Emergency Water Main Repair – Phoenix, AZ

UPM Phoenix ImageDuring a night in September 2013, a water line ruptured on East Watkins Street in Phoenix, Arizona. Needing to repair quickly the line, the water department assembled a crew in the early morning.

Volunteering on the crew were Le Reber, Account Executive for UNIQUE® Paving Materials Corp. and Steve Dismuke of Pavement Sealants. They brought with them a pallet of UPM®Permanent Pavement Repair Material for the repair. UPM® bags are perfect for fast, permanent pavement repairs year-round. The city representative was Keith Mojica, Utility Foreman Water Distribution.

UPM Phoenix ImageCompleting the repair required trenching across the width of the street. The water line was repaired, and the repair area was filled and compacted.

UPM® is used through the U.S. in utility repair applications as a permanent repair. One benefit of UPM® relative to other pavement repair material is its structural stability and flexibility. Overtime, minor settling may occur below the repair, requiring the surface to conform to the irregular settling. UPM® is designed to accommodate pavement movement and will not alligator crack or ravel like hot mix asphalt or crack like concrete. This advantage makes UPM® ideal for utility cut applications.

UPM Phoenix ImageThe trench created averaged 2’ – 2.5’ wide and roughly 25 foot long; approximately 65 sq. feet. Over half the repair was filled with UPM®; using roughly 750 pounds of material.

Compacted backfill was brought up to 3” below the existing pavement. Excess debris was swept with standard street sweeper and followed up with a STIFFWITCH® road repair broom, the ideal broom for pavement repairs.

UPM Phoenix ImageWhile on site, Le and Steve worked with maintenance personnel to optimize installation to achieve maximum survivability.

Repairs using UPM® should follow a specific installation process to guarantee success; much like hot mix asphalt and concrete, proper design, manufacturing, and installation result in success. UPM® is the industry leader because of this process. When the procedure is followed properly, UNIQUE® guarantees performance.

Half of the road repair was made using UPM® Permanent Pavement Repair Material. The other half was made using ordinary cold mix for comparison purposes.

UPM Phoenix ImageAnother design feature of UPM® is its capability to perform underwater.

The pavement for this repair was damp from both the initial water main leak and from a fire hose used to alleviate the pressure and prevent the water from shooting into the air.

When water mains break, most repairs must be completed in water or at minimum, with a damp surface. Hot mix asphalt cannot be applied in damp or wet weather or conditions. UPM® will work under water in any weather.

This particular repair was done in warm weather. Many water main breaks occur during the winter months, and since UPM® is seasonally adjusted, it remains workable in any temperature conditions.

Regular cold mix is designed to be a temporary patch; temperature and wet conditions are not factored into their mix designs.

Each UPM® production is independently designed and tested using the AC and aggregate that will be used by the specific production location. The design matrix includes a stripping test to determine water-handling characteristics. Minimum performance is required in pre-testing and verified in post testing.

UPM Phoenix ImageAfter applying the UPM®, an impact tamper was used to compact the material. Compaction is what “activates” UPM® to make it a permanent repair.

Two months later, the UPM® portion of the repair is still holding strong. The ordinary cold mix is showing signs of deterioration and raveling.

UPM Phoenix ImageUNIQUE® will continue to monitor this repair as part of a nationwide demonstration program promoting UPM® as a permanent solution to road repair. UPM® is guaranteed in writing to outlast the surrounding pavement.

For more information, contact:
Le Reber
UNIQUE® Corporate Office at 800-441-4880.