ACPA Names Recipients of 2019 “Excellence in Concrete Pavements” Awards

The American Concrete Pavement Association (ACPA) has named recipients of its 30th Annual “Excellence in Concrete Pavements” awards, which recognize quality concrete pavements constructed in the United States and Canada.  The awards program encourages high-quality workmanship, quality and creativity in constructing,   rehabilitating and restoring concrete pavement projects.  

The award-winning projects were paved by 23 different contractors.  Projects are located in 15 ACPA areas represented by ACPA-affiliated Chapters and State paving associations.  Winners were determined by 41 professionals who devoted their time and expertise to serve as judges.   

The program recognizes contractors, engineers, and project owners who completed outstanding projects.  Contractors noted with an asterisk (*) are ACPA members.  ACPA is pleased to present the stories behind the 2019 award-winning projects: 

Reliever & General Aviation Airports

Silver Award – Runway 18-36 Extension, Delphi Municipal Airport, Delphi, Ind.

Contractor: E&B Paving, Inc.*

Owner: City of Delphi Board of Aviation Commissioners

Engineer: NGC Corporation

Shortly after this project began, it was discovered during fine grade and proof rolling that several areas needed attention. After placing the 2,750 ft. of underdrain, the grading contractor began undercutting the 2,944 SY of subgrade 12-in.-deep, placed geogrid, then filled with approved #2 stone.

At this point, the fall rains set in and then turned cold. In order to deliver the best project possible, the contractor completed the subbase and paving in late spring. E&B Paving began placing the required 4 in. of P-209 last June and completed the 2,512 tons placement the following day.

Because of weather, paving of the 60-ft.-wide runway began on June 14, at which time E&B Paving elected to pave the center 20-ft. lane first so the subbase could be re-graded. After the curing, the contractor started paving the two outside lanes using the lithium nitrate mitigated 6-in. P-501 concrete. All 1,108 CY of concrete were delivered in front discharge trucks from the nearby Lafayette plant. This 1,350-ft. project then had joints widened, beveled and sealed with silicone sealant.

In 2008, a 5-in. concrete overlay was placed on the 2,650-ft. runway, so now with the addition of the 1,350-ft. extension, Delphi Municipal Airport has a well-designed and constructed runway that will serve the area for many years to come. The 4,000-ft. runway can now accept small jets and other aircraft, which is important to the business and economic growth in Delphi and the surrounding communities.

Gold Award – Sioux County Regional Airport, Sioux Co., Iowa

Contractor: Cedar Valley Corporation*

Owner: Sioux County Regional Airport   

Engineer: DGR Engineering

Creating a new airport out of an Iowa cornfield is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, according to the engineer who headed up the team that designed the Sioux County Regional Airport. Due to a funding quirk by the Federal Aviation Administration, this concrete paving project was built under two different contracts separated by a year.

In addition to the phasing challenges posed by the FAA multi-year funding package, horrible weather conditions during the two years also posed scheduling challenges. Overall, the airport was constructed during five different construction seasons. Cedar Valley Corporation built a 5,500 lineal ft. by 100-ft.-wide runway. The paving also

included four taxiways, a large apron area, and the concrete around two T-hangars. In all, CVC placed 122,532 SY of concrete. In spite of weather conditions, crews placed concrete 47 different days to complete these projects.

The stops and starts in the project, stemming from the funding issue and bad weather, may have affected the

schedule, but did not impact CVC’s focus on quality. The contractor was not allowed to use probes to determine

concrete strength, so crews used extra sets of beams to determine early strengths.

CVC met or exceeded all quality goals and despite the difficult site conditions, the company posted an exceptional safety record on the project. There were no loss of time injuries or recordable vehicular accidents with almost 47,000 man-hours of exposure. 

Commercial Service & Military Airports

Silver Award –Naval Air Station Oceania, Virginia Beach, Va.

Contractor:         The Lane Construction Corporation*

Owner:                 U.S. Navy, NAS Oceania

Engineer:             Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson, Inc.

From outward appearances, this runway reconstruction and lighting replacement project at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, Va., may have seemed like any ordinary project, but the issue of unsuitable soils meant the construction team had to take some extraordinary steps to keep the project on track.

Initial plans called for the removal of 25,000 CY of unsuitable soil, but the contractor removed and replaced that quantity of soil during only the first 10 percent of the runway grading. The Lane Construction Company worked closely with the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) and used a combination of methods and materials, including undercutting, soil cement, cement treated aggregate, and even testing and receiving approval to place cement treated aggregate on top of the old runway, which was constructed with concrete pavement in 1942, was about 22 in. below finish grade. Making matters worse, the contractor had to remove several asphalt overlays and a section of 8 in. concrete from the 1980s.  

