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Costello Turns to Rentals on I-75 Resurfacing Project

Mon August 11, 2003 - Southeast Edition
April Goodwin

While central Georgia commuters sleep each night, a crew of construction workers is making approximately 40 mi. (64.4 km) of Georgia interstate-highway I-75 safer and smoother.

APAC-Georgia Inc. Ballenger Paving Division and its subcontractor, Costello Industries, are working up to 14 hours a day, seven days a week, on two concrete rehabilitation and replacement projects that stretch across four counties. The crews started in July 2002 and are expected to finish this summer.

Costello Industries is renting the majority of its equipment — approximately 75 percent — from the RSC store in Byron, GA. Renting the equipment helps the crew eliminate downtime, said Rick Brockman, area manager of Costello Southeast.

“When I visited the job site, I wasn’t sure whether Costello or RSC was doing the job,” Brockman said. “We’ve had a great relationship with the RSC stores and it’s been a wonderful partnership.”

Costello chose to rent most of its machinery for the I-75 resurfacing project because, due to the strict deadline and timeframe agreements of the job, the crew has a zero tolerance for down equipment. Renting equipment saved it from worrying about maintenance by trusting that RSC would swap out any equipment at any hour of the day or night.

Costello has a total of 64 items on rent, including 12 light towers, three Conex 40-ft. containers, two walk-behind rollers, six loaders, two water trucks, two backhoes and a variety of other equipment — from crushers and sweepers to excavators.

Each night, from 8 p.m. to 10 a.m., Costello Industries and ABC Concrete Cutting of Atlanta use the loaders, water trucks, graders, skid steers and rollers to saw, remove 10-in. (25.4 cm) concrete slabs and then get the base ready on a 20-mi. (32.2 km) stretch of I-75 just south of Macon, GA. APAC-Georgia pours concrete behind the crews — a technique many Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) personnel thought could only be performed by the asphalt industry.

Even though the production varies each night, the concrete pavement is open to the public every morning for rush hour. The crew is required to have the center lane cleared by 6 a.m. and all three lanes open for traffic by 10 a.m. — otherwise it must pay the GDOT $5,000.

Besides the strict deadlines, the correlation between various sites and functions of the two jobs also is a challenge, Brockman said. One of the jobs is on I-75 north of Macon in Monroe County, GA, while the larger project, estimated at $21 million, stretches across Bibb, Crawford and Peach counties, near Byron. While some of the crew is working on lane removal, others are sawing joints. While one group works full-time at a nearby crushing operation, another crew works on concrete rehabilitation.

Between the two projects, crews employ eight different kinds of concrete pavement rehabilitation practices in all:

• Sawing and sealing joints in new concrete pavement (DOW silicone sealants).

• Cleaning and resealing joints in existing concrete pavement (DOW silicone sealants).

• Full depth patching of jointed or continuously reinforced concrete pavement.

• Partial depth patching of concrete pavement.

• Concrete removal and demolition — 20 mi. in Bibb County and 10 mi. in Monroe County.

• Asphalt joint and crack sealing. Sawing and sealing new joints in asphalt pavements with Crafco Roadsaver products.

• Bridge joint installation and deck repair, specifically Elastomeric concrete bridge joint systems .

• Partial depth patching of concrete bridge deck pavement.

Costello Industries of Newington, CT, was founded originally as a road building company more than half a century ago. In the early 1970s, Frank Costello saw the need for pavement rehabilitation techniques and became one of the first New England firms to apply slurry seal to prolong the life of existing asphalt pavements. He also pioneered the use of milling machines, now a common sight on pavement projects.

Other innovations spearheaded by Costello including repairing joints in roads and bridges, installing bridge deck waterproof membranes, applying micro-surfacing, sawing and sealing pavement overlays, pavement management techniques and applying various type of geotextiles that prevent cracks in substrate from reflecting up through asphalt overlays.

In the summer of 2001, Costello hired Rick Brockman to run the Southern Division and they then opened the College Park, GA, office that fall. Today Costello Industries employs more than 100 people between its two offices and is a pre-qualified contractor in 36 states.

In addition to the equipment Costello Industries is renting for the road resurfacing projects, the company also is renting equipment from the local RSC store to move old concrete, which will be recycled into graded aggregate base to use in asphalt shoulders, to its nearby crushing operation. After milling out the old shoulders, the Atlanta Division of APAC-Georgia Inc. will be spreading the GAB stone from Costello’s crushing operation to bring the subgrade of the interstate’s shoulders to the proper thickness. Then APAC will place asphalt on the shoulders.

Costello has a national account with RSC, which allows it to receive regional pricing on all equipment as well as to view and alter the status of rentals online at anytime.

“Renting equipment with a vendor that is willing to partner with us has helped us meet the challenges of this job. From the district sales managers to salesmen, it has been a true team effort,” Brockman said.

(April Goodwin is a technical writer from Des Moines, IA.)