Alternatives to Asphalt and Concrete Paving as Temporary Road Track
Asphalt and Concrete Paving Alternatives
The US Army Air Corps initially developed landing mats as alternatives to asphalt or concrete paving for aircraft runways and temporary taxi road track. They rapidly became alternatives as a surfacing tool for temporary road track for vehicles and construction equipment. Many veterans entering civilian jobs remembered the versatility and ease of installation, which they shared with various industries. By using landing mats as alternatives to asphalt and concrete paving, this temporary road mats provided an economical, time-saving option. The use of landing mats far exceeds the use of wood and plastic mats on the market today, in strength and durability. Many common industries that use landing mats as temporary road track or as alternatives to asphalt and concrete paving include:
- Landscaping and Ground Maintenance Contractors
- RV and Mobile Home Transporters
- Local and National Cemeteries
- Irrigation Track
- Water Districts
Landing Mats as Temporary Road Track
Landing mats are used for temporary road and access track in many of these industries. They are also used as alternatives to asphalt and concrete road paving, for temporary storage pads for supplies and equipment. When used as temporary road mats, steel landing mats provide less of an environmental problem, and help ease the requirement of permits for traditional road using asphalt, gravel, or concrete. Landing mats provide temporary road track and traction over unstable terrain, such as sand or mud, and eliminate rutting and compression into existing landscapes.
Many industries use mats as temporary road track or temporary work pads for their ease and speed in installation, which offer better alternatives to asphalt or concrete road paving, and lessen the environmental impact. Landing mats also are used as temporary road track and paving for portable boat or sea plane ramps, since the steel landing mats’ high manganese content make them highly resistant to corrosion.
The Colorado River Municipal Water District in Big Spring, Texas took an innovative approach to solve a drought related problem. The result is a temporary “moveable” boat ramp at E.V. Spence Reservoir.
Mr. Okla Thornton has offered to share the following article from the News and Information newsletter for the Colorado River Municipal Water District:
Temporary Boat Ramp in Plate at E.V. Spence Reservoir
Spence Reservoir (Jan. 26, 2000) – Boaters at E.V. Spence Reservoir can now “take off” into the lake on an unconventional new boat ramp made from aircraft landing mats.
“Ideally,” says Okla Thornton Jr., Manager of Natural Resources for CRMWD, “boat ramps are built before the lake waters are impounded by a dam. And, they were at both Spence and Lake Thomas. However, when drought dropped the lake level lower than expected, the ramps were left high and dry.”
The difficulty and expense to lengthen any of the existing ramps, or to build new ones, was a daunting problem. And, when the lake does eventually fill again, the money would be wasted, since an underwater ramp would be unused until another drought.
“We needed something that could be moved further into or out of the lake as water levels changed,” he said. “Even better would be something that could be disassembled and moved to another marina or another lake, and so the guys looked at some unorthodox solutions. That’s when they came up with them mats.”
Aircraft landing mats are normally used to make temporary tracks in places where the soil is too soft or unsuitable. Sections of 10 gauge steel link together and lock in place to form a solid 12 foot wide mat, which can be extended to almost any length.
Thornton explained that District employees placed the mats on a rack made of oil field pipe that could be slid in and out of the water. Steel bars were welded onto the mat sections to increase tire traction, since it would be underwater.
“The ramp can be pulled out and lengthened if the drought continues, or moved further out of the water if we get some runoff and the lake rises a little,” Thornton said. “It is relatively easy to disassemble and move it to another location at Spence or Lake Thomas, or until we need it again.”
“The result of all this is a relatively low cost boat ramp that can be used anywhere and at any lake level where we need it for many years,” Thornton summarized. “It really is functional and cost effective.”
Contact Calumet for more information about landing mats as alternatives to asphalt and concrete paving today.