Use of Taconite Aggregates in Pavement Applications

Status:  Complete
Report Date:  07/14/2010


The construction and maintenance of highways creates a demand for high quality paving aggregates, which are becoming scarce in many parts of the country. Taconite industry waste rock and tailings are a potential new source of virgin aggregates. Currently there is limited information available for implementing these products in construction specifications. The goal of this project was to assess available taconite aggregate resources that could supply a high quality, low cost aggregate for roadway use, especially in areas where aggregates are becoming scarce. This report summarized the work completed under a government-academia-industry partnership that investigated the use of taconite aggregates for pavement applications. The following results were learned from this study: - Taconite aggregates can be used successfully to construct high quality aggregate base, asphalt, and concrete pavement layers. - The test sections constructed at MnROAD have performed as well as or better than those built using conventional aggregates. - A demonstration project was successfully completed in which microwave technology was used to patch a pothole on a local county road, and that pothole patch performed well over time. - Several laboratory tests performed on taconite aggregates or on asphalt mixtures consisting of taconite aggregates have shown very good performance.

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