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Diamond B Construction Named Finalist for NAPA Award

Tue February 27, 2007 - Southeast Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

The National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) has announced that Diamond B Construction Co. LLC of Alexandria, La., has been named a finalist in the 2006 Sheldon G. Hayes Award competition for excellence in construction of an asphalt pavement.

The company received its recognition on Feb. 20, 2007, at the association’s 52nd Annual Meeting in San Francisco, Calif.

Diamond B Construction received the recognition for its work on I-49 from the Interstate’s junction with LA 191 to its junction with LA 106. The work area runs through sections of Avoyelles, Rapides and Evangeline Parishes. Despite interruptions from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Diamond B Construction Co. completed work on this 10.3-mi. (17 km) stretch of the Interstate in just 90 days.

Company crews milled off 2 in. (5 cm) of the existing road and overlaid it with a total of 4 in. (10 cm) of Superpave hot-mix asphalt (HMA) placed in two lifts. Using a material transfer vehicle to ensure a smoother pavement, it laid a total of 102,114 tons (92,636 t) of HMA.

Diamond B Construction Co. earned bonuses from the Louisiana Department of Transportation (DOT) and Development for the quality of its mixes and for the smoothness and ride quality of the completed road.

“This job went remarkably well,” noted Mike Boswell, area manager of Diamond B Construction’s Alexandria region. “We did a lot of planning before the project started, which made the work easier when we got on site.”

Even the effects of the two large Gulf Coast hurricanes didn’t impede the fast-track schedule.

“When Katrina came through, we had just finished putting the binder on — in fact, we finished it the very day that the Department of Transportation told us to get off because of the coming hurricane.”

The company did end up losing several days of work to Katrina and Rita, but managed to complete the project on time because the state DOT added days lost onto the schedule.

Planning made the real difference to the success of this project, Boswell said.

“Everybody on the job knew where we were headed every day, and it went just like we planned.”

The Sheldon G. Hayes Award winner is determined through a two-year process. Highway pavement projects using more than 50,000 tons (45,359 t) of HMA are eligible for consideration.

Initially, they must win a Quality in Construction (QIC) Award, which is determined by numerical scores given by pavement engineers at the National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT) on the basis of how well the contractor met the specifications and achieved density on the finished pavement.

All the pavements that meet a benchmark figure are given the QIC award. The year after a project wins a QIC Award, it may be considered for the Sheldon G. Hayes Award.

The top-ranked projects from each year are tested for smoothness, then visually inspected by an independent pavement consultant with many years of experience in the industry. This year, the evaluators praised the contestants for high-quality construction practices resulting in smooth, safe and durable pavements.

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