Why #57 Crushed Concrete is the Ultimate Choice for Versatile Construction

As a civil engineer and construction materials expert with over 30 years of experience, I am frequently asked about specifying the right type of crushed stone aggregate for infrastructure projects. One aggregate that provides an optimal balance of affordability, availability, and performance properties is #57 crushed concrete. In this detailed guide, I’ll explain everything you need to know about how #57 crushed concrete is produced, its unique characteristics and applications, installation best practices, and more. By understanding the capabilities and limitations of this popular versatile aggregate, you can take full advantage of your specific needs.

A Closer Look at What #57 Crushed Concrete Is

Defining #57 Crushed Concrete

Crusher-run gravel is an optimal, affordable option for construction and landscaping projects needing a durable, stable gravel material. As an engineer focused on practical solutions, I often recommend crusher run for its versatile benefits. In this article, I will methodically explain the crusher run’s composition and ideal uses so readers can make an informed decision for their specific needs. #57 Crushed concrete is a coarse recycled construction aggregate produced by crushing clean concrete recovered from demolition projects. The concrete chunks are processed down to a consistently graded 1” to 1⁄2” particle size meeting the #57 aggregate classification. It contains a blend of natural stone, sand, and cement particles from the original concrete.

Why Choose a Recycled Product?

Using recycled concrete aggregates is an environmentally and economically sustainable choice with many benefits:

  • Diverts concrete waste from landfills
  • Reduces use of virgin quarried aggregates
  • Lower aggregate transportation costs
  • Comparable durability and strength to virgin materials
  • Consistent quality control through processing

Recycled concrete aggregates are very “green” and cost-competitive alternatives.

High-Quality 57 Crushed Concrete
High-Quality 57 Crushed Concrete


A Load-Bearing Gravel Foundation Crusher run’s mixture of crushed rock, gravel, sand, and fines forms an extremely stable base when compacted thoroughly. The angular particles interlock and provide exceptional bearing capacity. For homeowners and contractors seeking stability, crusher run offers:

  • Long-lasting integrity under vehicle loads as a road or driveway base material when compacted correctly. This prevents future settlement issues.
  • Resistance to deformation from heavy traffic, minimizing problems like rutting, washouts, and sinkholes. Careful compaction is key.
  • Sustained landscape structure integrity for retaining walls, foundations, and edgings by withstanding elements over time. Proper drainage prevents frost heaving.
  • Versatile structural support applications including building foundations, equipment pads, and trail surfacing. Its strength keeps everything supported.

Lasting Durability

In addition to strength, crusher run provides durable performance over time when used as a base material:

  • Hard particles resist breaking down to maintain stability in demanding applications. Less durable gravels degrade faster.
  • Its gravel-stone-sand composition requires less maintenance than plain gravel. There is reduced shifting, scattering, and washouts.
  • Once fully compacted, the crusher run maintains density and load capacity very well, with minimal resettling issues over time.
  • Enhanced weathering resistance compared to gravel, thanks to the crushed rock content and improved drainage.

Proper Installation

As an engineer, I recommend quality installation practices to maximize the crusher run’s structural durability:

  • Compact in thin lifts with heavy rollers in static mode until fully consolidated.
  • Target 95% standard Proctor density and avoid over-compaction.
  • Verify field density with nuclear gauge testing.

The extra effort pays off long-term on projects using crusher run.

Cost Savings

For budget-conscious homeowners and contractors, Crusher Run offers quality at value pricing:

  • Widespread local availability makes it typically cheaper per ton than other gravels. Less processing lowers production costs.
  • Installation labor is reduced thanks to the crusher run’s excellent workability and gradation for spreading, grading, and compacting.
  • Extended service life compared to plain gravel translates to a better lifetime return on investment.

