The last touches are being done on the fourth project using polymer modified asphalt in Costa Rica. The polymer of choice was again Ultrapave. This 40 kilometer project—by far the longest using polymer—is located in the oil palm producing region in the south of the country. The road is known for heavy trucks carrying the oil palm fruits to processing plants and increasing volumes of tourism traffic heading to and from local beaches. Hot weather and frequent heavy rains make a well-designed road paramount. The Costa Rican Ministry of Public Works and Transport accordingly made its first Superpave design, and the stringent conditions required the use of polymer.
The project was divided between two construction companies with different types of asphalt mixing equipment. Yet each reported that Ultrapave was easy to use and helped meet performance standards in repeated samplings required by the ministry.
The last touches include building underpasses on a stretch of road cutting through an animal preserve. The underpasses will serve as animal crossings to minimize road kills. Once these are finished President Oscar Arias will inaugurate the project before he leaves office on May 6.
The first Ultrapave project in Costa Rica is now three years old. Still looking good!