Judges drawn from the transportation-construction community considered construction quality, challenges, innovation, traffic management, and other criteria. Awards are presented for gold- and silver-level projects, which must be completed in the calendar year before judging (2017).


Project: State Highway 52 CPR, Winneshiek County, Iowa

Contractors: Wicks Construction Inc., Iowa Civil Contracting Inc.

Engineer: WHKS & Co.

Owner: Iowa DOT

Cost: $6.2 million

The majestic hills of Decorah, Iowa, are especially beautiful in autumn, but distressed roads keep drivers from fully enjoying the landscape. The Iowa DOT addressed the problem with a patch-and-grind project that included partial- and full-depth repairs, shoulder retrofits, dowel bar retrofit, diamond grinding, and joint resealing. Scope of work increased after the contract was awarded, with full-depth patching figures doubling and partial-depth repairs increasing 13 times estimated square yardage. About 50 change orders added $2.5 million to the $6.2 million contract. Direct detours would have added 20 miles to a motorist’s trip, but diamond grinding expedited completion.


Project: Highlands Ranch, Colo.

Contractors: Villalobos Concrete Co., Chato's Concrete LLC, Interstate Improvement Inc.

Owner/Engineer: Douglas County, Colo.

When 22,000-acre Highlands Ranch, Colo., was founded in 1981, arterials were placed directly on clay subgrade. The 7.5-inch pavement was built when traffic volumes and speeds were lower and without dowel bars to transfer loads. As the roads reached the end of their expected life, county officials looked for a cost-effective way to fix broken and shifted panels, joint separation, transverse joint faulting, and cracking. Grinding alone couldn’t solve all the issues, so contracts included panel repair or replacement as needed and joint resealing.

The four-year program included multiple contracts and contractors. If the grinding contractor couldn’t deliver a half-car roughness index (HRI) specification of less than or equal to 150 inches per mile at a maximum depth of 0.5 inches, the contractor had to meet an HRI improvement of 50% or greater per segment per travel lane. If pavement already had an HRI of less than or equal to 150 inches per mile, the contractor had to meet an HRI of less than or equal to 80 inches per mile without exceeding the ½-inch maximum grind depth.

Lessons learned in the first year were applied to subsequent years to address resident concerns, including lane closures phasing, noise abatement, and communication. The state’s largest concrete pavement restoration effort improved 155 lane miles that should last up to 20 years.


Project: I-49 & Peculiar Way Interchange Improvements, Peculiar, Mo.

Contractor: Emery Sapp & Sons Inc.

Engineer: George Butler Associates Inc.

Owner: Missouri DOT

Cost: $9.4 million

The City of Peculiar and Missouri DOT built one of the state’s few all-concrete diverging diamond interchanges (DDI), which opened two months early after 13 months of construction. Expected to spur development in Cass County, the interchange allows traffic to cross from the right side of the road to the left side at two signalized intersections on either side of the interchange. By providing free-flowing right turns in advance of crossovers and free-flowing left turns between crossovers, the design enhances safety and capacity. The project involved more than 130,000 CY of excavation; 4,300 feet of storm sewer; a new overpass; two signalized intersections; 6,500 SY of sidewalk and median islands; 17,000 feet of curb & gutter; and more than 50,000 SY of concrete paving. The only stringline set up was for the paver’s auto-widener, which paved lanes 12 feet wide to 16 feet wide through the interchange.


Project: State Route Rehabilitation Project, Curry County, N.M.

Contractor: K. Barnett & Sons, Inc.

Engineer: CH2M Hill

Owner: New Mexico DOT

Cost: $2.54 million

A project scheduled to take 420 days finished in about half the time (243 days) mostly by working from 7 pm to 7 am to take advantage of higher humidity, lower temperatures, and less traffic. Even so, 3,500 vehicles traversed the 1.5-mile highway section in Clovis, N.M., daily. Four lanes were condensed to two lanes to provide two-way traffic during construction and maintain access to 52 businesses along the route. The project included new underground storm drain, lime-stabilized subgrade, 8-inch-base course material, 10-inch curb and gutter, and sidewalk. To help with public outreach, the contractor sent letters informing business owners and managers before construction began.


Project: State Highway 42, Sister Bay, Wis.

Contractor: Vinton Construction Co.

Engineer: REI Engineering Inc., Village of Sister Bay

Owner: Wisconsin DOT, Village of Sister Bay

Winding along the shores of Green Bay, two-lane State Highway 42 connects the many communities within Door County, Wis., that rely on summer tourism for their livelihood. When a section through the Village of Sister Bay needed reconstruction, the contractor proposed a cost reduction incentive (CRI) enabling placement of high early strength permanent concrete pavement in lieu of temporary asphalt. Paving the 1.54-lane-mile project with 20,389 SY of 8-inch concrete was completed 163 days ahead of schedule for $173,000 less than the bid amount. Construction also was split into eight stages.


Project: Diagonal Highway Reconstruction, Boulder, Colo.