The contractor worked collaboratively with the Navy to minimize cost and scheduling impacts.  Although the Navy budgeted $4.5 million for the subgrade work, Lane’s costs were only $1.65 million. To reconstruct the main runway (14R/32L) and the adjacent areas, the contractor placed 6 in. of crushed concrete, followed by 6 in. cement-treated aggregate and 12 to 15 in. of concrete pavement to reconstruct the 1.5 mile runway, including 4 intersections.  In all, a total of 197,581 SY of concrete was placed at a total cost of under $16.5 million.

The overall project was broken into 100 separate phases to help maintain traffic and power and controls of the lighting system.  Night paving allowed the contractor to take advantage of cooler temperatures and reduced air traffic. A 1.2 mile haul road constructed around the runway helped the crews avoid crossing active runways. The project also included new lights on all taxiways and runways, as well as replacement of equipment in the control tower and in new electrical vaults.

Despite closing two of the four runways, aircraft operations did not decrease. As the construction moved forward, the Navy continued its operations with an average of 800 aircraft per day, and during the span of the project, the Air Station Oceana saw more than 1,000,000 flight operations, supported over 100,000 passenger operations, handled 8,000 transient aircraft, and processed more than 1,200 detachment requests. 

Gold Award – Taxiway Bravo Rehabilitation/ Phase 2, Kansas City International (KCI) Airport, Platte Co., Mo.

Contractor:         Ideker, Inc.*

Owner:                 Kansas City Aviation Department

Engineer:             HNTB Corporation

Airport pavement construction can be very complex, but when Ideker embarked on a reconstruction of taxiway B at KCI, they soon realized the project would present some significant challenges. 

HNTB’s field examination of the existing pavement revealed D-cracking and crack propagation, alkali silica reactivity and stresses associated with electrical in-pavement fixtures.

Ideker removing existing concrete, and during the process, the contractor recycled about 200 tons of salvaged steel and reused a portion of the concrete.

The 1-mile long pavement project involved placement of lime-treated subgrade,  6 in. of aggregate base, 6 in. of econocrete and 16 in. of continuously reinforce concrete with 15 ft. joint spacing.  A total of 80,000 SY of concrete was placed at a cost of about $9.5 million and a total project cost of $14.0 million.

The most unique part of this project was the Taxiway B’s role as the main artery connecting “Cargo Row” at KCI. This required Ideker to maintain access to all eight businesses located along the 8,000 ft. long taxiway, and to maintain access, the contractor constructed four temporary taxiway connectors.  

Careful project planning was essential to success, and the contractor originally planned to complete the work in six phases to maintain access during the project. Through partnering and expert scheduling though, Ideker was able to reduce the construction phases from six to three, which helped accelerate work and reduce closure periods. 

Overlays (Airports)

Gold Award – Runway 5-23 Rehabilitation, Grand Strand Airport, North Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Contractor: Hi-Way Paving, Inc.*

Owner: Horry County Department of Airports    

Engineer: Holt Consulting Company

The new runway at Grand Strand Airport in North Myrtle Beach features an innovative 7.5 in. unbonded concrete overlay design on top of existing asphalt.  The concrete overlay provided an excellent means of renewing and ultimately increasing the lifespan of one of the oldest runways in South Carolina.

The runway was originally built in the 1940s as the Wampee Flight Strip and was used as auxiliary landing airfield for the Myrtle Beach Army Airfield. From 1956 until 1976, Grand Strand was the only commercial airport servicing all of Myrtle Beach. Following construction of Myrtle Beach International in 1976, Grand Strand has served the North Myrtle community as a busy general aviation airfield.

Making this project even more impressive was Hi-Way Paving's ability to bring the project to completion under budget despite the fact that the project was hit with Hurricane Michael during the originally planned first week of the project.  A record rainfall occurred in the area during the course of construction, dumping 68.5 in. vs. the average annual rainfall of 46.12 in.

The project involved converting the existing asphalt taxiway into a temporary runway so that the airport could remain functional for 90 percent of existing traffic during the project. Once the temporary runway was operational, Hi-Way Paving milled the surface of existing asphalt runway to create a uniform 1.5 percent cross-slope of asphalt as a new base course, and then overlaid the runway with 7.5 in. of concrete pavement using a central mix batch plant.

