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ACPA Presents Awards for Concrete Pavements Excellence

Wed December 28, 2005 - National Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

The American Concrete Pavement Association (ACPA) has presented its 16th Annual “Excellence in Concrete Pavement” awards.

The awards honor contractors, engineers, and owners for quality concrete pavement construction projects completed in 2004. The awards also recognize companies and agencies for safe, efficient, and durable concrete pavements.

The awards program, sponsored jointly by ACPA and Concrete Construction magazine, cites projects for quality, efficiency, smoothness, reduced costs, and for minimizing road-user delays.

The winners by category are as follows:

State Roads

Contractors: Concrete Placing Co. Inc. (CPC) and JTL Group Inc.

Owner: Montana Department of Transportation

Engineer: Forsgren Associates Inc.

Project: U.S. 93 Ashley Creek in Kalispell, MT.

U. S. Highway 93 stretches from Idaho to the Canadian border in western Montana. It’s a major tourist route between Yellowstone and Glacier National Park, going through both Kalispell and Missoula.

The project extended from Kalispell to Ashley Creek, a 3-mi. stretch of highway with average daily traffic of 17,400 vehicles — 15 percent of it either trucks or RV campers.

The Concrete Placing Company, Boise, ID, won the $34-million contract for the paving work during the summer of 2004. In spite of many rain delays, it managed to complete it on time, partly through innovation.

One idea was paving most of the work without stringlines, using a Guntert & Zimmerman S-850 Quadra four-track paver. After using stringlines to pave the first lane, features of the paver made it possible to pave the remaining lanes without stringlines. Once the first lane was placed, the paver steered itself, guided by the edge of the preceding lane. Programming the cross-slope of the lane into the paver’s computer automatically controlled the elevation on the outside lane edge.

CPC also attached a mule to the paver so that curbs and gutters could be cast integrally with the pavement. This saved significant time for the start of the sidewalk construction alongside the curb.


Contractor: Duit Construction Co. Inc.,

Owner/Engineer: Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT)

Project: Concrete overlay project on Interstate 40 from mile marker 253 to 260 in McIntosh County, OK.

This project involved the construction of 51.3 lane miles of 10.5-in. thick concrete overlay on 9 in. of existing asphalt. The Interstate Freeway was originally a full-depth asphalt construction, and due to heavy truck traffic had rutted considerably over time.

Duit Construction, Edmond, OK, won the contract to perform the overlay work. Because of the heavy traffic volume, more than 48,000 ft. of precast median barrier was placed to separate head-to-head traffic.

Shortly into the project, Duit discovered that an existing 10-ft. wide shoulder used as a traffic diversion pavement wasn’t holding up, so Duit recommended the installation of a temporary 6-in. thick concrete shoulder. Because concrete turned out to be less expensive than an asphalt repair, it saved time and responded well to the traffic.

Using the existing asphalt roadway as the base, Duit milled the surface to flatten the roadway and in some cases added new asphalt to control concrete yield and provide a flat surface. The project was well received by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, and Duit received the maximum money incentive for smoothness of ride.

Divided Highway (Urban)

Contractor: The Lane Construction Corp.

Owner/Engineer: South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT)

Project: Interstate 95 construction in Darlington and Florence counties, SC.

To help meet some of the limited access challenges that go along with reconstructing a busy urban freeway, the SCDOT for the first time allowed use of a dowel bar inserter on this stretch of I-95.

Lane proposed the use of a DBI-equipped slipform paver instead of placing dowel baskets on grade ahead of the paver. This allowed the pavement subgrade to be used as a haul road.

The DOT’s concerns over consistent and reliable dowel bar positioning were addressed by using a new, non-destructive testing device that quickly and accurately verifies dowel bar location.

The project required the placement of 635,000 sq. yds. of 11-in. thick jointed plain concrete pavement over 25 months. Wet subbase conditions due to a wet fall season, and the need to stabilize a much greater portion of the subgrade than originally anticipated, led to additional work in the form of cement stabilization.