Contractor: Castle Rock Construction Co.

Engineer: Loris and Associates

Owner: City of Boulder Public Works Department

A section of State Highway 119 called the Diagonal Highway used to be on the outskirts of Boulder, Colo. Over time, it became a very busy area with deteriorated asphalt and no pedestrian or bike facilities. The city’s Transportation Department collaborated with other city departments, state DOT, Regional Transportation District, contractors on adjacent projects, and 20 subcontractors to design and deliver a new gateway into the city. In addition to 27,973 SY of 8.5-inch dowelled concrete pavement, 31,000 SY of pavement was recycled into base for a new concrete road. Some 11,600 SY of asphalt and concrete pavement were removed; 14,000 CY of embankment material was moved; and 10,700 SY of flatwork including a cycle track, multiuse path, sidewalk, exposed aggregate, colored sidewalk and colored median curb skirt were placed. Rain gardens filter stormwater runoff. To minimize inconvenience to the public, lane closures occurred only during off-peak times throughout the week, bike routes were maintained at all times, and intersection reconstruction was limited to weekends.


Project: County Road M-56, Dickinson County, Iowa

Contractor: Cedar Valley Corp. LLC

Owner/Engineer: Dickinson County, Iowa

Dickinson County’s population triples to 100,000 every year as anglers gather in Iowa’s Great Lakes region. Most access the area on US Highway 9, which is intersected by equally heavily used County Road M-56.

A new, 30-foot road with 2-foot earth shoulders was designed. With shoulder access unavailable, crews trimmed and placed with one machine: a dual-lane trimmer equipped with a dumping belt, which opened up enough space to set contraction dowel baskets on the freshly trimmed grade before the concrete was placed ahead the paver. The trimmer/placer operator electronically manipulated a swinging dump chute to spread concrete in front of the paver and over recently placed baskets, which also helped maintain a consistent head of concrete.

The day after crews erected a portable plant, rain began. Six inches fell over eight of the next 12 days. The plant site was so saturated that crews abandoned material drive-over in favor of using a hopper conveyor belt to move aggregates from higher ground and a bulldozer and motor grader to help haul trucks move in and out.

Although the project area was closed to through traffic, crews maintained access to a landlocked FedEx facility. The county specified a temporary 2,325-foot rock access road. Placing 5 inches on a virgin field required considerable effort that worsened with the almost-daily rains. Recycled asphalt base helped the trucks move in and out of the facility. At the project’s north end, a landlocked subdivision presented a challenge. Using nearby land owned by the subcontractor, the contractor negotiated an extra work order to build a rock detour that provided access for 12 homeowners.

In spite of these challenges, the contractor earned 86.36% of the maximum smoothness incentive bonus and $14,000 thickness bonus. Crews finished in 35.5 working days, 14.5 days fewer than specified. They also worked more than 5,400 hours with no recordable accidents or injuries.


Project: Voca Road & US 69 West, Atoka County, Okla.

Contractor: TTK Construction Co. Inc.

Owner: Oklahoma DOT

Engineer: Southeast 3 Circuit Engineering District

Cost: $3 million

Five miles of crumbling asphalt, gravel, and dirt road through the rolling hills of southern Oklahoma are now 67,000 square yards of fiber-reinforced, jointed concrete. The road also was widened 4 feet without compromising an existing ditch.

Construction began with building a model for using GPS-guided grade preparation equipment. Asphalt millings were reused in shoulders, under the pad liner, and to shoulder up the pavement next to the ditches, a sustainable construction practice that lowered environmental impact and saved money compared to using virgin aggregate.

To keep drivers and crews safe, the road was closed to all but local traffic during construction. With no funds to build detours, the contractor sometimes paid for hotel rooms for several nights when the paving train blocked access to driveways.

TTK Construction Co. measured smoothness even though the contract didn’t include a ride specification. An average of 34 inches per mile on a 0.0 blanking band was achieved with no grinding, especially impressive given the soft subgrade shoulders that were used for paver tracks. Project was completed on time and under budget.


Project: US-56 Reconstruction, Gray, Kan.

Contractor: Koss Construction Co.

Engineer: Transystems

Owner: Kansas DOT

Reconstructing US-56 that runs through the towns of Ensign and Montezuma required close coordination between Koss Construction Co. and its team of subcontractors. The 7.6-lane-mile project included placing 56,920 SY of 9-inch concrete supported by 4 inches of cement-treated base (CTB) in four phases in 319 days.

Tough erosion control specifications have become a major factor in all highway construction projects, and this project’s owner is no exception. During grading and subsequent operations, the contractor and Kansas DOT collaborated closely to keep sediment on the jobsite. The contractor produced the CTB and concrete using a pug mill and a mobile plant, continually testing ambient air temperature, concrete temperature, slump, air content, and unit weight to meet the project owner’s specifications. Beams were made at the beginning and end of paving every day to verify strength; random coring verified thickness.


Project: Route AC Construction in Perry County, Perryville, Mo.

