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Virginia Paving Co. Resurfaces D.C.’s Dulles Greenway

Tue July 14, 2009 - Southeast Edition
Eric Olson

Crews from Virginia Paving Company, Division of The Lane Construction Corporation, are currently working to resurface a 5-mi. (8 km) stretch of the privately owned Dulles Greenway toll road between Leesburg, Va., and Washington-Dulles International Airport in northern Virginia.

Virginia Paving Company, based in Chantilly, Va., had both a milling and a paving crew at the site starting in early May and completed the work on June 19.

The company was given 55 days in which to finish the 34,000-ton (30,844 t) resurfacing project, said Thomas Morgan, Virginia Paving’s assistant plant manager in the firm’s Loudoun branch office, located in Sterling.

Both the eastbound and westbound lanes (including the shoulders) of the Greenway, from the Mainline Toll Plaza on the airport’s north side to Exit 5 at the Claiborne Parkway (approx. 30 lane mi. [48 km]), are being resurfaced.

Virginia Paving is working on the project with two of the three lanes of the Greenway closed in each direction. Morgan said that his crews don’t begin work on the eastbound side until 10 a.m. each day to allow for the heavy traffic moving east toward Washington to thin out. His crews then wait until 7 p.m. for the outbound commuter traffic heading west to lighten up before starting work.

“The roadway gets pretty crowded during the rush hours,” he explained. “I believe there are close to 70,000 vehicles that travel this road on a daily basis.”

So far, the job has been largely problem free, Morgan said, with the exception of some heavy rains. As of May 26, the company had lost about 5 days to wet weather.

Morgan oversees the $2.65 million Dulles Greenway project, making him responsible for a seven-man milling crew, headed by Foreman Robert Rickard; a ten-man paving crew, headed by Foreman Dillard Coffee; and three traffic coordinators, Douglas Barker, Clinton Boatwright and Wallace Valentine.

Morgan said that he also is running as many of his company’s dump trucks as he can get on the project in order to finish the job on time.

Morgan oversees the Dulles Greenway project, making him responsible for the milling, paving and traffic crews. In addition, Virginia Paving runs many of its own dump trucks, further assisting in the timely completion of the $2.6 million dollar project.

The Stars of the Project

Virginia Paving is using Roadtec paving equipment for the project, and the machines have proven to be the “stars of the project” as far as equipment is concerned.

The Loudoun branch of Virginia Paving bought its first Roadtec, an RP-195 Highway Class Rubber Track Asphalt Spray Paver in April 2007, according to equipment shop Foreman Russell Haynes.

Virginia Paving, impressed with the RP-195, decided to add an RP-175 commercial class machine to its paving fleet, which it is now using on the Dulles Greenway’s shoulders. The company now has a total of five Roadtec pavers throughout Northern Virginia.

Both pavers come equipped with a Carlson EZIV screed that has given them the flexibility required for various paving conditions.

“I have never seen a paver that works as well as this RP-195,” Haynes said. “We have never had to do any work on it. With other pavers, we have had to work on them right out of the gate.”

When Virginia Paving was still deciding what brand paver to buy, Roadtec invited Haynes, Morgan and paving Foreman Dillard Coffey, to its manufacturing plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., to see how the equipment is made. The tour influenced their decision.

Haynes was impressed with the Roadtec frames.

“I knew that [the Roadtecs] would be tough, because of the way they are made,” he said.

Roadtec frames have a 2-in. (5 cm) thick front cross member and 0.75-in. (1.9 cm) continuous side sheets with cross bracing. According to Roadtec, the continuous sheet construction increases the rigidity of the frame and helps battle segregation.

“That sold us on their pavers. Now that we have seen how they perform, we’re convinced we made the right choice,” Haynes said.

Morgan commented that the Carlson screeds are a strong feature also.

“They are nice, heavy screeds that give you good compaction and a good ride,” he said.

Virginia Paving also has had a good experience with Roadtec service.

“Our Roadtec representative, Andy Pennington, comes around to check on us and to see how the equipment is working,” he added. “He has been really good at helping us out and getting us anything we need. He’s a good guy.”

Haynes said that in the 15 years he has worked for Virginia Paving, he has never seen an equipment representative as attentive as Pennington.

“That really means a lot to have him come by here and check on us and ask questions,” Haynes said. “They really stake their reputation on that kind of service.”

At the moment, the Roadtec pavers are busily laying down a new 1.5 in. (3.81 cm) of asphalt on the Dulles Greenway, a privately owned 14-mi. (22.5 km) long toll road that first opened in September 1995.

When the resurfacing job is done later this summer, commuters will again be able to travel from Leesburg to the airport in less than 15 minutes. CEG

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