In addition to the overlay, the contractor was also responsible for milling, widening, and overlaying the 3 existing asphalt taxiways to meet the new runway grades and slope requirements. Finally, the project included the full depth demolition and relocation/realignment of two existing mid-field asphalt taxiways.

The scope of the project, the hurricane and heavy rain proved no match for Hi-Way Paving, which complete major construction work less than a month behind the original planned completion. 

RCC (Special Application)

Silver Award –DOT 4 ft. Shoulder and Ramp Replacement, Guilford/Randolph County, N.C.

Contractor: Andale Construction*

Owner: North Carolina Department of Transportation    

Engineer: NCDOT District 7 RCE

When the North Carolina District 7 Department of Transportation wanted to rehabilitate a 7-mile section of Interstate 85—north and south bound—located between Archdale and High Point, officials selected roller compacted concrete for the 10 ft. outside shoulder. 

Because RCC adds a significantly higher structural value to the shoulders, NC DOT also decided to see if the contractor could pave a 4 ft.-wide inside shoulder as well so that the entire roadway would be concrete.  A typical RCC section of 4 ft. RCC had never been successfully constructed before the North Carolina project.

Andale Construction modified its high density screed paver and with detailed upfront planning handled the project. The construction time for both of the north and south bound lanes was 16 days from start to finish. The typical section of the 35,887 SY inside shoulder was 6 in. in depth with wider areas placed to meet bridge approaches and slope protections.

In addition to the inside shoulders, Andale also replaced the two concrete exit and entrance ramps at the Archdale #111 exit with broom-finished RCC. The ramps were removed, reconstructed with RCC and reopened in 1O total working days, including demolition of the existing 8 to 11 in. concrete section.

The speed with which the RCC was placed saved NC DOT three months of construction time on the inside shoulder and four months on the ramp replacement. The inside shoulders took 16 total days to remove and replace and the ramps took 10 total days – including curing time.

Gold Award – Roller Compacted Concrete Streets, Roseville California

Contractor: FBD Vanguard Construction Inc.*

Owner: City of Roseville, Calif.   

Engineer: Bennett Engineering

The City of Roseville’s RCC Pilot Project involved reconstruction of several lane miles of existing asphalt pavement road with RCC in multiple locations.

Three diverse roads were chosen for the pilot project. Washington Boulevard is a five-lane arterial; Atkinson Street is a two -lane collector road; and Hickory Street is a residential street.

In addition to reduced lifetime maintenance costs, the first costs for the pavement on this project came in about 10 percent lower than expected for a comparable asphalt pavement.  The use of RCC is a relatively uncommon in Northern California, but officials decided to consider it for a pilot project.   In all, 60,000 SY of RCC was used.

Multiple factors posed scheduling challenges to this project. The largest challenge centered around completing the RCC pavement construction in a short working period.  With the aim of not disrupting a local school’s operations, summer break (June to mid-August) was determined to be the best time to complete the work.

Other traffic concerns centered around the need for weekend access to the region's historic Denio’s Farmer Market. This combination market/swap meet is popular in the community, and the operators are known for their continued service, rain or shine.

The schedule gave the contractor less than seven days to pave and achieve maturity opening strength in both directions.  Paving started the day after the market closed and re-opened the day before the next market. The construction was such a success that Denio's Market hosted an RCC tour at their facility for other agencies, engineers, and developers to come see first-hand the RCC paving process and finished product.

RCC (Industrial)

Silver Award – Container Yard 1 and East End of Barbours Cut Terminal, Houston, Texas

Contractor: A.G. Peltz Group LLC*

Owner: Port of Houston Authority          

Engineer: RPS Group

A.G. Peltz Group placed 69,000 CY of 18 in. roller compacted concrete and mixed 40,000 yards of conventional concrete for the reconstruction of Container Yard 1 and the East End at Barbours Cut Terminal at Port Houston.

Although Port Houston has over 300 acres of mostly 18 in. RCC in service at their adjacent Bayport Container Terminal, this project was the first time RCC was placed at Barbours Cut.  RCC was also used at a live terminal inside the security gates at Port Houston.

