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Sediment Production From Aggregates Used for Road Building

[photo] Aggregate road building materials stacked on a wheeled platform.
Simulated heavy truck traffic.

Careful selection of local aggregate materials for road building can minimize construction and maintenance costs and reduce the detrimental effects of sedimentation, such as stream degradation. The Rocky Mountain Research Station, working with the Willamette National Forest, investigated the sediment production of different aggregates. The aggregates included nine basalts, three quartzites, two welded tuffs, two alluvial, one glacial outwash, and one limestone. A range of performance tests, including simulated rainstorms and heavy truck traffic from a logging truck simulator, were used to evaluate each aggregate.

A tech tip discussing test methods and results, Sediment Measurements From Multiple Aggregate Sources: Not All Aggregates Perform Identically (0477–1308P–SDTDC), is available at:

The complete study was presented at the 2003 Low Volume Roads Conference. It is available at:

For further information on this study, contact Mike Mitchell, civil engineer (phone: 909–599–1267, ext. 212; e-mail: or Randy B. Foltz, research engineer, at the Rocky Mountain Research Station (phone: 208–883–2312; email:

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