Contractor: Emery Sapp & Sons Inc.

Owner: Missouri DOT

Engineer: Missouri DOT-Southeast District

Despite a foot of rain and geological complications, two miles of Route AC built to provide access for an industrial park were paved nine months ahead of schedule.

The project, comprising 32,000 SY of 8-in. concrete and 6,500 SY of concrete shoulders, is in an environmentally sensitive area with numerous sinkholes leading to one of Missouri’s largest underground cave systems. In addition to keeping operations from contaminating sinkholes, 60% of the site had substantial seed growth. That required extra effort to ensure no concrete was left in washout pits or containers.

Missouri DOT designed the project with an aggregate pavement backfill. The contractor seeded well in advance of paving operations. Green sod installed in ditch bottoms kept sediment from leaving the jobsite during paving operations. In addition, the 3-in. clean material allows the sub-base aggregate to be free draining, which will ensure good subgrade performance for years to come.

To meet smoothness requirements, the contractor used a high-speed profiler and ProVal software, which determined that full incentive pay could be achieved with minimal grinding.


Project: Allamakee-B-38-Postville, Allamakee County, Iowa

Contractor: Cedar Valley Corp. LLC

Owner/Engineer: Allamakee County, Iowa

Forty curves through a hilly jobsite that became part of a federal disaster area during construction were just two obstacles to resurfacing 5.46 miles in Allamkee County, Iowa. The contractor also had to maintain access at all times and deal with wide-load farm equipment and heavy grain trucks during the fall harvest.

The key to keeping everyone happy was keeping them well informed. Before construction began, residents were invited to a public meeting at the county office. The contractor would minimize inconvenience by using maturity testing to determine when pavement was strong enough to support traffic. The next communications challenge was letting individual property owners know when they’d be impacted. At the end of every paving day, crews removed stringlines to restore driveway access where strength had been reached. The paving schedule was then updated and sent to residents.

This stretch contains 17 horizontal curves and 23 vertical curves that closely followed a meandering profile. Seven of the vertical curves exceeded 3%; one approached 6%. Iowa’s county roads didn’t have to meet the same design standards applied to primary highway and interstate projects. Even though the county didn’t apply the Iowa DOT smoothness specification, the contractor ran a profilometer. The results revealed an average smoothness of 2.39 inches per mile along the entire project length.

Meanwhile, the county was deluged with rain. Almost 8 inches fell in June and another 26.71 inches -- more than twice the 12.53-inch average -- fell between July and September. The county was declared a federal and state disaster area. Despite all these challenges, the contractor recorded almost 7,000 man hours with zero recordable accidents or injuries.


Project: Merriam Lane Reconstruction & Improvements, Wyandotte, Kan.

Contractor: Miles Excavating Inc.

Engineer: Burns & McDonnell

Owner: Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City

Revitalization, beautification, practicality, and quality capture the essence of this Merriam Lane project, which extended from (24th to 10th Street), in Wyandotte, Kan. The existing roadway was at the end of its service life, and it was difficult to discern how business access was planned or managed along the route.

The design engineers, Burns & McDonnell, outlined key goals for the project, including constructing raised curbs and medians, bicycle lanes, ADA-compliant sidewalks and ramps, defined parking stalls, business access points, and new concrete overlay.

The contractor, Miles Excavating Inc., placed 40,705 SY of concrete overlay on the 2.73 total lane mile project. Businesses in the area required constant access, so a combination of blockouts and short hand paves were used to help address the access issues.

The original road was constructed with concrete and is said to be one of the first concrete roads built in Kansas. Over time, numerous hot mix asphalt overlays were placed over the original roadway. As a testament to the durability of the original concrete pavement, the asphalt overlays were milled off to reveal original concrete pavement, which was then used as the new pavement base.

Project challenges included utility delays, positive drainage issues, and business access throughout construction, but all were resolved by the hard work and extra efforts of the project team, which included the contractor, the owner, the engineer, and the Kansas DOT.

Thanks to this team effort, the rehabilitated portion of Merriam Lane is expected to provide the traveling public with an aesthetically pleasing, practical commute for years to come.


Project: State Highway 13 Resurfacing Project, Moffat County, Colo.

Contractor: Castle Rock Construction Co.

Owner: Colorado DOT - Region 3

Engineer: Colorado DOT Region 3, Craig Residency

Castle Rock Construction Co. (CRCC) was responsible for constructing the 6 in. concrete overlay on State Highway 13 north of Craig, Colo. The project was originally let as concrete or asphalt alternate, but during the bidding process, concrete pavement was determined to be the most economical material.

This area of the state traditionally uses only asphalt, but the project allowed the concrete pavement industry to break into the secondary road market, which had been impossible previously. Because concrete was the first-cost low selection without any life cycle cost adjustment ($650,000) confirms project owners can afford the long-lasting benefits of concrete paving.