The Barbours Cut terminal is in the midst of a modernization program to increase cargo handling capacity from 1.2 Million transportation equivalent units (TEUs) to 2 Million TEUs annually.  Part of this program includes rebuilding and reconfiguring several of the existing marshalling yards without shutting down terminal operations. With its fast construction and ability to handle heavy repeated loading, RCC offered the appropriate pavement solution for the majority of areas within the facility. However, due primarily to existing obstacles, there were also several areas within Barbours Cut Terminal where conventional concrete was the appropriate fit. With a single plant capable of mixing both RCC and conventional concrete, A.G. Peltz was able to mix over 109,000 CY of concrete for this high profile project.

Handling traffic on this project was a significant challenge. All material had to be delivered by drivers, who had a Transportation Worker Identification Credential card or be escorted on-site by the prime contractor. Because the terminal was live and active, paving operations had to remain flexible to accommodate container movement. The contractor’s team worked with port personnel to develop a revised traffic flow to allow the third phase to begin prior to the end of phase 2. This resulted in several paving plan adjustments as containers were moved from ship to stacking areas and as containers were loaded onto trucks from the stacking areas. The revised plan not only reduced the total project length, but also allowed several newly paved areas to be open to traffic as soon as design strengths were realized.

Gold Award – Walmart Southeast Import Distribution Center

Contractor: Ryan Companies US, Inc. / Morgan Corporation*

Owner: Walmart Inc.     

Engineer: Carlson Consulting Engineers Inc.

This project is a involved the use of roller-compacted concrete for one of the largest distribution centers in America, Walmart’s Southeast Distribution Center in Mobile, Ala.

The story began in 2013, when Morgan Corp. began reaching out to Walmart headquarters promoting RCC for distribution centers, including discussion about a project planned for constructed in North Carolina. After site visits and an RCC seminar, Walmart’s senior managers decided to try RCC to build the pavements at the distribution center in Mebane, N.C., the first RCC paving project built by the world’s largest brick & mortar retailer.  Building on the success of this project, the company is now specifying RCC for all of its distribution centers in the U.S.

Walmart Inc. chose RCC again for the second distribution center located in Mobile. This facility is almost four times as large as the one built in North Carolina.

The project encompassed 382,000 SY of 10-in. thick RCC for truck parking, loading docks and access routes, plus 9,000 SY of 5-in. thick RCC for their  employee access route. In addition, the pavements included reinforced concrete dolly pads. Based on Morgan Corp.'s recommendations, Walmart agreed to change the pavement details to improve design, speed construction and save cost.

A total of approximately 106,000 CY of RCC were placed in 85 paving days, including two partial days where production paving was very limited due to rain.

Industrial Paving

Gold Award – CSX Intermodal Terminals – Winterhaven, FL

Contractor: McCarthy Improvement Company*

Owner: CSX Intermodal Facilities

Engineer: Jacobs (Owner’s representative to CSX Intermodal Facilities)

Only three years after initial construction, the Central Florida Intermodal Logistics Facility near Winterhaven, Fla., had outgrown its originally design capacity of 300,000 containers per year.  An expansion project included construction of additional gantry cranes, high mast lighting and more than 13 acres of additional tractor trailer parking, loading and unloading areas.

McCarthy Improvement Company was contracted to perform the concrete paving, which totaled 67,000 SY of concrete.  The project specifications required a mix capable of attaining a compressive strength of 4,000 psi at 28 days. McCarthy developed a mixture that met the required strength in less than seven days, which helped expedite cure of adjacent paving lanes. The mix design included Type II portland cement, natural sand and granite coarse aggregates. Even though the granite was not locally available, McCarthy chose to “rail-in” granite aggregates from eastern Georgia and use them to improve early strength. 

MCI completed the paving in 23 days of the 74 calendar days allowed from mobilization to the plant site.  The owner previously had issues with roller compacted concrete and asphalt, so the finished project now stands as an excellent example of the versatility and durability of concrete pavements.

Concrete Pavement Restoration

Silver Award – Taxiways F & G Rehabilitation Project at Denver International Airport

Contractor: Interstate Highway Construction, Inc.*

Owner: City and County of Denver, Department of Aviation

Engineer: Jviation

Located on the west side of Denver International Airport (DIA) Concourses, Taxiways F and G provide access to all the westside runways. The taxiways are heavily used by aircraft at all times of the year, but during winter months, they also provide access to critical deicing pads.  Because of the importance of these taxiways, close attention to detail and quality construction were extremely important considerations.

The project scope removal and replacement of about 22,000 SY of 17 in. and 21 in.-thick concrete panels, repair of 123,000 linear feet of joint seals, and electrical system renovation.  The project required grading and drainage upgrades to comply with FAA criteria, repair and adjustment of utility structures, and 13 acres of seed and mulch. The total project cost was about $10.7 million, with the pavement amounting to about $5.3 million.

