Lithification discussed at county meeting

During the Sept. 7 weekly business session of the Board of Josephine County Commissioners, individuals speaking on behalf of a business based in New Mexico that specializes in constructing roads using the process of lithification sought an audience with the commissioners and other county officials to discuss the merits of enlisting the business.
Howard Oswald of Talent, Ore. was joined by business partner Dale Ramsdale of Medford. Oswald began his remarks by saying, “We’re all tired of inflation and the expensive costs of road building and maintenance.
“Dale and I are here today representing Lithified Technologies, a company which has developed a breakthrough technology that turns base core soil into solid stone in less than 24 hours, with excellent ductility and tremendous strength.”
According to Science Direct, “Lithification refers to complex physical, chemical, or biological processes whereby unconsolidated material (e.g., sand, silt, and mud) becomes converted to solid rock (e.g., sandstone, siltstone, and mudstone).”
Oswald claimed that with Lithtec, a “considerably reduced amount of asphalt surface is applied. The result will be a stronger, longer-lasting road which is environmentally friendly, considerably greener, using much less water and much less diesel fuel, sending little or nothing to the landfill.”
In addition to being stronger and more durable, Oswald claimed Lithtec roads cost half or even a third of the cost of traditional road replacement methods.
Oswald and Ramsdale requested a meeting with the commissioners, public works director and county roads engineer “to explain in detail how we can provide you these cost savings and to explore where lithification will be applicable to the county’s road needs.”
The presenters claimed Lithified Technologies has the endorsement of the New Mexico Department of Transportation and Los Alamos National Laboratory. A chairperson for the New Mexico DOT was quoted as suggesting the Federal Highway Administration consider lithification road construction for widespread application.
Ramsdale elaborated on the process Lithtec uses to upgrade existing roads, which involves grinding up the existing road material and infusing it with naturally occurring minerals and accelerators. He reiterated the assertion that it is an eco-friendly process that takes roughly 24 hours.
“I’m interested in this,” said Commissioner Dan DeYoung. He did wonder, however, if the lithification process would be less effective on Southern Oregon roads than the desert roads of New Mexico.
“We’re always looking for new stuff to come along,” added DeYoung. “Let’s take a look at anything that comes along… I think saving money should be at the forefront of every government.”
Board Chair Herman Baertschiger agreed with this sentiment, expressing, “Anytime we can do things better and cheaper, you got my ear. So I will make sure this meeting happens.”