To produce the concrete for this job, CRCC mined and processed 47,000 tons of rock and sand. The company’s concrete batch plant provided the concrete for all 131,000 SY of concrete overlay. The existing asphalt surface was roto-milled to smooth both the profile and cross slope prior to paving. The milled asphalt was then placed as road base material for shouldering.

Pilot car traffic control was used to facilitate the half width paving approach. This system operated without major incident and only caused minor delays to traffic.

During excavation, the contractor had to clean out of a ditch and culvert pipes to create better flow and prevent the ditch and neighboring land from flooding. After the work was done, CRCC placed riprap to keep the slopes from eroding in the future.

This project serves as proof that concrete overlays can be and are competitive with the asphalt industry, both financially and in pavement smoothness. CRCC and the Colorado DOT worked partnered together on decision-making and other aspects of the project. This project will also serve as an example in future promotional efforts throughout the state. State Highway 13, which boasts a high quality, exceptionally smooth concrete overlay, will serve the people of northwest Colorado and the traveling public for decades to come.


Project: State Highway 51, Blaine County, Canton, Okla.

Contractor: Duit Construction Co. Inc.

Owner/Engineer: Oklahoma DOT

The Oklahoma DOT originally designed this project as a 3 in. asphalt overlay to resurface this 5.52 mile section. It was bid twice, but because of asphalt oil prices and limited bidders, it appeared asphalt pavement was not a good choice for the project.

The Oklahoma DOT flipped the project to concrete overlay, and when they did so, they received four bids instead of the one they received when the job was specified asphalt pavement. With the new 5 in. concrete using the existing milled asphalt base, the pavement could prove to have a 50 year life.

Duit Construction faced many challenges with this bonded concrete overlay project. Strict placement specifications required the milled asphalt surface to be dry before placing the concrete. This limited the amount of moisture used in the milling operation and made timing critical to achieve the correct moisture for the bond.

Surface temperature and concrete strength specifications during the summer were hurdles had to overcome when placing the 98,485 SY of concrete with 39,700 lbs of fiber to be completed. Daily summertime temperatures of 94 degrees and higher on the milled asphalt put the concrete paving operation out of placement specification range. Also, the project had a 45 minute daytime limit for placement of concrete, and because of these factors, the concrete paving had to be done at night.

Duit Construction was able to use a trimmer capable of milling/trimming at least 1 in. of asphalt on a single, 16 ft. pass. By performing the trimming/milling during the day and concrete paving at night, the concrete paving was completed in 20 days for the 29,136 linear ft of two lane highway.

To help with access during construction, Duit set up a paving plan that determined which business driveways could be closed and which ones could remain open. The contractor also determined the section roads or intersections to detour traffic around the work zone. By doing so, Duit was able to determine limits for traffic restrictions and make the paving as seamless as possible.

Thanks to planning, communications, and persistence this 5.52 miles of roadway was completed about 90 days from the time of bid to final construction.


Project: State Highway 119 Reconstruction, Longmont, Colo.

Contractor: Castle Rock Construction Co.

Owner: Colorado DOT, Region 4

Engineer: Colorado DOT Region 4, Boulder Residency

State Highway 119 between I-25 and County Line Road is a growing corridor north of Denver that connects Longmont to Boulder and the surrounding cities. This 4-mile highway project included placement of 200,000 SY of 9 in. dowelled concrete pavement; 75,000 SY of full depth reclamation; and placement of 18,000 CY of riprap. The project also included bridge resurfacing on two structures and the construction of new approach slabs; 75,000 CY of embankment material; and 135,000 SY of pavement removal.

The original completion deadline was the summer of 2017, but crews met high production goals and aggressive schedules, resulting in project completion in December 2016. This limited the adverse impact on the traveling public, and allowed the bride to be open to traffic early, alleviating the need for dangerous work zones through winter and spring.

An innovative adaptive traffic signal system which reads traffic flows and changes the timing on signals also helped keep the traveling public moving during the project.

One of the challenges on this project was the complexity of work in live waterways. The 2013 floods in Colorado caused scouring around bridge piers in the St. Vrain Creek and the Idaho Creek box culvert.

The Colorado DOT’s emphasis was not only on rebuilding the roadway, but also repairing flood damage, and preparing for future flooding. The design solution for the prevention of future damage was placement of riprap on the slopes for over a mile and around the structures in the waterways. CRCC used inflatable coffer dams to divert water and worked in phases in order to keep the water flowing as they completed the work.

In addition to completion well ahead of the schedule and on budget, the pavement is very smooth and along with the other work by CRCC, is very aesthetically pleasing. Safe guards were built into the project to prevent damages from another flood event, and so, this concrete highway is expected to serve the people of northern Colorado and traveling public for decades to come.


Project: NY Gateway Connections Improvement Project – U.S. Peace Bridge Plaza, Buffalo, N.Y.

Contractor: Surianello General Concrete Contractors Inc.

Engineer: Parsons Transportation Group of NY Inc.

Owner: New York State DOT, Region 5

Surianello General Concrete Contractors Inc. was awarded the contract to improve access to and from the U.S. Border Port of Entry at the Peace Bridge Plaza, in Buffalo, N.Y.