Interstate Highway Construction had a total of nine milestones, five major phases with additional sub-phases for the pavement construction and restoration.  The contractor met or exceeded the milestones, in spite of challenges posed by the staging phase and sub-phase.  For example, some subsections were located in the middle of others, so IHC had to complete some sections out of order—and had to begin some sections at the same time—to meet the milestones.  With the risk of liquidated damages of $75,000 and $25,000/day, IHC’s hard work and attention detail enabled crews to finish all the work within on time and some sections ahead of schedule. 

The project required a 100 percent quality control inspection with random quality assurance inspections, and because of the close communication and cooperation between the owner’s representatives, both quality and safety were hallmarks of the project.

Gold Award – Interstate 35/Interstate 40 Patching, Oklahoma City, OK

Contractor: Duit Construction*

Owner/Engineer: Oklahoma Department of Transportation

1-35 and 1-40 are two major interstates in Oklahoma that connect two significant suburban areas to downtown Oklahoma City. The 1-40 section was built in 1967 and the 1-35 section was built in 1986 with plain jointed concrete pavements on asphaltic hot sand with no dowel bars.

Replacing the pavement was a priority for the Oklahoma DOT, but budget constraints required  a solution short of reconstruction.  The solution was a combination of dowel bar retrofit, replacement of shattered panels and diamond grinding.  The specification restricted lane closures to nights and weekends  and called for a fast-setting concrete mixture that allowed patched areas to open to morning rush hour in under nine hours.

Duit Construction proposed a strategy of removing existing pavement and drilling it for dowels and tie bars. With the pavement sections out, the subgrade was checked for potential undercut.  The contractor then placed temporary precast panels in place of the pavements, which then were placed and restored at night.

Duit removed long sections of pavement and place large quantities–between 300 to 600 CY–of concrete on Saturday mornings, thus allowing the concrete  to cure in time for early Monday morning openings to traffic. Maturity meters were used to determine opening times.

Use of the temporary panels during the week and pouring on the weekend, gave the concrete  36 hours to set, which reduced the overall cost.

The Oklahoma DOT was originally faced with an overrun of over $1.5 million if they had used the original strategy of repairs with fast-setting concrete mix. With Duit's method, the DOT was able to increase the number of patches on the 6.4-mile section of I-40 and still stay on budget. Diamond grinding restored the surface, allowing a smooth ride on the repaired pavements.  The overall project cost was just under $10.6 million and  43,698 SY of concrete.  

County Roads

Silver Award – County Road T-26 Marble Rock, Floyd County, Iowa

Contractor: Cedar Valley Corporation*

Owner/Engineer: Floyd County, Iowa     

A challenging work schedule under any circumstances can make pavement construction challenging, by when Cedar Valley Corporation discovered about 41 percent of a 6.05 mile reconstruction project area required substantial subgrade repair, crews responded with creative solutions based on expert decision-making, hard work and the use of maturity testing to get the job done.

The Iowa County Road T-26 project involved removal and recycling of the existing 9 in.-thick asphalt (which was milled and hauled to an asphalt plant).  Tackling the subgrade issues, crews removed 17,893 CY of unsuitable material, then placed about 32,000 SY of geogrid fabric and 34,000 tons of rock. The excavation for the base rock was successfully incorporated into project by widening the proposed shoulders. This eliminated the need to haul material off the project, thus providing fuel savings and also eliminating a potential fugitive dust situation.

The geogrid fabric and rock created an ideal platform on which the contractor then placed 78,662 SY of 8-in. concrete pavement.  The new roadway was designed to be paved 22 ft. wide with 5-ft. rock shoulders. Based on the narrow shoulders, CVC chose to place the concrete directly in front of the paving operation by trimming and placing the concrete with one machine. CVC pressed into service an “Iowa Special,” a modified CMI dual-lane trimmer configured with a dumping belt placed over the machine.  The machine allowed the crew enough space to set and place dowel baskets directly on the freshly-trimmed grade and just ahead of the paver.

Although the actual project was closed to through traffic, local access had to be maintained, an especially important point as the construction was done during Iowa's peak harvest season. CVC not only maintained access to 17 residences that lined the road, they also had to provide access to 40 field driveways for local farms. Excellent communication with property owners (advance stockpiling of driveway materials at each property) and the use of maturity testing enabled CVC to balance local access with the need to ensure the pavement was not damaged because of opening too early.

