About the research
The project aligns with the Iowa Department of Transportation’s (DOT’s) focus areas of sustainability and technology. Maintenance and rehabilitation of granular-surfaced roads consumes significant portions of counties’ annual budgets, as well as large amounts of natural resources in the form of virgin aggregates. By assessing the performance of different test sections constructed with and without the Perma-Zyme stabilization product through two winter-spring cycles, the Iowa DOT and county engineers will better understand the life-cycle costs and relative advantages of using the enzymatic stabilizer as well as the different construction methods (i.e., compaction by sheepsfoot vs. smooth-drum roller during construction).
Most importantly, the project would establish a new Granular Surfaced Roads Test Facility comprising several miles of granular-surfaced roads at Camp Dodge, through a cooperative relationship with the Iowa Army National Guard. The facility would enable long-term research on unpaved roads with great efficiency by reducing travel time compared to locating test sections in several counties around the state and by enabling many different projects on an ongoing basis in one central location. Overall, the long-term benefits of the project will be to improve the quality, longevity, and state of good repair of Iowa roadways, which constitute a vital component of Iowa’s infrastructure.