This past spring, the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) issued a challenge to local highway contractors.
The challenge, in the form of a project, was that a 12-mi. (9.3 km) stretch of I-40, between Sanders, AZ, and the New Mexico state line, was in dire need of repair and ADOT wanted the highway’s conditions improved before winter temperatures would render pouring asphalt impossible. ADOT put out an emergency bid on May 26 and Southwest Asphalt Paving, a subsidiary of Fisher Industries located in Tempe, AZ, accepted the challenge by winning the bid on June 17.
The contract, worth $12 million, called for 180,000 tons (162,000 t) of asphalt paving to be completed by Nov. 12 at midnight. A completion time later than that would mean incurring a $250,000 penalty.
Before laying the asphalt, Southwest would first have to manufacture it. As a result, integral parts of the project had to be completed before actual paving began. First, the company drilled and shot the aggregate from a quarry 35 mi. away. Then, Southwest established a hot mix plant just off I-40 and 191 South (to where the material would be transported) and constructed a crushing plant to supply the hot mix plant with materials.
“We started the actual set up work for the crusher and hot mix plant and got all the equipment on site by July 5,” said Sam Grasmick, general manager of Southwest Asphalt Paving.
Key personnel and equipment were mobilized to accomplish this. Guy Keith, crushing superintendent, and his crew used multiple pieces of equipment, including a Kawasaki 115ZV, to load the Fisher Industries-designed crusher. A Kawasaki 95ZV loaded the Cedarapids hot mix plant, managed by Jim Cox, hot plant superintendent. An Ingersoll-Rand PF55 10 asphalt paver, Ingersoll-Rand DD138 and DDl18 rollers, as well as a Dynapac CP271 roller, all were employed by Joe Portell a, paving superintendent, and his crew. And Project Manager Chris Bryant ensured that the 28 employees, 40 haul trucks, a Case 570MXT and Lincoln 660 pickup machine worked in sync with the entire project.
By August 12, Southwest was ready to produce hot mix and lay asphalt.
The company began by laying 15,000 tons (13,608 t) of asphalt per week. As the project progressed, Southwest was putting down 6,500 tons (5,897 t) per day.
On Nov. 11, at 3 p.m., Southwest Asphalt Paving completed the project — 31 hours early.
Speaking like an actor during an Academy Awards acceptance speech, Grasmick was both grateful and thankful for the people and equipment that contributed to the project’s successful completion.
“Not a minute could be spared on this job and the right people and the right equipment had to be in place,” began Grasmick. “Pulling a job like this with double shifts, seven days per week is a true statement to the people working in the field for our company and our suppliers.
“We are especially grateful to companies like Falcon Power for all it their dedication in helping us to meet our deadline,” he continued. “Falcon Power’s Luke Manney [account manager] worked closely with our staff to make sure that the equipment performed at peak performance. Their top technician, Kraig Bennett, even worked on Sundays following a four-hour drive to the site to ensure there was no downtime on the Kawasaki equipment.”
For more information, call 623/256-8154.