Superior Drainage Proper drainage is key to maximizing the crusher run’s strengths. Benefits include:

  • Rapid infiltration of water through voids, preventing damage from excessive hydrostatic pressures.
  • Reduction of subgrade saturation during heavy precipitation. Permeability is a major asset.
  • Decreased frost heaving and ice lens formation compared to poorly draining fills. This prevents cracking.
  • Improved accessibility by reducing muddy conditions and standing water issues.
High-Quality 57 Crushed Concrete
High-Quality 57 Crushed Concrete
Compaction 57 Crushed Concrete
Compaction 57 Crushed Concrete
paved 57 Crushed
paved 57 Crushed
No fine lines and gaps after compaction
No fine lines and gaps after compaction

Design Perspectives: Incorporating #57 Crushed Concrete

Roadway and Pavement Applications

One of the primary applications of #57 crushed concrete is in the construction and maintenance of roads, driveways, and parking lots. The material’s high compressive strength and excellent drainage capabilities make it an ideal choice for sub-base and base course layers, providing a stable foundation for paved surfaces.

Improved Subgrade Stability

By utilizing #57 crushed concrete as a sub-base material, you can effectively improve the stability and load-bearing capacity of the underlying soil. This is particularly beneficial in areas with poor soil conditions, as the crushed concrete helps to distribute the weight of the pavement more evenly, reducing the risk of settling or rutting.

Enhanced Drainage Performance

The angular and porous nature of #57 crushed concrete allows for improved drainage, helping to prevent the accumulation of water and the subsequent formation of potholes or other pavement defects. This feature is especially valuable in regions with high rainfall or areas prone to flooding.

Structural Applications

Beyond its use in pavement construction, #57 crushed concrete also finds application in various structural projects, such as building foundations, retaining walls, and even as a component in concrete mixes.

Foundation Stability

When used as a base material for building foundations, #57 crushed concrete provides a stable and well-draining platform, helping to prevent the settling or shifting of the structure over time. This can be particularly beneficial in areas with expansive or unstable soil conditions.

Retaining Wall Construction

Crushed concrete can be an effective and cost-efficient material for constructing retaining walls. Its interlocking properties and high compressive strength make it a suitable alternative to traditional aggregate materials, while also contributing to the overall durability and longevity of the wall.

Landscape and Drainage Applications

Beyond construction and infrastructure projects, #57 crushed concrete also finds applications in landscaping and drainage systems.

Drainage and Erosion Control

The porous nature of crushed concrete makes it an excellent choice for use in drainage systems, French drains, and other stormwater management applications. Allowing water to percolate through the material, it helps to prevent the accumulation of standing water and mitigate the risk of erosion.

Decorative Landscaping

#57 Crushed concrete can also be used as a decorative element in landscaping projects, such as walkways, pathways, and ground cover. Its versatile appearance and durability make it a popular choice for homeowners and landscape designers seeking a low-maintenance and aesthetically pleasing solution.

Safety Considerations when Using #57 Crushed Concrete

While #57 crushed concrete is a versatile and valuable material, it’s essential to consider the safety aspects when handling and incorporating it into your construction projects.

Dust Control

The crushing process involved in producing #57 crushed concrete can generate significant amounts of airborne dust. Proper dust control measures, such as the use of water sprays or enclosures, are crucial to protect workers and the surrounding environment from exposure to silica dust, which can pose health risks.

PPE and Site Safety

When working with #57 crushed concrete, it’s essential to provide appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), such as hard hats, gloves, and eye protection, to ensure the safety of all personnel on-site. Additionally, implementing proper site safety protocols, such as access controls and signage, can help mitigate the risks associated with the handling and placement of the material.

Environmental Considerations

While the reuse of concrete waste is inherently eco-friendly, it’s essential to consider the potential environmental impact of using #57 crushed concrete. Proper disposal of any contaminated or hazardous materials, as well as compliance with local regulations, should be a priority throughout the project.

Cost Considerations for #57 Crushed Concrete

The cost-effectiveness of using #57 crushed concrete is one of the primary factors driving its growing popularity in the construction industry.

Material Costs

Compared to traditional aggregate materials, such as gravel or crushed stone, #57 crushed concrete is generally more cost-effective. The recycling and processing of concrete waste into a usable product helps to lower the overall material costs, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious projects.

Transportation and Logistics

Another factor that contributes to the cost-effectiveness of #57 crushed concrete is the availability of local sources. Since the material is often produced and distributed regionally, the transportation costs can be significantly lower than importing traditional aggregates from distant locations.

