Harsh Iowa winter weather may have postponed the final 1/2 mile of a 13-mile project and made paving more difficult, but it did not discourage this contractor’s goal of achieving perfect concrete pavement. Paving contractor Manatt’s Inc., Brooklyn, Iowa, paved a new section of Highway 30 in Marshall and Story counties, Iowa. The concrete highway is 26 feet wide 10 inches thick, and was slipformed in one paving pass.
The Iowa Department of Transportation’s (IDOT) specification for pavement smoothness uses the zero-blanking band with incentive/disincentive pay built into the contract. Profile indexes on roadways with speeds greater than 45 miles per hour require a measurement of 26.1 to 40 inches per mile for full pay.
“When we go to work, we have 60 guys on the project who want to pave perfect every time, including the paving crew, plant personnel, and trucking,” says Kevin Hogan, paving superintendent for Manatt’s. “Every single day we follow the same procedures in order to achieve smooth rides. We set up our pavers the way we’re taught in the manuals, with a few of our own steps added. Everyone onsite knows the steps and it’s all about communication and organization.”
Over the first 7 miles, Manatt’s attained 75% full incentive pay. But they knew they could do better so Manatt’s crew worked with the paver manufacturer’s control engineers and research and development personnel to upgrade their equipment. Because of the adjustments throughout the project, Manatt’s rideability readings continued to improve.
“Before, if we were getting questionable numbers, we didn’t know until 24 hours later when the ride report was output from the profilograph readings. Now, the proprietary smooth paving software is constantly tracing throughout the day and alerts us to any imperfections. It eliminates a lot of guesswork,” Hogan says.
Manatt’s determination paid off. The Highway 30 project averaged approximately 2800 cubic yards per day, with several days averaging more than 4000 cubic yards. The paver’s bar inserter placed 30-inch-long, #4 bars every 36 inches into the 10-inch-thick concrete slab. “Our last 6 miles of paving on the project this season just kept getting better and better,” Hogan says. “We earned 92% of our smoothness incentive pay and on the entire 12½ miles, we earned 86%. We were producing a really nice slab.”
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