Completed in February 2019, the West Memphis/I-40 Truck Inspection Pit serves as one of the Arkansas DOT’s main truck inspection sites on the busy I-40 interstate highway. Penetron was chosen as the preferred crystalline waterproofing product thanks to proven performance and the exceptional project support by the local Penetron representatives.
The inspection pit facilities maintained across the USA by state transportation departments feature one or two narrow pits or trenches in the floor of the inspection facility, deep enough for a person to stand upright in, where a vehicle can be parked over. The Arkansas Department of Transportation (DOT) maintains inspection facilities on the I-40 (and other interstate highways), the state’s major east-west highway that connects California and the Southwest with the Southeastern United States.
Getting a Second Opinion
On the west-bound lane of I-40 in Arkansas, the West Memphis DOT inspection facility lies immediately west of the Hernando de Soto Bridge, which crosses the Mississippi River from Memphis, Tennessee. The Arkansas DOT uses the inspection pit on the I-40 to examine the underside of westward-bound trucks and heavy vehicles to conduct safety inspections, such as brake and suspension tests, and also to check for any illicit substances that may be attached to the undercarriage of the truck.
The West Memphis DOT inspection facility has now added two new inspection pits, each approximately 10’ x 50’, as well as a facility building. During the planning phase of construction, a competitive crystalline product was originally specified for this project. However, upon review of the specific issues with the concrete mix, the local Penetron expert was called in to provide a “second opinion.”
Looking for a Sulfate-Resistant Mix
“R.L. Persons Construction, the project contractor for the Arkansas DOT project, noted concerns about the high groundwater level present at the construction site, as well as the fact that the concrete will be exposed to the road salts from the trucks,” explains Christopher Chen, Director of The Penetron Group. “The specifications called for a sulfate-resistant concrete mix to counter the problematic soil conditions.”
Lowering the permeability of the concrete has a direct correlation with the ability to resist the aggressive chemicals found in the soil, the road salts from the trucks, and the high water table due to the location of the project in the vicinity of the Mississippi River. Penetron crystalline technology reduces concrete permeability and provides comprehensive protection against concrete deterioration caused by chemical attack, freeze-thaw cycles and corrosion – to substantially increase concrete durability and service life.
Extending Concrete Durability
Penetron worked with the R.L. Persons team to devise an optimal solution to protect all exposed concrete at the DOT inspection facility. Razorback Concrete Company, the ready-mix supplier, added PENETRON ADMIX to the new concrete used for the foundation slabs and retaining walls of the inspection pits and facility building. PENEBAR SW-45 waterstop strips were used to seal the construction joints.
In addition, PENETRON crystalline material was applied topically to almost 3,000 square feet of existing concrete structures – in combination with PENECRETE MORTAR to seal the cracks in the existing concrete – to extend the durability of the structures.
“For the Arkansas DOT and R.L. Persons, the value of superior product performance and project support made the difference in choosing Penetron,” concludes Christopher Chen.