U.S. 93, Kalispell, Mont. Winner: State Roads
U.S. 93, Kalispell, Mont. Winner: State Roads

U.S. Highway 93 stretches from Idaho to the Canadian border in Western Montana. It's a major tourist route between Yellowstone and Glacier National Park, going through both Kalispell and Missoula. The project extended from Kalispell to Ashley Creek, a 3-mile stretch of highway with average daily traffic of 17,400 vehicles—15% of it either trucks or RV campers.

The Concrete Placing Company (CPC), Boise, Idaho, won the $3.4 million contract for the paving work during the summer of 2004. In spite of many rain delay days, they managed to complete it on time, partly through innovation. One idea was paving most of the work without string lines using a Guntert & Zimmerman S-850 Quadra 4-track paver. After using string lines to pave the first lane in the normal way, features of the paver made it possible to pave the remaining lanes without string lines. Once the first lane was placed, the paver steered itself, guided by the edge of the preceding lane. Programming the cross-slope of the lane into the paver's computer automatically controlled the elevation on the outside lane edge.

Concrete Placing also attached a mule to the paver so that curbs and gutters could be cast integrally with the pavement. This saved significant time for the start of the sidewalk construction alongside the curb.

Through careful quality control measures, CPC produced concrete that averaged flexural strengths of 718 psi at 28 days, well beyond the requirement of 500 psi. The owner, the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT), specified an all-or-nothing incentive for smoothness, and CPC earned 99.5% of the amount set aside.

  • Contractor: Concrete Placing Co., Inc.
  • Engineer: Forsgren Associates, Inc.
  • Owner: Montana Department of Transportation

View all the winners and finalists of the American Concrete Pavement Association's 16th Annual Excellence in Concrete Pavement Awards.