Virginia Paving Co. of Alexandria, VA, a division of the Lane Construction Corp., is the winner of National Asphalt Pavement Association’s (NAPA) 2005 Community Involvement Award and was a finalist in the Safety Innovations Award competition
The company received its awards at a special ceremony at the association’s 51st Annual Convention, “Ride the Pavement,” in Hollywood, FL.
NAPA presents its Community Involvement Award to hot-mix asphalt (HMA) companies that serve their communities through outstanding programs and projects.
“NAPA understands how important it is for the companies in our industry to participate in and support their communities,” said Richard F. Moore Jr. 2005 chairman of the NAPA board of directors. “This award reflects the high priority that Virginia Paving Co. places upon its relationship with its neighbors.”
The company won the award for two different programs. During the “Tools for Schools” event on Aug. 25, employees of Virginia Paving’s hot-mix asphalt facility in Alexandria, VA, helped stuff book bags with school supplies donated by the company. The children received pencils, notebooks, crayons, markers, organizational boxes and other materials. The “Tools For Schools” program was coordinated through the Campagna Center, which provides Head Start services to underprivileged children in Historic Old Town Alexandria.
Virginia Paving has assisted the Campagna Center in other ways as well, providing stocking caps and mittens for children and agreeing to pave its parking lot when the weather permits.
“This will be an ongoing program for us,” said Chris Monahan, environmental coordinator of Virginia Paving.
Virginia Paving strives to be an ecologically responsible neighbor as well. In the past, it occasionally cleaned the section of Backlick Run behind its paving plant. In the past two years, the company has formalized its cleanup program by participating in the “Adopt-A-Stream” program managed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. During this event, company volunteers cover a one-quarter-mi. section of the stream, collecting trash and debris from both sides of its banks.
“We have had the satisfaction of seeing first-hand how our cleanup work can improve this local waterway,” said Monahan. “We hope next year to open it up to community groups and invite their participation.”
Virginia Paving takes its responsibility to Alexandria very seriously, Monahan said.
“It’s important for us as a business within the city to give back to the city. Management is giving us a lot of support to pursue these types of programs. We are neighbors within this community, and it is our obligation to do our part in being as good a neighbor to them as they are to us.”
The safety award recognizes companies whose objective is to use innovative ideas or practical outcomes that lead to improved worker safety in a roadway, plant site or quarry environment, and whose safety practices are above and beyond normal safety practices.
Virginia Paving won the award for its special traffic control vehicle, designed and built to protect the workers who put out traffic cones and other devices that mark construction zones. The large asphalt contractor/producer in northern Virginia regularly performs milling and paving operations on the interstates and primary routes in the Washington, D.C., to the Fredericksburg area. The success and safety of these operations starts with the work of the traffic control crews.
Virginia Paving Co.’s innovative truck helps it do its job more efficiently and effectively. The vehicle has specially sized and strategically located racks for the devices required to set up any type of traffic pattern. Platforms where workers can stand to place or remove traffic cones from the roadway are recessed along the center of the body of the truck in front of the rear axle. A chain across the platforms’ openings prevents workers placing cones from falling off the truck, and an intercom/buzzer in the platform area allows them to notify the driver if there is a problem.
The truck has a rear-mounted camera with monitor in the driver’s compartment that operates only when the vehicle is backing up. It features a standard backup alarm as well as a sensor that activates another alarm when it detects an object 15 ft. behind the truck. Work lights are mounted on the rear of the truck to improve its visibility.
Other features of the vehicle include hinged side panels that swing open to allow easy access for loading or unloading the traffic control devices. There are storage compartments for flares, flashlights and spare parts for stands.
“We first tried this truck at just one of our plant locations and it has proved so successful that we now have six like it,” said Schiller. “Our parent company, Lane Construction, has also adopted this truck as their staple traffic control vehicle from Maine to Florida.
“There’s no question that the people in the field appreciate this truck, especially those who remember the days of setting up traffic cones while riding in the back of a pickup truck. You could easily fall out and get hurt.”