The owner agreed to pay for the additional work in exchange for a revision to the contract’s “No Excuse Incentive.” The change allowed Lane to still earn the full incentive, but to do so it would have to deliver the project 30 days earlier than originally scheduled, and it did.

Divided Highway (Rural)

Contractor: Cedar Valley Corporation

Owner/Engineer: Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT)

Project: Sioux County Highway 60 Alton Bypass in Sioux City, IA.

By setting a pre-project goal of achieving Iowa’s trial zero-band specification, at the time being considered for adoption, Cedar Valley Corp. placed 21.5 lane mi. of mainline paving with an average smoothness of 1.4 in. per mi. and no required corrective work.

The company used .25-in. diameter polycoated cable instead of conventional stringline, and a very workable, paver-friendly concrete mix that required little finishing.

Batching the concrete on site, combined with a structured and consistent monitoring program, enabled ideal consistency throughout the project, for which Cedar Valley achieved maximum incentive payments.

The company planned its daily production levels to start and stop its mainline paving pours at the nine bridges on the project, which were being built under separate contracts. That eliminated the need for day’s end headers and corrective work, and contributed to the overall smoothness.

The project also required construction of a 29.5-ft. fill over an old concrete box culvert. Using lightweight geofoam fill and geomembrane lines facilitated a rapid construction sequence that protected the structure and saved a considerable amount of money.

Concrete Pavement Restoration

Contractor: Millstone Bengert Inc.

Owner: Lambet-St. Louis International Airport

Engineers: Crawford, Murphy & Tilly Inc. and CRD & Associates Inc.

Project: Rehabilitation of Runway 12L-30R keel section in St. Louis, MO.

The problem facing the airport was that 6,000 ft. of the keel (center) section of its most critical runway was in dire need of repair. Airport authorities had hoped to have the new expansion runway open before addressing the needs of 12L-30R but realized this would not be an acceptable option.

The scope of the original project was to rotomill the center 50 ft. of the runway section, removing the 10-in. overlay and saving the 14-in. concrete pavement beneath, while salvaging and modifying the existing electrical components, and then replacing the section with a new concrete overlay in four 54-hour weekend closures.

After submitting the winning bid, Millstone Bangert proposed an alternate section that removed all existing pavement and aggregate base and replaced it with 6 in. of cement-treated base and 22 in. of plain concrete pavement. This alternate also included replacing the existing electrical components with new ones, providing additional value to the runway.

Reliever and General Aviation Airports

Contractor: The Harper Company

Owner: Columbus Regional Airport Authority;

Engineer: Crawford, Murphy & Tilly Inc.,

Project: AirNet New Apron Construction at Rickenbacker International Airport in Columbus, OH.

A stringent quality-control program of on-site testing and real-time exchange of performance data among the contractor, engineer, and material producer enabled The Harper Company to place 46,760 sq. yds. of 10-in. thick jointed reinforced concrete with exceptional smoothness.

Close tolerance-monitoring of pavement thickness, edge slump, and material consistency, combined with continuous communication between the onsite testing personnel and the concrete producer resulted in 100 percent of the new 850- by 500-ft. apron meeting the .25in. per 12-ft. smoothness standard.

Only one of the more than 1,300 truckloads failed to meet material standards; that load was pulled from the delivery rotation and mixed with other material onsite to reduce the bleed water.

The subbase consisted of 12 in. of lime-treated soil, compacted and cured, built to stabilize a weak, undulating clay soil. On-site laser and total station survey techniques contributed to the excellent conformance to grade and smoothness. The no-slump concrete was batched off site, delivered in nonagitating trucks, and then slipformed.

Commercial Service and Military Airports

Contractor: Shafer Contracting Co. Inc.

Owner: Fargo Municipal Airport Authority

Engineer: Ulteig Engineers

Project: The reconstruction of Runway 18-36 at Hector International Airport in Fargo, ND.

