Lasting Concrete in Tricky Conditions
Kansas Asphalt helps a large convenience store chain repair parking lots in Omaha, Nebraska.

Andy Jeffries, Kansas Asphalt’s COO, and two team members traveled to Omaha, NE, to meet with the director of facilities for a large convenience store chain. While touring seven locations around the city, the group discussed the unique issues that plague concrete parking lots in Omaha.

What is Alkali-Silica Reaction?

Often, concrete in the area suffers from ASR, known as alkali-silica reaction. ASR is a process in which silica (found in aggregate) is broken down by alkalis (found in cement) when in the presence of moisture. Essentially, the aggregate and cement used in some concrete specs can create a reaction that causes the concrete to crack when moisture is introduced. Because ASR is prevalent in Nebraska, concrete parking lots in the area often break down, spall, crack, and heave prematurely.

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Around 7-10 years ago, the C-store chain had brand new concrete lots in Omaha. A few years later, in 2016, those lots had already started to break down, causing trip hazards and dangerous conditions. In 2016, Jeffries and his crew adapted Omaha city specs with information from the Nebraska Department of Transportation to create a special concrete mix, with the hope it would hold up to the test of time. Using that new mix, they patched multiple lots for the stores.

A Great Result

Three years after the test run with the new concrete mix, Kansas Asphalt’s team saw firsthand how their concrete held up. The results were positive – the 2016 concrete showed little sign of breaking down, while older areas of the lots had cracks and potholes.

Though it took a little creative problem solving, the Kansas Asphalt team was able to come up with a unique solution for Omaha’s ASR woes.

Omaha concrete project image of lasting section

This photo shows a 2016 Kansas Asphalt concrete patch that remains whole in the middle of an otherwise failing parking lot.

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