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ARRA: Sorbent Modified Fly Ash as Sole Binder for Structural Concrete Mixtures

Project #: 4WR171
Start Date: 07/01/2010
End Date: 12/30/2011

Working with the United States Forest Service (USFS) and the Western Transportation Institute at Montana State University (WTI), the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) is supporting and coordinating a pilot project using an innovative, environmentally friendly concrete to construct a boat ramp at the USFS Lake Como Recreation Area in the Bitterroot National Forest. This new concrete uses fly ash as the sole binding agent rather than traditional Portland cement. The manufacture of Portland cement is a resource/energy intensive process, whereas fly ash is an abundantly available byproduct of the combustion of coal to generate electricity. The properties of this new concrete have been extensively researched by WTI over the past 10 years, and based on this work it has subsequently been used in a variety of pilot projects across the state.

In this project, WTI will develop specific mixture designs appropriate to this application, determine the engineering properties of these mixtures (strength and durability), and investigate some environmental concerns that have been raised regarding their use. Based on past work, it is expected that the material will be found to be suitable for this application. Following this work, WTI will assist and consult on a trial production of the proposed concrete mix at the batch plant that will produce the material for the boat ramp, itself. At the project site, WTI subsequently will build the formwork; assemble the reinforcing steel; and place, finish, and cure the concrete for the boat ramp.


The goal of this project is to test and prepare concrete mixtures using fly ash as the binding agent, for use in a pilot project to construct a concrete boat ramp with recycled materials.


  • Jerry Stephens
    Jerry Stephens
  • Bonnie Rouse
    Bonnie Rouse


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