Labor and Equipment Considerations

The ease of handling and placement of #57 crushed concrete can also result in labor and equipment cost savings. The material’s self-compacting properties and lack of specialized application requirements can streamline the installation process, reducing the need for specialized equipment and labor-intensive techniques.

Calculating the Quantity of #57 Crushed Concrete Needed

Accurately estimating the quantity of #57 crushed concrete required for your project is crucial to ensure efficient planning and budgeting. Here’s a comprehensive breakdown of the factors to consider:

Project ParametersCalculationExample
Area to be Covered (sq. ft.)Measure the length and width of the area50 ft. x 30 ft. = 1,500 sq. ft.
Depth of Crushed Concrete (in.)Determine the required depth based on the application6 in.
Conversion to Volume (cu. yd.)Area (sq. ft.) x Depth (in.) / 324(1,500 sq. ft. x 6 in.) / 324 = 27.78 cu. yd.
Conversion to Weight (tons)Volume (cu. yd.) x Density (1.5 tons/cu. yd.)27.78 cu. yd. x 1.5 tons/cu. yd. = 41.67 tons

By considering the project parameters, such as the area to be covered and the required depth, you can accurately calculate the volume and weight of #57 crushed concrete needed for your construction project. This information can then be used to obtain accurate pricing and ensure a successful and cost-effective installation.

Production Process for High-Quality #57 Crushed Concrete

Sourcing Clean, Known Concrete Feedstock

The quality of #57 crushed concrete depends on the careful sourcing of the original concrete. Feedstock is tested to ensure it is clean structural concrete free of contaminants. The concrete origin is traced for documentation.

Controlled Crushing and Grading

Oversized concrete chunks are loaded into primary jaw crushers and reduced to 4” minus. The material goes through additional impact crushers and screening to remove fines and grade it to proper maximum 1” and minimum 1⁄2” particle sizes meeting #57 gradation specifications.

Washing and Final Grading

The crushed particles are washed to remove dust and debris. Final vibrating screen grading ensures a consistent size meeting the #57 distribution target with no segregation.

Stockpiling Under Cover

The finished #57 crushed concrete aggregate is placed in well-drained, covered stockpiles on-site to prevent contamination before transport.

Key Characteristics and Properties

Particle Size Distribution

As defined by ASTM C33 gradation standards for a #57 aggregate, around 90-100% of particles fall between 1” and 1⁄2”, with less than 10% fines passing a No. 8 sieve. This maximal 1” size classifies it as a coarse aggregate.

Angular and Elongated Particles

The controlled crushing process results in more angular cuboidal particles with rough fractured faces compared to natural smooth rounded gravels. The high surface roughness improves mechanical bonding in place.

LA Abrasion Resistance

The typical Los Angeles (LA) abrasion loss value is around 35% when tested per ASTM C131. This ensures sufficient durability under traffic and environmental weathering.

Specific Gravity

A typical oven-dry specific gravity for #57 crushed concrete is 2.3-2.6. Higher densities result in greater stability and load-bearing capacity when compacted.

Recycled Material Composition

#57 Crushed concrete contains a blend of natural aggregates like limestone and sand originally used to produce the source concrete. These are bound by hardened cement paste and recycled concrete mortar.

Stamped Asphalt Driveways: An Elegant, Durable Option for Homeowners

Key Applications and Benefits

Flexible Pavement Road Base

With proper compaction, #57 crushed concrete provides extremely stable load-bearing support for asphalt road base layers underneath flexible pavements. Its angular interlocking particles distribute stresses well under traffic loads compared to smooth rounded aggregates.

Rigid Pavement Subbase

Below concrete slabs and pavements, a #57 crushed concrete subbase performs well carrying static and dynamic loads while providing good drainage. The consistent 1” maximum size prevents particle intrusion into the slab.

Commercial Parking Lot Base

For parking lots and garages, a #57 crushed concrete base withstands heavy vehicle static and dynamic stresses without deformation. Angular aggregates increase stiffness. Grading reduces the pumping of fines.

