On ND Highway 20, north of Jamestown, an asphalt overlay was needed on approximately 21 miles of roadway to improve the ride for motorists and keep them safe. However, the roadway was not wide enough to be able to do a traditional asphalt overlay. NDDOT decided to try a new concept, which uses reinforcing fibers in the asphalt mix to give it extra strength. The new technology had never been used in North Dakota for this purpose before, but this project was a good candidate to test it.
Though the FORTA-FI reinforcing fibers haven’t been in place long enough to determine long-term performance of the material, early results are positive. Drivers are experiencing a smoother ride on a safer road, and NDDOT was able to make the roadway repair for a fraction of the cost (it spent about $175,000 on the project, while a sliver widening for the entire length of the roadway would have costed upwards of $1.5 million).