|Paving Russia's Trans-Siberian Highway|
Russian Route M58 is an unfinished part of the Trans-Siberian Highway that runs from Chita to Khabarovsk, a total of 1,300 miles or 2,100 km. Portability was obviously a key issue.
Paving of the M58 Amur Highway is being done with asphalt mixes that are produced in this Astec Double Barrel® M-Pack plant.
The new highway—the M58 Amur Highway—It is scheduled to be completed in 2016 and it will be a key part of what is probably the longest highway in the world: the Trans-Siberian Highway. When all of the segments are finished, the Trans-Siberian Highway will stretch 6,835 miles (11,000 km) from Saint Petersburg on the Baltic Sea of the Atlantic Ocean in Northwest Russia to Vladivostok on the Japan Sea of the Pacific Ocean in Southeast Russia. Compare that with the longest highway in the United States—Interstate 90— which goes from Boston, Massachusetts to Seattle, Washington: Interstate 90 has a total of only 3,099 miles (4,987 km).
Although the M58 Amur Highway between Chita and Khabarovsk makes up only about 20 percent of the total distance of the Trans-Siberian Highway, it is still thought to offer perhaps the most demanding challenges for those who are building it. The route follows a gravel trail called the Amur Cart Road that was built between 1898 and 1909. In recent years, it has been used primarily as a logging road. When finished, the new highway will be two lanes wide in most areas, although it will be four lanes wide in others. The entire highway will be paved with asphalt.
In order to produce the asphalt mixes that are necessary for this project, the Kamdorstroy Trust of the Republic of Tartarstan bought an Astec Double Barrel® M-Pack plant. Kamdorstroy Trust is one of the most experienced companies in the growing road-construction industry of Russia.
The Astec Double Barrel M-Pack plant was shipped from the United States across the Atlantic Ocean to Saint Petersburg, Russia and was then transported by train more than 3,000 miles (4,800 km) to the location of its first jobsite on the M58 Amur Highway. The relocatable plant was set up and became fully operational in early summer of last year.
The central part of Kamdorstroy Trust's new plant is a 6 x 33-ft. (1.8 x 10-m) Double Barrel drum mixer equipped with a Whisper Jet® oil burner. The drum mixer also has the Double Barrel Green™ System that permits production of warm-mix asphalt (WMA) as well as hot-mix asphalt (HMA).
Other portable components include a five-compartment cold-feed system; scalping screen, conveyors; weigh bridge; baghouse; a split dry-additive silo that can accommodate the storage and delivery of both dust and filler; a portable Heatec asphalt storage tank capable of storing and heating 15,000 gal. (56,780 L); and an Astec New Generation storage system that consists of two 100- ton (91-tonne) storage silos with electrically heated cones.
When the production team's Astec Double Barrel M-Pack plant is operating under optimum conditions, it is capable of producing mix at the rate of 180 tons per hour (163 tonnes per hour).
The plant operator can visually monitor all operations in the plant from the observer control center that is about 10-ft. (3-m) square in size. The center includes Astec's PMII-A continuous mix blending controls that allow the operator to monitor the proportional control of the aggregate feeders and the blending of asphalt and additives.Everyone in Russia is interested in the progress of this construction project. When construction of the M58 Amur Highway is completed, it will permit travel and trucking in parts of Siberia that have been almost inaccessible.