The Missouri Department of Transportation is putting soy technology to work as a highway sealant along U.S. Highway 63.
Washington, Mo.-based Biospan Technologies and the Missouri Department of Transportation applied soy-based RePlay sealant to a 2-mile section of U.S. Highway 63 as part of a trial in partnership with the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council.
BioSpan Technologies was founded in 1993 by Shel Chesky. Then St. Louis-based, the company grew internationally through a focus on paving technology.
The sealant is expected to slow deterioration of the driving surface within the treated sections, potentially delaying repaving and other costly maintenance. The treated asphalt will be specifically monitored for signs of deterioration as compared to untreated asphalt by the Missouri Department of Transportation as part of this trial.
“Addressing challenges our partners and rural communities face while growing markets for soy is key to realizing the bright future for Missouri’s top crop, soybeans,” says Kyle Durham, a farmer and chairman of the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council board of directors.
“The sealant is an exciting example of the innovation we’re seeing among those developing new uses for soy, and we appreciate the partnership from MODOT in putting this technology to work.”
Work in progress
Staff from the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council met with the Missouri Department of Transportation several times over the past 18 months to discuss the availability of soy-based sealants and rejuvenators, and to explore opportunities for trials of soy-based products on Missouri roads.
“We want to be environmentally responsible as we operate and maintain the state’s transportation system,” says Machelle Watkins, Missouri Department of Transportation district engineer for the Central District. “That includes evaluating innovative products and methods that could provide more protection and prevent deterioration of roadways in an ecological way.”
The Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council is using soy checkoff dollars dedicated to research and promotion to purchase the RePlay sealant from BioSpan Technologies for the purpose of this trial. The soy-based sealant trial is in a one-lane section, 2 miles in length, on northbound U.S. Highway 63, near the intersection with U.S. Highway 124.