Construction Dust Amelioration

AUTC project number: RR10.03

PI(s):

Robert A. Perkins (UAF)

Funding:
  • US Department of Transportation (RITA)
  • Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities
  • Start Date: Aug 1, 2010
  • End Date: Feb 15, 2012

Project Summary

Dust produced on seasonal road construction sites in Alaska is both a traffic safety and environmental concern. Dust emanating from unpaved road surfaces during construction severely reduces visibility and impacts stopping sight distance, and contributes to the local burden of PM 2.5, small particulates that present an important environmental air quality concern. This research aims to assist ADOT&PF in developing safe, efficient techniques for short-term dust suppression. Experts believe applying a dust-control palliative like calcium chloride, Enviroclean, Durasoil, or EK35 to the unpaved surface during road construction will solve the dust problem. This research will gather necessary information to determine when, what type, in what concentration, and how often the dust-control palliative should be applied. The amount and size of the dust particles, the time the surface is to remain unpaved, the makeup of the unpaved road surface, local environmental conditions, and the availability and cost of the dust control palliatives are factors to consider. The project is especially valuable because measurement systems used in other states involve special equipment and/or certification of observers, neither of which may be practical in Alaska with our remote locations and short construction season.