Update to NRRI Taconite Tailings Pothole Patching

NRRI researchers said some of their taconite tailings pothole patching held up well. NRRI researchers said some of their taconite tailings pothole patching held up well. |  Photo: WDIO

Created: March 21, 2019 06:00 PM

On a spring morning, we got another look at the pothole patch project that included taconite tailings. 


Larry Zanko, Senior Research Manager at NRRI, was pretty satisfied with the results. "It's encouraging to see that repair there, it's looking quite nice. Additives in that one may have been why it worked so well."

They poured the patches last summer and fall in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. "It's like iron cement." And some of it held up well, during the especially tough winter, with a lot of snow and plenty of cold and thawing.

Now they'll be taking samples, cutting it, looking at it under a microscope, and see what the interaction was, what new things were formed. Then they'll do more field trials coming up. 

They and the city are working on a better way to fix potholes. "Crews want to be able to come once a year," he explained. But their taconite tailings material right now can't be done efficiently in large amounts, due to the mixing and timing factors. They continue to work on that process too.

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