The Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) recently completed a $3,595,595, U.S. Highway 93 reconstruction and realignment in Panaca in eastern Lincoln County, near the Utah border. Road and Highway Builders LLC, of Sparks, Nev., was the general contractor.

The 30-year-old 1-mile-long section of two-lane highway road underwent a complete makeover at Mile Marker 106. Construction entailed using 15,000 pick-up trucks of dirt and enough asphalt to pave 545 driveways. The new highway sits atop 8,000 blocks of a product called Geofoam, which is similar Styrofoam. The project uses enough polystyrene to make 2.4 million Styrofoam cups.

“The heavy clay-like expansive soil conditions prompted the use Geofoam, which is considerably lighter and less susceptible to expansion and contraction,” says NDOT spokesman Tony Illia. “The material, used as road subgrade, is strong and doesn’t shift or sink.”

Geofoam is 1 percent to 2 percent the density of soil with equal strength, but it doesn’t breakdown over time. It’s also fast to install. The four-month project uses 20-foot by 11-foot Geofoam blocks that weigh only 33 pounds each or the equivalent of about two bowling balls.

“Road and Highway Builders were a great partner, finishing the project on-time and within budget,” said NDOT District I Engineer Mary Martini. “This project will create a smooth long-lasting ride for decades to come.”