Residential Driveway Base

As a driveway base or subbase, #57 crushed concrete provides year-round stable footing. The coarse texture prevents rutting or displacement under vehicle loading and weather extremes.

French Drains and Trenches

#57 crushed concrete works extremely well as an aggregate drain rock for French drains, retaining wall drainage, stormwater dry wells, and foundation perimeter drain trenches. Voids between particles allow rapid water flow.

Landscaping and Erosion Control

Its blend of particle sizes along with angularity makes #57 crushed concrete ideal for loose-fill landscaping applications like retaining wall backfill, planters, and decorative grading for erosion control stability.

Installation and Compaction Best Practices

Subgrade Preparation

Prior to placement, the subgrade must be proof rolled and compacted to at least 95% density according to AASHTO T99 Proctor testing. All soft areas should be mitigated to prevent the pumping of fines into the #57 base layer.

Lift Thickness

#57 Crushed concrete should be placed in consistent lifts no thicker than 150mm (6 inches) and compacted to maximum density before adding the next lift. Thinner 3-4 inch lifts are optimal.

Compaction Standards

Target 95% modified Proctor density per ASTM D1557 to ensure uniform stability. Avoid over-compaction as it can crush particles. Test field density regularly with nuclear gauges.

Compaction Methods

Use a vibratory roller in static mode for breakdown rolling. Follow with an oscillating steel roller until no visible movement under loading. Moisture conditioning improves efficiency.

Fill Voids

Work crushed concrete fines into the surface after compaction to fill any remaining voids and create a tight, smooth finish. The fines bind and lock the coarser aggregate together.

Key Considerations and Limitations

Drainage versus Stability

Lower compaction leaves more drainage voids but sacrifices strength. Higher densities increase stability but reduce permeability. Balance targets to needs.

Freeze-Thaw Durability

Like all coarse aggregates, #57 crushed concrete is susceptible to frost heaving when saturated. Limit saturation through adequate drainage protection in cold climates.

Alkali-Silica Reactivity

Monitor the alkali content of the recycled concrete feedstock which can react with silica minerals and cause delayed expansion cracking. Additional mix design adjustments may be prudent.

Stockpile Management

Use best practices like frequent rotation and consistent moisture content. Avoid contamination and excessive fines. Test gradation periodically.

Fines Migration

Excessive fines can erode and clog drain rock voids over time. Consider stabilization methods to limit migration under groundwater flow.

Most Asked Questions

What is the typical price range for #57 crushed concrete?

The price of #57 crushed concrete can vary depending on your location, the supplier, and the quantity you purchase. On average, the price range is typically between $20 to $40 per ton.

Can #57 crushed concrete be used for all types of construction projects?

While #57 crushed concrete is highly versatile, it may not be the optimal choice for all construction projects. It is best suited for applications such as roadways, pavement, foundations, and landscaping, where its specific properties and performance characteristics make it a valuable material.

How does the use of #57 crushed concrete compare to traditional aggregate materials in terms of cost savings?

Compared to traditional aggregate materials like gravel or crushed stone, #57 crushed concrete can provide significant cost savings, often ranging from 20% to 50% or more, depending on the specific project and location.

What are the environmental benefits of using #57 crushed concrete?

The use of #57 crushed concrete helps to divert concrete waste from landfills, reducing the environmental impact of construction activities. Additionally, the material’s recycled nature and reduced transportation requirements contribute to its overall sustainability.

How can I ensure the proper placement and compaction of #57 crushed concrete?

Proper placement and compaction of #57 crushed concrete are essential to achieving the desired performance and longevity. It’s recommended to follow the manufacturer’s or industry guidelines, which may include the use of specialized equipment, such as plate compactors or vibratory rollers.

Are there any special considerations for using #57 crushed concrete in cold climates?

Yes, in cold climates, it’s essential to take measures to prevent the #57 crushed concrete from freezing during the installation process. This may involve using heated equipment, insulating the material, or scheduling the work during warmer periods.

Can #57 crushed concrete be used in residential projects, such as driveways and pathways?