The project was awarded under the auspices of the Federal Highway Administration, in cooperation with the New York DOT, and in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act.

The primary goal was to address the limited direct access between the Plaza and Interstate I-190. Existing direct access is limited and requires regional and international traffic to use the local street system. This limited access adds additional commercial traffic to the local streets, which were originally designed to only meet the needs of local traffic. The aim was to reduce the use of the local streets by interstate traffic and provide improved access to the existing plaza.

The project was bid as a "design-bid-build best value," as determined by an evaluation committee working under the direction of the New York DOT’s Contract Management Bureau. Submissions were scored according to best value scoring criteria. A combination of the technical submission (comprised of five technical sections) and price proposal was used to award the contract based on "Best Value."

The $5.4 million project included placement of 19,200 SY of 10 in. concrete pavement for a total of 2.72 lane miles. The existing pavement and foundation were removed and was found to consist of asphalt, concrete foundation pavement, cobblestones, and stone base material. The concrete foundation material was brought to a crushing operation and 12 inches of recycled base coarse material was installed and compacted.

The project proved to be more than the best value; it was incorporated innovation, creativity, and a commitment to sustainable construction practices. Surianello used recycled concrete as an alternative for the base course. The contractor also used colored concrete for a concrete roundabout, which was originally designed in asphalt.

Visitors and other motorists crossing the border at the U.S. Peace Bridge Plaza, as well as motorists and businesses in the surrounding area, now have greater access, thanks to high quality, durable concrete pavement.


Project: South Lawrence Trafficway (K-10), Douglas, Kan.

Contractor: Emery Sapp & Sons Inc.

Engineer: HNTB Corp.

Owner: Kansas DOT

The South Lawrence Trafficway Project (K10) project scope entailed a six-mile, four-lane freeway that moved existing K-10 onto a new alignment, beginning at the south junction of U.S. 59 and the K-10 interchange and reconnected with existing K-10 on the east side of Lawrence.

Emery Sapp & Sons Inc. was awarded the project, which also included the creation of more than 300 acres of new wetlands, as well as, bike paths. Also included were relocated sections of Louisiana Street, 31st Street, and Haskell Avenue that run alongside the Wakarusa Wetlands. On the east side of the city, 31st Street was also extended.

The challenges of this project proved to be no match for ESS, which along with 14 subcontractors and 13 suppliers completed the project on time and within budget. The project scope included 21 bridges; 4.35 million CY of grading; 527,000 SY of concrete paving; and 102,000 sq. ft of noise wall. The project also included large scale earthworks, drainage, soil stabilization, and utilities.

The 9.5 in. concrete pavement spanned 6.33 miles or a total of 43.23 lane miles. ESS self-performed approximately 70 percent of the $138 million project. Although the project schedule spanned almost three paving seasons, careful planning, phasing and hard work allowed ESS to complete more than 85 percent of the contract work including paving within the first two construction seasons.

In terms of sustainability, the project used a combination of new technology and old-fashioned hand work to meet two objectives. The first was to meet environmental protective measures for the 927-acre Baker Wetlands. The contractor worked to avoid disruption to this area that resided within the project parameters in order to protect and preserve the wetlands ecosystem. Special measures included clearing and grubbing by hand, as well as placing recycled timber mats over the wetland area when hauling. Another critical component was that all equipment used to place foundation stabilization and lower the embankment was required to have less than 5 psi of ground pressure. Also, noise walls and landscaping were added to help create a barrier that would provide increased protection to the ecosystem.

The contractor also turned to state-of-the-art stringless paving to meet the second sustainability objective, which was to use energy-saving equipment/processes.

The project is expected to have an economic benefit to the region of $3.7 billion, the largest of any project under the 10-year, $7.9 billion Transportation Works for Kansas (T-WORKS) transportation program.


Project: Wood County I-75 Reconstruction, Perrysburg, Ohio

Contractors: E&B Paving Inc., E.S. Wagner Co.

Owner/Engineer: Ohio DOT, District 2

The Wood County I-75 reconstruction project began in July 2014 and continued to late 2016. The project included replacing and widening of pavement, drainage, signage, pavement marking, and new paving. The project also involved construction of one bridge, plus overlaying and replacing decks of existing structures.

E.S. Wagner was awarded the project and E&B Paving was the low bidder on the proposed alternate bid paving package, which included 369,203 SY of concrete, including 145,977 CY of 13.5 in. concrete.

The project required meeting annual milestones, a situation impacted by wet weather that threatened the schedule for the first two years.

In the first year, E&B Paving used concrete for temporary 9 in. pavement, which was constructed adjacent to the existing southbound lanes to allow all traffic to be placed in the southbound lanes, which in turn, enabled full width construction of the northbound concrete pavement in 2015. With the exception of the SR582 on and off ramp and the mainline pavement through the ramps the full width pavement was able to be completed with no outside traffic maintenance.

