(L-R) Tyler Brann, product specialist of the Wirtgen Group/Vogele Division; Peter Lonson, Road Machinery account manager; Randy Covington, Wirtgen Product support of Road Machinery; Matthew Dey, Skanska operator; and Rob Pickrell, Road Machinery’s W
The Beeline Highway (AZ 87) south of Payson, Ariz., winds its way through the scenic Mazatzal Mountains northeast of the Phoenix metro area.
Over the years, however, the road has been the location of multiple fatalities, and it had become paramount to ADOT to straighten an especially dangerous section of this highway known as Slate Creek Curve.
Skanska (Rocky Mountain District) had previously contracted out the paving portion of this project, but due to weather delays, the subcontractor was unable to finish the job by ADOT’s May 21, 2015, deadline. With just weeks to spare, Skanska, which normally does not do paving work in Arizona, was in a big bind. Personnel it had — the company could patch together a paving crew consisting of its superintendents. Equipment it did not have — for that, it would need to turn to Road Machinery in a hurry.
Reed Stoffel, equipment manager of Skanska in Phoenix, Ariz., said rental paving equipment is hard to find in the area and Skanska Rocky Mountain District’s two paving spreads were already out of state on other jobs. He called Peter Lonson, Road Machinery account manager, whose company had just taken on the Vogele line of paving equipment. Lonson had just returned to Road Machinery to head up its Vogele sales efforts after several years with Roland Machinery in the Midwest.
“No one really rents highway class pavers in the Phoenix area, so we introduced them to the Vogele 5200 and it was perfect for the job,” said Lonson, who added that Skanska also rented two Hamm HD-140 rollers.
Rob Pickrell, Wirtgen Product Support Manager of Road Machinery played a key role in getting the Skanska people up to speed on the equipment, and in offering support at the job site, along with Randy Covington, also of Road Machinery. Tyler Brann, product specialist of Wirtgen Products/Vogele division also was on hand for factory support.
Skanska’s crew was able to pave its final section at 1,440 ft. (4,389 m) with a variable width of 32-36 ft at a six percent grade. It required two 4’ passes with the Vogele 5200, and used 7500 tons of ADOT 416 mix pre-engineered asphalt.
Challenges Skanska’s patchwork, but skilled crew faced during the project included traffic control (southbound traffic was rerouted to the northbound lane as paving of the southbound lanes were completed); informing the public of travel conditions along the stretch of highway; the six percent grade; the nearly 12 in. of rain over the previous 60 days, which adversely affected soil conditions, causing some delays; and even other dangerous situations, such as when a runaway roofing delivery truck barreled down the road.
Payson Concrete and Materials Inc. of Payson, Ariz., supplied the asphalt, but the asphalt hot plant was 45 minutes from site, so it required a lot of coordination with the plant and the trucking company, Stodghill Trucking of Pine, Ariz.
“The Vogele paver performed very well," said Skanska Project Manager Tim Kelly. "We were impressed. The operators reported it was very user-friendly, and they appreciated some of the new safety features they had not seen before." The 5200 features ErgoPlus, the concept for easy paver operation and unobstructed operator visibility.
“Hats off to Road Machinery,” Kelly said "They definitely stepped up to help us in a challenging situation. They are a great bunch of guys to work with.”
In addition to the help of Road Machinery, Kelly credited the success of the project to Skanska’s team.
“We were able to piece together a paving crew made up of our superintendents with very short notice," he said. "Without them, this would not have happened."
Skanska USA Civil West’s Rocky Mountain District focuses on civil, environmental, and infrastructure projects. From its Cortez, Colo., headquarters the Rocky Mountain District performs a wide range of heavy civil construction work. The company’s Phoenix Division serves Arizona and southern Nevada, offering project delivery expertise to public and private customers.
In 1955, Harold R. Bone, Sr. opened Road Machinery Co. in Phoenix, Ariz., to sell and service heavy machinery. The company’s first products included street sweepers, motorgraders and compressors, and, for the mining industry, WABCO/Haulpak trucks.
In 2000, Komatsu America purchased Road Machinery Co., and in the spring 2005, Komatsu sold Road Machinery to Mitsui & Co. LTD (a $50 billion corporation) Three years later in 2008, Road Machinery purchased Shanahan, which was the Komatsu dealer for most of California. Road Machinery LLC now has 14 facilities throughout Arizona, California, New Mexico, including one in El Paso, Texas, and two in Mexico.
Road Machinery sells, services and rents Komatsu construction, mining and forestry equipment; Wirtgen Group (Wirtgen, Hamm, Vogele) milling, compacting and paving equipment; NPK, Hensley and JRB attachments; as well as other products including rock screens, crushers and water towers.