Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Orange barrels on a highway

Taconite Aggregates in Pavement Applications (NRRI)

The construction and maintenance of highway infrastructure creates a demand for high quality paving aggregates, which are becoming scarce in many parts of the country.  Taconite industry waste rock and tailings are a potential new source of virgin aggregates.  However, there is limited information available for implementing these products in construction design specifications.

Over the years MnDOT has partnered with the Natural Resources Research Institute at the University of Minnesota – Duluth and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources on several successive projects investigating the viability of using taconite aggregates in pavement applications.

The goal of this research is to assess available taconite aggregate resources that could supply an abundant, high quality, low cost aggregate for roadway use, especially in areas where aggregates are becoming scarce.  The main issues surrounding this coordinated research effort involve both engineering/material properties and economics/logistics of transportation.


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