Walking, hiking and other recreational trails are common projects for most paving companies. However, every so often an opportunity comes along that stands out. That's exactly how Baker Enterprises Inc. ended up constructing Nathan's Mile, a 2-mi. trail around a cornfield in Vinton, Iowa.
While the initial description didn't seem very unique, there was one element that was — the trail was intended to glow in the dark. It also would be the longest glow-in-the-dark concrete trail in the country.
When the bid for the project went public, Baker Enterprises knew it wanted the job.
"One thing for us that makes projects like this special is we take a lot of pride in our quality of work. We enjoy getting away from some of the other things and doing some local stuff for communities like this," said Shawn Baker, Baker Enterprises owner.
Baker Enterprises was equipped for this job due to its new GOMACO GT3600 Extreme curb machine.
"We bid on the project knowing we had the GOMACO GT3600, and we bought a sidewalk mold particularly to do this project," said Baker. "It was the first time we'd done six-foot sidewalks, and RMS came out to help us retrofit the machine. Overall, it took us about four weeks to complete, and the 3600 worked great."
Baker Enterprises paved the concrete as it would any typical concrete trail. Then, it top-dressed the pathway with the special glow-in-the-dark stones that the city of Vinton provided, sprayed it with a cure compound, and covered it with plastic overnight. The next morning the crew power-washed the cure off to make it an exposed aggregate sidewalk with the glow-in-the-dark stones.
The project earned Baker Enterprises the Iowa Ready Mix Concrete Association's 2021 Excellence in Concrete Award for Innovative Concrete.
"Our concrete supplier for the project, Manatt's, put us up for the award," said Baker. "We were able to go to the ceremony to receive the award. It was very exciting, and a great thing for our company."
(This story was reprinted with permission of Road Machinery & Supplies Co. )
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