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November 14, 2011

Paving the World's Highest Highway

This is one of those crazy jobs that you just have to brag about. The G219 in China is reportedly (one of?) the world's highest highway and links Xinjiang and Tibet. The contractor is part of the Chinese Army. We stayed in their camp and brought supplies with us. It's cold at night and a simple coal furnace provided heat. We lived by the army schedule: getting up early, washing with ice water, and having breakfast as fast as we can.
In October, we made a 1-kilometer trial at an altitude of 3500 M (11,483 feet). By comparison, the May paving job at Echo Pass on US 50 had an altitude of 2249 M (7,344 feet). The air temperature was -2 to 4C (28.4-39.2 F) and it was windy with overcast skies. The paving temperature was 106-114C (223-237 F). The day after paving, the six cores were drilled and showed satisfactory results. Next year, the owner is considering using Evotherm for five passes with altitudes over 5000 M (16,404 feet)!
Author: Stefan Liu


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