The SR582 concrete ramps and associated concrete mainline were completed in only 38 days of a 45-day scheduled closure. After the pavement was completed, all four lanes of traffic were switched to the northbound lanes before winter. This set the stage for southbound lanes to be constructed during the third year of the project.

In 2016, the third year of the project, the southbound lanes were built in a mirror image to the previous northbound lanes completed in 2015. Work progressed more quickly because only minimal weather days were experienced. The SR 582 concrete ramps and concrete mainline were again constructed under a 45-day closure, and once again, the work was completed in only 38 Days.

A major challenge was the consistent delivery of wet batch concrete to the paving operations because of car accidents that occurred, sometimes daily, in the bi-directional traffic configuration. In response, the contractor was able to establish a secondary route to allow production to continue in case of other delays.

Trucking also was an issue on the entire project. The DOT had several other projects progressing in northwest Ohio simultaneously, which made it difficult to find enough wet batch to make good productions. Working together, E&B Paving, E.S. Wagner and the DOT we were able to find alternative haul routes and more trucks from E.S. Wagner to assure the highest quality product possible.

In spite of the challenges, E&B Paving was able to achieve 31 percent of incentive dollars for smoothness based on average IRI readings of 54.31 for total project.

Local commuters, truck drivers, and the traveling public will benefit from the added travel lanes, as well as the more durable and sustainable concrete. The smooth ride and the noise reducing longitudinal tines also will provide added benefits for years to come.


Project: Grand Parkway Project, Houston

Contractor: Zachry Construction Corp., Odebrecht Construction Inc.

Engineers: Parsons Transportation Group, The Transtec Group Inc.

Owner: Texas DOT

SH 99 is a proposed 180-mile circumferential highway traversing seven counties in the Greater Houston Area. The highway is divided into 11 segments. Zachry was the managing joint-venture partner of Zachry-Odebrecht Parkway Builders, the Developer and Lead Contractor, responsible for the development of SH 99 Grand Parkway Segments F1, F2, and G (the Project).

Zachry-Odebrecht Parkway Builders worked with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to design, construct, and maintain 37.8 miles of divided two-lane controlled access toll road that intersects 19 major roads and includes 4 major interchanges. The project included more than 120 bridges; one river crossing; 1.8 million square yards of concrete paving; frontage roads and associated drainage; ROW acquisition management of approximately 480 parcels (2,127 acres); and the design, coordination and relocation of 177 utilities. Zachry-Odebrecht Parkway Builders challenged the team to develop and design a project approach that was innovative and tailored to meet the DOT’s needs. The result was a value-added concept that brought technical solutions and cost reduction through the implementation of alternative technical concepts.

The aggressive schedule was one of the fastest to deliver a project of this magnitude. The project team accelerated construction through very careful planning and sequencing of activities, as well as, the use of an on-site precast yard to prefabricate beams and deck panels. The project was divided into three construction segments with support departments, including paving, a casting yard, project administration, public information, ROW acquisition, environmental team, and utility team.


Project: I-25, Lincoln Avenue to County Line Road, Douglas County, Colo.

Contractor: Interstate Highway Construction Inc.

Owner: Colorado DOT

Engineer: Colorado DOT, Region 1, Lone Tree Residency

Interstate 25 from Lincoln Avenue to County Line Road is the last section of I-25 between Denver and Castle Rock to be widened to four through lanes in each direction. The roadway carries over 180,000 vehicles per day, including 13,000 commercial trucks.

This very complex $27 million project had 307 pay items of work including 175,000 square yards of concrete pavement (25 lane miles). Work on the 441 working day project began in August of 2014, and the grand opening occurred on time in March of 2016.

The project might never have happened without the financial partnership of the Federal Highway Administration, Colorado DOT, and Douglas County, the City of Lone Tree, the Community of Meridian, the Park Meadows Metro District, and a huge contribution from DRCOG (Denver Regional Council of Governments).

The construction was managed entirely by Colorado DOT staff, which worked with IHC and subcontractors to keep their schedule flowing, and inspected at all times.

Traffic safety and unhindered flow through the project was a prime consideration. The DOT did not allow any reduction in travel lanes between 5:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. Nighttime lane closures and nighttime full Interstate closures were allowed. Construction was scheduled around schedules of the Denver Broncos’ home games for two seasons, and in advance of the Christmas shopping rush, the northbound I-25 portion of the project was open to four lanes before Black Friday. During construction, traffic conditions, including speed, accident rates and travel times through the corridor, were no worse and, in some cases, better than pre-construction conditions.

Another complex aspect of the project was dealing with utility issues. The contractor had to work around fiber optic lines (including one transcontinental line that could not be moved), water lines, power lines, irrigation, and others.

The project can boast of many innovations and successful changes to the initial scope of the construction. The existing asphalt and concrete pavements were recycled and reused on the project, saving thousands of trucking miles and the cost of importing materials. Some concrete pavement was recycled and used as aggregate in temporary concrete detour pavement, and then recycled again in permanent pavement.