In spite of completing about $628,000 in extra work, DVC successfully completed the project within the 100-day schedule, creating a durable road that will last for many years.

Gold Award – County Road 47, Weld County, Colo.

Contractor: Interstate Highway Construction*

Owner/ Engineer: Weld County Division of Engineering  

Reconstruction of Weld County Road 47 was the third and final phase in completion of the County's Weld County Road 49 Corridor, providing a north-south alternate to 1-25 and US 85, the largest project designed completely in-house by the County.

County Road 47 from County Road 60.5 to State Highway 392 was an existing two-lane, 3.5-mile rural asphalt road with ditches on both sides. Now, the roadway includes four lanes, a continuous 16 ft. general purpose lane, acceleration and deceleration lanes at intersections, a median guardrail and a new irrigation system critical to farmers. More than 167,000 SY of concrete was used to pave 12.89 lane miles at a paving cost of $6.3 million in a project that cost a total of $21.2 million.

The project used a geogrid to mechanically stabilize the subgrade in lieu of the typically specified R-40 subgrade. A new fusion bonded epoxy that fully encapsulates dowel bars was used to provide steel corrosion resistance said to be on par with stainless steel bars. A cure/sealer was used on the concrete to promote sulfate resistance. All concrete aggregates were mined on-site, not only to meet the project demand, but also allow for the continual optimization of the mix design. A non-destructive pavement thickness system was used to determine the concrete thickness without coring into the concrete, thus reducing future maintenance issues.

Public traffic was detoured which allowed for the road to be completely closed for construction – providing a safe construction zone, while expediting the project schedule. Thanks to the hard work and innovative solutions used in this project, this section of County Road 47 reopened five months ahead of schedule.

Municipal Streets & Intersections (>30K)

Silver Award – KY 9 Connector-Roundabouts, Newport, Ky.

Contractor: Prus Construction*

Owner: Kentucky Transportation Cabinet             

Engineer: Gresham Smith, Inc.

The construction of the 1.4 mile KY 9 Connector was not just about moving traffic smoothly through the area. The project was essential to economic development in an area where investment was stifled because of high traffic volumes and traffic congestion through residential neighborhoods.

Boasting the first two concrete roundabouts in Kentucky, the project was designed to mitigate the usual stop and start traffic snarls in a busy area. The connector is 10 in. jointed plain concrete with 23 ft. joint spacing.  The main roundabout has a 125-ft radius and is a 40-ft-wide roadway for two lanes of traffic, and the second roundabout has a 105-ft radius with a 40-ft-wide roadway and two lanes of traffic. A total of 42,000 SY of concrete was used in the project.

In addition to the connector and two roundabouts, the project also included concrete sidewalks and bicycle lanes to improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists. Commuters no longer have to wind through neighborhood streets with a multitude of traffic lights and turns to reach Newport and Newport on the Levee, a large entertainment venue.

Shortly after this project was completed, a $1.5 billion dollar development was announced on a 35-acre site in the area.  The project will be built on a site that been vacant for 13 years.  The new connector, roundabouts and sidewalks not only keeps traffic moving, but also symbolize the vitality and economic hope for this area.

Gold Award – Meridian Boulevard Phase 1

Contractor: Castle Rock Construction Company*

Owner/ Engineer: Douglas County Public Works

Meridian Boulevard in Douglas County, Colo., was built in the early 1980s with a design life of 20 years. After nearly 40 years of service, the road was exhibiting materials-related distress and scheduled for reconstruction.

The section scheduled for reconstruction is directly in front of Dish Network Corporation’s headquarters office, a location that has over 2,000 cars entering and leaving the facility each weekday.  In addition to high traffic volume at the construction site, tight space constraints, and requirements to protect existing landscaping, a 90 calendar-day schedule added to the complexity of the project.

A significant amount of subgrade restoration was required in the 0.71-mile project designed to expand the road to four lanes. Soft spots were removed and replaced with recycled concrete road base. 30,100 SY of concrete were placed to complete the 3.51 lane mile project.

Environmentally friendly strategies employed in the project included:

  • The cement was a 10 percent limestone replacement which lowers the release of carbon monoxide from cement production by 10 percent, which lowers the carbon footprint
  •  Use of fly ash, an industrial by-product from coal burning power plants, was used to stabilize the concrete
  • Concrete from the original road was crushed and used as road base for the new pavement.

