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Oklahoma Contractor Cuts Deep Into Will Rogers Turnpike With Wirtgen

Tue September 05, 2006 - West Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Wirtgen Group’s largest mill — the 48-ton (43.5 t) W 2200 — cut 14 in. (35.6 cm) deep a full 12-ft., 6-in. (3.8 m) lane width as part of the reconstruction of I-44, the Will Rogers Turnpike, late last year and early this year.

Equipped with its optional 12-ft., 6-in. drum, the W 2200 can remove an entire lane width in one pass.

It was only part of the responsibilities of NOVA Roto-Milling’s W 2200 on this major job, said NOVA’s milling foreman, Todd Wambold. NOVA is a division of T.J. Campbell Construction Co., Oklahoma City.

“It’s an awesome machine that we’ve had for nearly four years,” Wambold said. “On this project we have a lot of soft spots, which the W 2200 is taking care of.”

These two-lane, major patches of up to 20 ft. (6.1 m) in length, or complete lanes, are begun with the W 2200 cutting an inch of asphalt off the surface.

The machine then removes the next 14 in. (35.6 cm) of asphalt, then returns to remove another 3 to 6 in. (7.6 to 15.2 cm) of dirt.

The remaining surface was to be stabilized prior to reconstruction of the pavement.

Local poor pavement drainage, with a lack of “French” drains along an inside wall, may be partially to blame for the subsurface woes, Wambold said.

Much of the deepest work was conducted in late 2005, but cold milling and paving continued into spring 2006, including complete removal of the outside shoulders.

“The W 2200 leaves a perfectly even surface, even when you do nothing special, just running off the end plates,” Wambold said. “Even the prime contractor loves it.”

And the capabilities of the machine keeps T.J. Campbell’s NOVA coming back for more.

“It’s a very good machine,” Wambold said. “I’ve never had a bad ride with that machine. If I pull in a new customer, and use the W 2200, I will guarantee that he will be calling us back. My guys are good operators, of course, but it’s so easy being a good operator with the W 2200.”

T.J. Campbell’s maintenance records demonstrate the W 2200’s reliability.

“We were going over the maintenance records,” Wambold said, “and we figured out that other than wear items, we’ve run two years maintenance-free.”

With a machine like the W 2200, most of NOVA’s work is high-production, high-level highway work. “Since we got the Wirtgen we’ve been doing a lot more Interstates, with 1- to 4-inch cuts, but most of our work still is deep, full-depth cuts.”

The speed of the Wirtgen W 2200 means it can far outrun paving crews in interstate mill-and-fill jobs, which Wambold finds a little frustrating.

“Mill-and-fills kill my production, because they can’t lay down as much as I open up,” Wambold said. “If I start milling at 7 a.m., I can open up enough road by 10:30 a.m., no later than 11 a.m., that I have to sit the rest of the day to wait on the asphalt pavers.”

NOVA has one other milling machine, of a different make.

“They have to force me to use the other one,” Wambold said. “There’s no comparison. Wirtgen is so far ahead in technology, and is so much better built, that it’s just awesome.” CEG

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