Peak flow speeds before construction were 16 mph, but now are 48 mph, and according to the FHWA’s road user criteria, this contributes about $58,000 per day in road user cost savings. Based on this user cost savings, the project will pay for itself in approximately two years. Equally important, motorists in south metro Denver have a highway they can be proud of for 30 years or more.


Project: Bayport Container Yard, Seabrook, Texas

Contractor: A.G. Peltz Group LLC

Engineers: LAN Engineering, HVJ Associates Inc.

Owner: Port of Houston Authority

A.G. Peltz Group, LLC was contracted by the POHA to place 98,000 SY of 18” Roller Compacted Concrete (RCC) pavement. This marked the fourth large project for the port authority to use RCC, and several additional projects also are planned.

By 2020, the Port is expected to have 380 acres of mostly 18-in.-thick RCC, making it the largest RCC site in the United States. Just how much RCC is this? This amount of RCC would form a 6-in. thick, single lane road stretching more than 800 miles from the state’s easternmost city of Orange to El Paso in the far west corner of Texas

Since 2007, RCC has filled a key role in the port authority’s Bayport Container Terminal expansion, and integral part of a capital improvement program that totaled about $314 million in 2016. High-performing, low-maintenance RCC pavements are strong and dense, so they can handle the weight of heavy container-handling equipment such as gantry cranes that load containers on and off ships.

“The goal was to reduce cost and ensure long-term durability, and port leadership at that time believed RCC offered a sound solution,” said POHA Chief Construction Engineer, Brock Lewis, who commented that the environment, working with surrounding jurisdictions, meeting numerous business requirements, and excessive rainfall in the Houston area were challenges during construction. “By placing RCC, we were able to return to business sooner than expected while also minimizing down time.” POHA was also able to reduce the construction schedule by four months, while keeping maintenance to a minimum.

This facility and POHA’s overall increased container-handling capacity is keeping pace with increasing demand, including more and larger ships that pass through its waters, thanks in in part to the Panama Canal expansion.


Project: Crossgate Road, Port Wentworth; Savannah, Ga.

Contractor: A.G. Peltz Group LLC

Owner/Engineer: Georgia DOT

The existing section of Crossgate Road in Port Wentworth, Ga., was a two-lane hot mix asphalt (HMA) roadway with weight limit restrictions. According to GDOT personnel, replacing the existing HMA with 10 in. of Roller Compacted Concrete (RCC) would increase the structural capacity of the roadway, opening its use to heavy truck traffic. This was especially important to GDOT as they expected traffic counts to increase from an ADT of 7,800 in 2013 to 10,500 by 2023.

Placed by A.G. Peltz, this section of roadway was GDOT's inaugural project for RCC as the riding surface on a state travel lane.

The majority of the main roadway is 24 ft wide. The RCC was placed in a single pass, which required the roadway to be shut down and throughput traffic to be detoured. To ensure uninterrupted access to businesses along the roadway, the RCC was started in the middle of the project limits, which greatly helped with the traffic routing. In addition, the rapid strength gain of the RCC (3000 PSI within two days) allowed local traffic to utilize the pavement within 48 hours. To meet the ride specifications for this state project, the RCC was diamond ground to achieve greater smoothness.

According to Georgia Ports Authority personnel, there are roughly 325 acres of undeveloped property along the existing roadway. So now, with the improved structural capacity, the RCC roadway will spur industrial and commercial development along the corridor, thereby increasing the local tax base.

The RCC was relatively quick to place, and provided ports authority, the DOT, and road users with an economical, durable, and low maintenance concrete pavement that will carry heavy traffic for years to come.


Project: Reconstruction Project at Northwest Missouri Regional Airport, Maryville, Mo.

Contractor: Ideker Inc.

Owner: City of Maryville, Mo.

Engineer: Jviation Inc.

Pavement evaluations on Runway 14-32 at the Northwest Missouri Regional Airport in Maryville, Missouri, resulted in low Pavement Condition Index numbers for a portion of the runway, north turnaround, and the northernmost taxiway connector from the apron. Also, deterioration of the north 4,000 ft. of the runway since 2011 required emergency replacements of select concrete panels on an annual basis.

Ideker, Inc. proved they were up to the task of completing this challenging project. Because of these factors, a comprehensive reconstruction project was required and involved the removal and replacement of the existing pavement. The project involved pavement demolition; fly ash stabilization of the subgrade; in-place recycling of the existing 6 in. concrete and reuse as aggregate base course; drainage pipe installation; underdrain construction; and a new edge lighting system.

The airport was closed for the duration of the project to allow for the complete removal and replacement of the northernmost 4,000 ft. of runway pavement. In all, 38,000 SY of 6 in. concrete pavement was placed over the recycled concrete aggregate and subgrade. A geotextile fabric between the subgrade and base course minimized the amount of fines entering the base course.

Weather delays and unanticipated poor subgrade conditions complicated the project, but the contractor and other project partners worked through these issues together to keep the project moving forward with minimal delays.

