Marathon County Highway Department Receives Paving Innovation Award

Written by James Griesbach

The Wisconsin Asphalt Pavement Association (WAPA) announced the Marathon County Highway Department (MCHD) was the recipient of the 2017 Local Government Asphalt Award for advancing innovation in asphalt pavements. The department was recognized on November 28, 2017, at a ceremony during the association’s 58th Annual Conference in Madison, WI.

The MCHD was recognized for incorporating and advancing innovative asphalt paving methods, mixtures, and means — most notably thin asphalt overlays, warm mix asphalt, cold in-place recycling, and the requirement for material transfer vehicles.

Crews place a thin overlay on County Road C.

Thin asphalt overlays are a pavement-preservation tool designed for use when surface cracking occurs while the pavement is still in structurally sound condition. According to Brandon Strand, Executive Director for WAPA:

“Thin asphalt overlays are a proven method for extending the life of pavement structures that are still in serviceable shape. It’s estimated that thin overlays extend the life of road by up to 10 years, as opposed to costly reconstructions. We commend Marathon County for deciding when to choose thin asphalt overlays, selecting materials, designing the mixes, and ensuring construction and quality control while being good stewards of the environment to get the best roads possible for the taxpayer.”

The innovation in the paving program is made possible by the efforts of many groups and individuals:

  • The Marathon County Board Infrastructure Committee supports the department’s efforts to implement cost-effective paving methods.
  • Private contractors invest in specialized equipment that is required to complete key aspects of the program.
  • The Highway Commissioner and department managers work to specify, schedule, and coordinate the work.
Material Transfer Vehicle places asphalt in Marathon County’s asphalt paver.

Most importantly, the construction and maintenance crews working for the Marathon County Highway Department work the long hours required to construct and maintain over 600 miles of Marathon County highways.

recycling equipment
Cold In-place Recycling equipment prepares a 20-year-old pavement for a new asphalt overlay.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Marathon County Highway Department, I invite you to visit our department webpage or read Katie Rosenberg’s article “Get a Front-Row Seat to a Snow Plow Ride-Along in Marathon County,” where she takes you on a ride down the highway during a good old-fashioned, early morning snowstorm in Central Wisconsin.

James Griesbach - Marathon County Highway CommissionerJames Griesbach

Commissioner  |  Marathon County Highway Department

The Marathon County Highway Department oversees the maintenance of over 600 miles of the county trunk highway system and annually contracts with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to maintain an additional 874 lane miles of State and Federal Highway System roads. Marathon County is also responsible for 110 county bridges and has oversight on another 240 local municipal bridges. The department has 5 facilities, located in Wausau, Mosinee, Abbotsford, and near Hatley and Stratford.  Email James Griesbach.

You might also like…

Marathon County logoPlease email our Editorial Board with your comments, suggestions, and article ideas.

And if you spot a typo or an inaccuracy, please contact us so we can fix it. Thanks!