P.J. Keating Company Works With UMass Dartmouth on Unique Paving Project

DARTMOUTH, MA.  Environmental consciousness has been a part of the day-to-day operations at every P.J. Keating Company facility (locations include: Lunenburg, Acushnet, Dracut and Cranston, R.I.). Each year the company strives to find ways to create a more environmentally-friendly atmosphere in which they work and reside. Most recently, the company has converted all its plants to natural gas in order to reduce odors and reduce VOCs (volatile organic compounds that contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone) in the air.

Additionally, two years ago P.J. Keating Company converted its Acushnet plant in order to produce a warm mix asphalt product, which aids in the reduction of greenhouse gas, emissions, reduced energy consumption and the elimination of both smoke and smell.

That same environmentally conscious philosophical stance holds true at the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Dartmouth.

UMass Dartmouth is a college campus that is one of the national leaders in incorporating sustainability into its practices and curricula.

Recently, P.J. Keating Company in Acushnet has been working with the university to pave seven parking lots (45,700 sq. yds.), with a total of 8,800 tons of asphalt used between the binder and the top surfaces.

According to Greg Bowles, project manager at P.J. Keating Company, the company worked with UMass Dartmouth to develop a plan for the parking lots paving project that would help to incorporate the school’s sustainable philosophy.

“In cooperation with Professor Walaa Mogawer from UMass Dartmouth, Larry Andrews, our manager of quality assurance and quality control, developed a job mix formula that utilized 10 percent more RAP (reclaimed asphalt paving) than we normally use in state jobs,” Bowles said.

In addition to using more RAP, P.J. Keating Company proposed using one of its newest technologies, warm mix asphalt, on this project.

Warm mix asphalt is made through the Astec Double Barrel Green System, which mixes a small amount of water and asphalt cement together to create microscopic bubbles. These small bubbles act to reduce the viscosity of the asphalt cement coating on the rock, which allows the mixture to be handled and worked with at lower temperatures.

This workability at lower temperatures makes compaction easier and in many cases, allows roadways to be open sooner after a project. This lets traffic get back to normal much sooner and also allows the paving season to be extended.

“They agreed to the job mix formula that Larry Andrews proposed,” Bowles said.

The project entailed reclaiming existing parking lots by reutilizing the existing material as base core, and working on them in groups of three, so that the others could be used and not all are closed off, Bowles added.

“We regraded the existing reclaim material, put in new granite curbing in three of the lots that didn’t have it, as well as a bit of additional curbing work,” he said. “We restriped the lots, put in loam and seed and some electrical conduits for future use.”

The project is expected to be completed before the end of the summer 2009.

Since 1923, P.J. Keating Company’s primary business is quarrying stone, manufacturing Hot Mix Asphalt, and the construction of Asphalt Paving Projects. The company is headquartered in Lunenburg, MA, with locations in Dracut, Acushnet and Cranston, Rhode Island.