In spite of an early season snow, traffic volume and measures to protect existing landscaping, the project was completed 20 days ahead of schedule and will provide DISH Network employees, visitors and area travelers with a long-lasting roadway capable of handling the rigors of traffic, while also factoring in important environmental considerations.

Municipal Streets & Intersections (<30K)

Silver Award – Mt. Rushmore Road Reconstruction – Phase III, Rapid City, S.D.

Contractor: Complete Concrete, Inc.*

Owner: South Dakota Department of Transportation      

Engineer: Ferber Engineering Company

US Hwy 16, also known as Mt. Rushmore Road within the city limits of Rapid City, is a major arterial route connecting the downtown area with the Black Hills. A three phase project to reconstruct the road that serves as a main passage for many of the 3 million visitors to one of the nation's iconic landmarks, Mt. Rushmore.

The existing roadway was a five-lane concrete facility with an asphalt overlay.  It currently carries an average daily traffic (ADT) of nearly 25,000 vehicles, but ADT is expected to grow to 50,000 by 2039. The new road now consists of two northbound and two southbound lanes with dedicated turn lanes at each intersection.  The road also features  decorative; colored and stamped concrete medians; colored and patterned retaining walls; colored and stamped sidewalks; and colored ADA ramps at each intersection.

Phase 1 of the project began with the reconstruction of half a major intersection and one block of Mt. Rushmore Road.  This phase had a 30 working day window, but was completed in 25 working days, which earned five days of incentive pay.

The remainder of the project was separated into the following phases; phase 2A (southbound lanes, south half), phase 2B (southbound lanes, north half), phase 3A (northbound lanes, south half), phase 3B (northbound lanes, north half) and phase 4 (center medians). Phase 2A through 3B had a 250 working day requirement with phase 4 and overall project completion date of May 18, 2018.

One factor in the success of the project was a series of meetings and ongoing communications among the contractor, the SD DOT, Rapid City officials,  subcontractors and utility companies. A dedicated website kept the traveling public and stakeholders updated on all three phases of the corridor reconstruction.  Several business and property owners, known at the "Mt. Rushmore Road Group,” met occasionally to exchange ideas with public officials and industry personnel. 

The Mt. Rushmore Road project was a success and opened to traffic before the completion date, which resulted in a 26 working day incentive out of a possible 30 working days, which amounted to a $135,000 incentive to the contractor.

A total of 19,200 SY of concrete was placed to create the new 10 in. concrete pavement and aesthetically pleasing center islands, which along with landscaping, now give the traveling public and business owners a much needed, safer, efficient and aesthetically-pleasing road through the heart of Rapid City.

Gold Award –Main Street and Horicon Street Reconstruction, City of Mayville, Wis.

Contractor: Ptaschinski Construction Company*

Owners: Wisconsin Department of Transportation/City of Mayville           

Engineer: Gremmer and Associates

When the City of Mayville reconstructed two major streets, the Ptaschinski Construction Company was able to meet a tight schedule and address other challenges.

Reconstruction involved removing and replacing the existing pavement, base course, sub-base, curb and gutter, storm sewer, sidewalk, and pavement markings.  The contractor was also responsible for replacing permanent signage, street lighting and traffic signals at two intersections.

The typical existing section along the west side of Main Street consisted of a 12 ft. travel lane, a 5 ft. bike lane, a 6 ft. parking lane, a 30 in. curb and gutter with a 5 ft. terrace width, and a 5 ft. sidewalk. The proposed finished typical section along the east side of Main Street consisted of a 12 ft. travel lane, a 4 ft. bike lane, an 18 in. curb and gutter with a varying terrace and a 5 ft. sidewalk.   The intersection of MainStreet and Horicon Avenue was also improved to accommodate large truck turning movements.

The proposed roadway typical section on Horicon Avenue consisted of a 44 ft. roadway with two 12 ft. travel lanes, varying sides for parking, a bike lane that varies to accommodate parking, 5 ft. sidewalks and 30 in. curb and gutter with generally a 5 ft. terrace width.

Access to local residents and businesses during construction an important factor and was handled by using innovative methods to expedite the project.  These included maturity testing for opening strength, voluntary pavement covering, speed dowel headers for colored crosswalks, and partnering with WisDOT to identify and plan staging changes during the entire project to expedite construction.

