Michigan County Extends Road Life with Cost-Effective Solution


Recently, Genesee Country treated an unpaved road with Perma-Zyme in Flushing, MI. Construction of the 1-mile-long residential farm road attracted superintendents from all over Michigan and could be completed in a single day.

“Our Carpenter Road project went well. It cures well with very little dust. We also brought in the Huron County, Livingston and Oakland Road Commissions to see the process and learn a bit more about the product, ”said Eric Johnston, Genesee County Engineering Manager.

Genesee County previously used magnesium chloride to treat the road. Their cost of using magnesium chloride was over $ 159,000 per year, not including material and labor costs. A standard 1 mile, 2 lane road built with Perma-Zyme costs $ 6,000.

The county has had to apply magnesium chloride several times throughout the year, while Perma-Zyme only needs to be applied once and creates a concrete-like surface that lasts up to 15 years with little or no no maintenance. Perma-Zyme is also environmentally and worker-friendly, requiring no special protective equipment, while chlorides, including magnesium chloride, have been shown to be harmful to the environment.

Flushing’s unpaved road is mostly limestone with clay underneath. Typically, Perma-Zyme requires a 20 percent clay content for the product to work effectively, but Substrata has done extensive testing on Genesee’s soil and has determined that Perma-Zyme can work with the limestone present. Perma-Zyme has a positive charge and binds to the negative charge in clay and limestone, which induces an electrochemical reaction that results in a concrete-like surface that strengthens over time.

The Flushing Road is not the first in Genesee County to use Perma-Zyme. Prior to Atlas 2013, Michigan’s Walker Road was a constant problem for its residents when it broke in the spring.

“The Walker route has 2 very low points … the route would have giant frost boils which made the route impassable on several occasions. A lot of people who lived there parked their cars and walked, ”said Shirley Kautman Jones, former vice-chair of the Genesee County Road Commission.

Kautman took the product to the road commission where they decided to use it on Walker Road.

“The people who lived on the road were very excited, after that point it was a huge success. We went over two years without applying calcium chloride on the road. There was no road dust. It’s incredible. I would definitely recommend the product. “

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