Ideker used stringless grade control for establishing the finished subgrade elevations, finished recycled concrete base course elevations, and placement of the concrete. Ideker also sequenced paving lanes so to avoid driving on the subbase during paving.

The consistent thickness results and profilograph results—with no deficiencies to correct—are a testament to the tight grade control and attention to detail that was achieved during the project.

In addition, the specifications were exceeded for flexural strength gain for this project. The smooth ride of the new runway exhibits the high quality of workmanship that was achieved on this project.


Project: Jack Edwards National Airport Improvements, Gulf Shores, Ala.

Contractor: A.G. Peltz Group LLC

Engineer: Barge, Waggoner, Sumner and Cannon Inc.

Owner: Jack Edwards National Airport

As tourism in this resort city and overall region has increased, the Jack Edwards airport has seen increased demand for additional aircraft apron areas that can accommodate all types of aircraft, including heavy aircraft. In response to these increasing demands, the Federal Aviation Administration granted funds to construct a new heavy aircraft apron.

A.G. Peltz Group won a competitive bid to construct the new heavy aircraft apron. The scope of work included taking a greenfield site and performing the required grading, drainage, base, pavement, aircraft tie downs, and lighting for the new apron. The pavement section consists of a 6 in. P-304 cement treated base layer and a 15 in. P-501 plain jointed concrete pavement layer.

A.G. Peltz performed both the cement-treated base and concrete paving required to complete the project. The pavement was constructed in 30 ft paving widths to shorten the duration of the pavement placements and try to recover time lost during the grading phase of the project. In spite of an unusually wet spring that caused delays, the 27,555 SY heavy aircraft apron now serves the air travel needs of the region, and allows aircraft up to 737 class. This apron will now allow the airport to accept a larger volume and larger size of aircraft.


Project: Runway/Taxiway Reconstruction, Wayne County Airport, Romulus, Mich.

Contractor: Ajax Paving Industries Inc.

Engineer: RS&H

Owner: Wayne County Airport Authority

Arguably one of the greatest challenges facing the Wayne County Airport Authority recently was the reconstruction of Detroit Metro Airport’s Runway 4L/22R, which is vitally important to the airport, as well as air traffic in southeastern Michigan.

Located in the world’s automotive capital, the airport commonly known as Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) serves more than 30 million passengers per year. As one of the busiest airports in the region, the facility generates over $10 billion in economic impact annually.

The project consisted of nearly 450,000 SY of concrete pavement, encompassing 6.5 miles of airfield space, making this project the largest airport concrete pavement project constructed in the United States at the time. The runway is 10,000 ft long and 150 ft wide, and in high demand, so the airport authority had to “fast track” the design and construction.

Typically, the runway is used for aircraft arrivals and can accommodate operations in low-visibility conditions, making it critical to the airport’s operational efficiency and business continuity. The project also involved reconstruction of the associated taxiway system, providing a safe connection for aircraft from the runway to the passenger terminals at Detroit Metro Airport.

In addition to quick and efficient design and construction, the planning, design, and construction incorporated sustainable practices, including the re-use of stormwater for dust control during construction, along with other initiatives proposed by the contractor during construction. This monumental project was completed on schedule, allowing Ajax to achieve the maximum allowable incentives outlined in the contract.

In July 2016, ACPA hosted its Airport Pavement Design & Construction Best Practices Workshop near Detroit Metro Airport. As part of the workshop, the project was highlighted and workshop participants had the opportunity to tour of the construction.


Project: Runway 14-32 Rehabilitation, Pittsburgh International Airport, Findlay Township, Pa.

Contractor: Golden Triangle Construction Co. Inc.

Engineer: Michael Baker International

Owner: Allegheny County Airport Authority

When bids were let for the reconstruction of the cross wind Runway 14-32, Golden Triangle was the successful bidder on all six construction bids.

The project involved removal and replacement of 185,936 SY of concrete pavement. All the concrete was produced using Golden Triangle’s portable batch plant set up on airport property about 20 minutes from the project site.

In addition to the concrete pavement replacement, the project included subgrade, base, and drainage improvements along with complete asphalt shoulder replacement, as well as electrical circuit, lighting, and airfield signage replacement.

The original concrete pavement was crushed to a 2A or R4 gradation and was either used on the project or was stock piled on airport property for future reuse by the owner. All the bituminous asphalt was milled and stockpiled on site for future reuse by the owner.

Precise grade control was a must as the runway intersected with two other parallel runways and intersected with 10 taxiways. The initial phases used traditional string line paving techniques, and then transitioned to GPS and stringless technology.

Close coordination was required with multiple subcontractors, as well as multiple prime contractors on adjacent airport projects. There were also rigorous quality control requirements to meet FAA specifications, and testing results confirmed consistency.

Making this project even more challenging were the many sub-phases of each of the six construction phases, which led many working restrictions and extremely tight time frames. In spite of all these factors, project milestones and completion dates were met and the owner and air travelers to the region now have a reliable, high quality facility.

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