Absolutely! #57 crushed concrete is an excellent choice for residential construction and landscaping projects, providing a durable, cost-effective, and aesthetically pleasing solution for driveways, pathways, and other outdoor hardscaping elements.

How does the permeability of #57 crushed concrete compare to traditional aggregate materials?

#57 Crushed concrete is generally more permeable than traditional aggregate materials, thanks to its angular and porous nature. This enhanced permeability makes it a suitable choice for applications where effective drainage is a priority, such as in stormwater management or French drain systems.

What are the best practices for handling and storing #57 crushed concrete on-site?

Proper handling and storage of #57 crushed concrete are essential to maintain its quality and prevent contamination. This may include covering the material to protect it from the elements, segregating it from other waste or hazardous materials, and ensuring it is placed on a stable, well-drained surface.

Can #57 crushed concrete be used in structural concrete mixes?

Yes, #57 crushed concrete can be incorporated into structural concrete mixes as a partial or full replacement for traditional coarse aggregates. However, it’s important to consult with a structural engineer or concrete specialist to ensure the appropriate mix design and performance requirements are met.

What is the typical compressive strength of #57 crushed concrete?

The compressive strength of #57 crushed concrete can vary depending on the source and quality of the recycled concrete, but it generally ranges from 2,000 to 4,000 psi, making it a suitable choice for a wide range of construction applications.

How does the lifespan of #57 crushed concrete compare to traditional aggregate materials?

When properly installed and maintained, #57 crushed concrete can provide a long-lasting performance that is comparable, if not superior, to traditional aggregate materials. With its high durability and resistance to weathering, #57 crushed concrete can often deliver a service life of 10 to 20 years or more.

Can #57 crushed concrete be used in applications that require high-load-bearing capacity?

Yes, the compressive strength and load-bearing capacity of #57 crushed concrete make it a suitable choice for applications that require heavy-duty support, such as in foundation systems or heavily trafficked areas like industrial warehouses or commercial parking lots.

How can I ensure the quality and consistency of the #57 crushed concrete I purchase?

To ensure the quality and consistency of the #57 crushed concrete, it’s recommended to work with reputable suppliers who can provide third-party testing data and certifications. Additionally, you may want to conduct your own field tests or sample inspections to verify the material’s compliance with the project specifications.

Final Words

The key to effectively utilizing #57 crushed concrete in your construction projects is to thoroughly understand its unique properties, design applications, and cost-saving potential. By incorporating this versatile material into your plans, you can achieve durable, eco-friendly, and cost-effective solutions that meet the demands of your projects.

About Me

As a licensed civil engineer and construction specialist with over 25 years of experience, Steve Axton has dedicated his career to helping clients and project managers achieve the best possible outcomes for their construction projects. With a deep understanding of asphalt materials, specifications, and roadway construction, Steve has become a trusted authority in the industry, known for his innovative solutions and commitment to delivering high-quality, cost-effective results.

With its unique blend of affordability, sustainability, drainage, and strength, #57 crushed concrete aggregate is a versatile choice for many infrastructure and construction applications. Optimizing its performance requires controlling the quality and gradation through production, following subgrade preparation and compaction best practices during installation, and matching the material properties to your specific needs. I hope this detailed overview has provided helpful guidance on maximizing the benefits of #57 crushed concrete for your next project.

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I'm Steve Axton, a dedicated Asphalt Construction Manager with over 25 years of experience paving the future of infrastructure. My journey with asphalt began by studying civil engineering and learning about core pavement materials like aggregate, binder and additives that compose this durable and versatile substance. I gained hands-on experience with production processes including refining, mixing and transporting during my internships, which opened my eyes to real-world uses on roads, driveways and parking lots. Over the past decades, I have deepened my expertise in asphalt properties like viscosity, permeability and testing procedures like Marshall stability and abrasion. My time with respected construction companies has honed my skills in paving techniques like milling, compaction and curing as well as maintenance activities like crack filling, resurfacing and recycling methods. I'm grateful for the knowledge I've gained about standards from Superpave to sustainability best practices that balance longevity, cost and environmental friendliness. It's been an incredibly rewarding career working with this complex material to build the infrastructure future.

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