To allow reconstruction of Runway 18-36, the parallel taxiway was turned into a runway for the duration of the project. To do that without losing capacity at the airport required extensive planning and communication — for example, allowing the airlines to adjust their schedules to use smaller aircraft and more flights.

The 17-in. thick plain concrete runway slabs are 25 ft. square and doweled along the longitudinal joints. The asset value of the old runway was recovered by crushing it and using the aggregates in the 8-in. subbase and the 6-in. econocrete base.

Shafer Contracting set up a portable double-drum concrete batch plant nearby. The 8-cu.-yds. per-minute plant discharged into end dump and agitating trucks for the short haul. Being so close helped maintain a constant head of concrete in front of the slipform paver, eliminating starts and stops, and ultimately resulting in very smooth pavement.

The contractor used maturity monitoring to help maintain the project schedule. The contractor also used a specially fabricated, boom-mounted vibrator on a skid steer during hand pours to reduce foot traffic on the concrete and to reduce the time required to place and finish it.

Municipal Streets and Intersections — less than 30,000 sq. yd.

Contractor: Ptaschinski Construction Company

Owner: City of Neenah, WI

Sponsor: Wisconsin Department of Transportation

Engineers: OMNNI Associates Inc., and Gremmer & Associates Inc.,

Project: Work on Commercial Street, STH 114, in Neenah, WI.

Scheduling this project presented many challenges for the contractor, Ptaschinski Construction, based in Beaver Dam, WI.

Besides removing and replacing the 12,100 sq. yds. (1.5 lane mi.) of roadway, the project also included:

• the installation of 3,000 ft. of storm sewer — much of it tunneled under existing utilities;

• colored and stamped concrete sidewalks and crosswalks;

• the installation of decorative lighting and a stop signal at one intersection;

• the removal and replacement of pavement around a railroad dual track crossing as well as storm sewer under the tracks; and

• proper handling and removal of petroleum contaminated soils encountered in sewer trench excavations.

Because the work was in the midst of a downtown business area, the contractor had to provide access to businesses and crosswalks at all times.

The schedule was very tight. Construction was to start on May 17 and be completed by August 20 to coincide with the completion of a bridge construction project at one end of the street, which was under contract to another contractor.

Municipal Streets and Intersections — more than 30,000 sq. yd.

General Contractor: Concrete Applied Technologies Corp. (CATCO)

Paving Contractor: L & S Construction LLC (Surianello General Concrete Contractor and Leone Construction Inc.)

Owner: New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT)

Engineer: NYSDOT Region 5

Project: The complete reconstruction of Walden Avenue and Union Road in the Town of Cheektowaga, Erie County, NY.

The challenge: In an unusually wet and chilly fall in upstate New York, reconstruct 6.8 lane mi. of a busy commercial roadway, along with five intersections, ahead of the impending holiday shopping season. All the while, keep dual turning lanes open and provide minimal disruption to businesses and both commercial and public traffic.

The major objective of the project was to address the deep rutting and shoving problems caused, particularly in the intersections, by high truck traffic along the heavily trafficked commercial section of Walden Avenue.

This major municipal street is bordered by 34 businesses, a regional mall with more than 200 stores, and a major truck stop. This roadway also is an important commuter route for the area, providing access to the New York Thruway, as well as the City of Buffalo and nearby towns. The total traffic volume (more than 41,000 vehicles per day) also made this project a challenge.

Highlights of the project included placement of some 17,525 sq. yds. of 11-in. jointed concrete over 12,907 cu. yds. of 4-in. permeable base. The lanes on this busy roadway were 12- and 14-ft. wide. The design mix, supplied by both a central mix and dry batch plant, was a NYSDOT Class C mix with fly ash.

Adding to the challenge of the project was an A+B bid item included in the contract to minimize disruption to traffic and area businesses. Incentives and disincentives up to $7,000 per day were stipulated if the work was not completed by the scheduled dates.

