Bundaberg Airport is the first in Australia to benefit from a high-performance binder used in the airport’s apron asphalt.
In June, Bundaberg Regional Council completed works with local contractor Berajondo Earthmoving and Haulage and specialist asphalt contractor Colas to widen the existing taxiway and rehabilitate the existing apron surfacing at the Bundaberg Airport.
Bundaberg Regional Council project manager Craig Sheather said the new generation of polymer-modified bitumen, which was designed by Melbourne Institute of Technology and SAMI Bitumen Technology’s R&D team, was developed primarily for use where high-performance asphalt was required, such as airports.
“Airport asphalt has different requirements to road asphalt because of the amount of use it gets,” Craig said.
“Roads typically have cars running all over them much of the time, which means that the asphalt is regularly rolled and worked. Airport runways, taxiways and aprons, not so much.”
“Airport asphalt has a slightly different composition than road asphalt in order to cope with the relative lack of use, but higher load stress.
“This new polymer-modified bitumen is specifically designed for the harsh Australian conditions and the higher load stress of aircraft.
“It also provides exceptional resistance to permanent deformation and cracking.”
SAMIfalt I-Brid uses advanced polymers to create the optimum balance between deformation resistance and flexibility under extreme loading conditions.
In a statement, Colas thanked Bundaberg Regional Council for being the first in the country to utilise the new high-performance binder.
“The Bundaberg airport provided an ideal opportunity to evaluate how the binder would behave during handling, mixing with aggregates and paving.”
“1760 tonnes of Marshall Asphalt were mixed and transported 1.5 hours to the site where it was paved in a 50mm layer.”
Portfolio spokesman Cr Greg Barnes said the airport was returning to regular services, and that the construction was timed well with COVID restrictions so didn’t impede scheduled flights.
“Thanks to the efforts of all involved, the entire work has not inhibited regular scheduled flights,” Cr Barnes said.
“It’s great to see these works done and everyone is looking forward to having visitors from Queensland fly in, and, hopefully sooner rather than later, see the safe return of pre-covid flight levels.”
The project to lay apron asphalt with the new high-performance binder was funded by Council with a co-contribution from the Queensland Government’s ‘Building our Regions’ program.
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