concrete® was recently featured on WBOY with a look at REAGCO participation in an international conference of road builders.
Mechanical concrete is a breakthrough technology for low volume roads in the coal and Marcellus Shale gas industries. The inventor, a local civil engineer, just recently introduced this patent to an international community of road builders.
By Dana Arquilla
“It’s amazingly simple,” said contractor, Tom Laurita. “Who could imagine that a car tire filled with stone would support the weight of a truck hauling 75-80 thousand pounds? But it does.”
About 400 trucks come through this facility a day.
“How often would you have to get the roads repaired in the past?” I asked. “Every week,” said Laurita. “What about now? “We really don’t have to do anything to it.”
That’s because local civil engineer, Sam Bonasso, came up with a game-changing idea.
“If you take a cylinder and fill it with stone, it will harden up instantly,” said Bonasso. “And that’s what happens with mechanical concrete.”
Tires that would have otherwise been burned or thrown into a landfill, are being repurposed.
“One lane mile, 12-feet wide, one mile long, takes 12,000 cylinders,” explained Bonasso. “So it has the potential to use a lot of tires.”
The mechanical concrete is being used in four counties in West Virginia; but the idea is catching on in other states, and even other countries. Bonasso just recently attended a conference in Florida, to introduce the technology.
“This was the low volume roads conference for the transportation research board,” said Bonasso. “This was an international conference, 29 countries were represented. And so we had very good reception. It was exciting.”
Bonasso’s “re-invention of the wheel” is saving time, money, and the environment; and it’s paving the way for open market access across the globe.
“This has the potential to allow people in developing regions of the world to build a road very inexpensively, and very quickly. This would give the potential to these developing regions an all-weather, all-season road, that would allow them to access urban areas and market areas which they can’t access now.”
“Until Sam came up with this idea, it was always a struggle,” said Laurita. “And it’s a lot more cost effective than an interstate where you have 10 inches of concrete. It’s amazingly simple; it just works!”