Urban Arterials and Collectors

Contractor: Trierweiler Construction Company Inc.

Owner: City of Madison, WI

Sponsor: Wisconsin Department of Transportation

Design Engineer: HNTB Corporation;

Construction Engineer: Ayres Associates for East Washington Avenue Reconstruction — Segment I, City of Madison, Dane County, WI.

Project: Washington Avenue is considered to be the gateway street to the Wisconsin State Capitol. It’s a six-lane median-divided roadway that carries 56,000 vehicles per day. The asphalt pavement was installed in the 1950s and was rutted and severely cracked.

Trierweiler Construction Company Inc., Marshfield, WI, won the contract to completely remove and replace 4.6 mi. of the street. At the same time, a completely new infrastructure was planned, including the replacement of all water mains, sanitary sewers, storm sewers, pavement, curbs and gutters, crosswalks, medians, and lighting.

Starting on March 15, 2004, with a Dec. 1 completion date, the construction timetable was short. In May and June there were substantial rainfalls — the worst being 6.2 in. of rain during one week of May, just when crews were installing the new 5- by 10-ft. storm drain. Added to the difficulty was the city requirement that two lanes for traffic be open in each direction at all times.

Trierweiler installed 50,311 sq. yds. of 10-in. thick concrete pavement over a total of 22 in. of aggregate subbase. Elevations and pitches were critical, and the owner also required a smooth ride of 20 in. per mile on a .2-in. blanking band, which Trierweiler exceeded.

An unusual feature of the project involved colored crosswalks. Trierweiler accomplished this by paving the crosswalk areas with the street pavement, then masking the street pavement on either side, broadcasting dust-on color hardeners and finishing them. It applied the same surface texture to both the streets and sidewalks. It also installed colored, patterned concrete hardscape in the medians.

Traffic Management

Contractor: Concrete Works of Colorado Inc.

Owner: City of Boulder Public Works Department — Transportation Division

Sponsor: Colorado Department of Transportation — Region 4, Boulder

Engineer: Carter & Burgess Inc.

Project: Broadway (SH-93) Street and Bridge Reconstruction Project, University Avenue to Pine Street in Boulder, CO.

Much of the success of a project has to do with how it’s perceived. When the traveling public is frustrated and angered by traveling through a construction zone, the experience is remembered. This is one reason good traffic management is important. The other is safety.

Concrete Works of Colorado, Lafayette, CO, won the contract to do the work on Broadway Street. It knew from the start that the project would be very challenging from the standpoint of traffic management. The construction area included nine intersections (seven signalized), a bridge reconstruction, 175 utility locations, 30,000 vehicles per day (on Broadway), 5,000 pedestrian and bike crossings at Broadway and Boulder Creek, and 15,000 pedestrian crossings at one of the intersections with Broadway.

To help manage all the traffic situations a full-time traffic manager was onsite at all times. There were weekly meetings to produce a traffic plan based on the contractor’s work schedule. The plan had to provide for automobiles, pedestrian, bicycle, and public transit traffic.

Utility connections and intersections were completed at night or on weekends when roads could be closed. High-early-strength concrete was used to quickly reopen intersections to full traffic. All regional bus traffic was re-routed outside the construction zone so that traffic wouldn’t be slowed down by frequent stops. Local bus service remained but with fewer stops.

To keep the public informed, there were constant communications by newspaper, radio, TV, and inserts in monthly water bills. On days with college football games, holiday shopping and other community events that brought out large numbers of people, the project was shut down.

This was well received, and at the project’s completion, the city and local businesses partnered to hold two events: “A Taste of Broadway” and “Light the Holidays,” the latter kicking off the holiday shopping season and celebrating the end of the construction.

Winners for the Excellence in Concrete Pavement Awards were selected from more than 60 entries by a panel of industry experts and judged on the basis of overall pavement smoothness, quality-control measures, project complexity, and innovative construction solutions.

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