Scheduling was critical for local access and other details of the project success.  The contractor was very proactive in suggesting staging modifications that increased local access and benefited businesses and their customers. For example, Ptaschinski crew members used two pavers of different widths on one day to expedite the project. The paving crew placed 700 SY of 16 ft.-wide pavement, pulled the first paver off to the side, then continued paving with a 20 ft.-wide machine to complete another 843 SY in the same westbound lane. This rare, mid-day paver change on one continuous pour saved multiple days on the overall project schedule. 

The contractor also successfully constructed a challenging pavement profile that exceeded normal vertical curve requirements.  The contractor worked with project staff to adjust superelevation runoff lengths to improve smoothness on a very flat section that had little margin for error with drainage.  In the end, the team generated excellent goodwill and produced a quality concrete pavement that will serve the City and the traveling public very well.

State Roads

Silver Award – U.S. 6 Reconstruction, Noble County, Ind.

Contractor: Primco Inc.  *

Owner: Indiana Department of Transportation  

Engineer: Beam, Longest & Neff LLC

Shortly after the construction of a new bridge by Norfolk Southern Railroad in Noble County, Ind., Primco was given a 90 calendar day road closure to connect 3,600 feet of 9.5 in. PCCP roadway to the existing road tie-ins and the new bridge.

This was an alternate bid job with concrete winning out after the consideration of life-cycle costs vs. first costs.

The concrete pavement was completed in two 16 ft. passes with a safety edge.  Robotic stations were set up at 250 ft. intervals to improve the accuracy of paving and to help impart a smooth ride.

The pavement was finished with a 10 ft. straight edge to double check smoothness with 5 ft. overlapping passes.  Additional steps were taken to  check the edge slump and ensure the best quality pavement. 

At total of 12,871 SY of concrete was placed at a cost of just over $517,000. The contractor earned more than $85,000 in incentive pay.

Gold Award – Route 36 Osborn Curve Reconstruction, DeKalb County, Mo.

Contractor: Emery Sapp & Sons*

Owner/ Engineer: Missouri Department of Transportation            

The Route 36 Osborn Curve Reconstruction project was a high priority project for the Missouri DOT based on the high number of traffic accidents that had occurred over the years due to the curve alignment at the intersection of Highways 36 and 33.

A 3/4-mile section of Highway 36 was completely removed and replaced to change both the horizontal and vertical alignments of the Osborn Curve, as it was known to locals. Both left and right hand turn lanes were added in both Eastbound and Westbound lanes of Highway 36 at the Highway 33 intersection. A total of 2,500 lineal feet of storm pipe along with precast drop inlets were installed to improve drainage through the project along with new signage and pavement marking.

The project consisted of 18,000 SY of existing pavement removal, 25,000 CY of Class A Excavation along with linear grading and compacting in cut to create the new alignment. All of the pavement on the project was PCCP pavement and consisted of 10,000 SY of 8.5 in., 4,500 SY of 7.5 in. and 6,400 SY of concrete A2 shoulder. The existing asphalt pavement was milled, stockpiled and used as aggregate base under the new concrete pavement.

The $1.9 million project was completed and fully open to traffic in only 88 days, and since opening to traffic, has greatly improved safety through this stretch of Highway 36.

Overlays (Streets & Roads)

Silver Award – Cannelburg Road, Phase III, Daviess Co., Ind.

Contractor: Milestone Contractors, LP*

Owner: Daviess County (Indiana) Highway Department  

Engineer: Lochmueller Group

The Amish population in Daviess County, Ind., is among the highest in the nation.  Cannelberg road was narrow and carried a mix  of semis and other large trucks, passenger vehicles, and horses and buggies.  Traffic  accidents, including fatalities, prompted Daviess County to look for alternatives to improve safety.

This project is the third of three phases to improve CR 900 E from the town of Cannelburg at the south end to Odon at the north end, all three have been constructed by Milestone Contractors.

The design engineer’s solution was to widen the driving lanes and add wide, paved shoulders to be used as buggy lanes.

This project involved the reconstruction of Cannelburg Road with 12 ft. concrete travel lanes with a 1 ft. concrete shoulder and 8 ft. asphalt shoulders on each side for buggies, as well as two 2-ft. gravel shoulders. There was also a realignment at CR 1050 N and CR 1100 N to improve the line of sight and to eliminate any sharp turns.

A key component of any construction project’s success is awareness of and respect for stakeholder needs. The contractor met with the local farmers whose busy farms lined the road, and based on those discussions, modified the construction schedule to accommodate their businesses.  The construction was also phased to help minimize disruptions at intersections and allow for detours around the project.

Although the contract did not prevent the contractor from working on the days during the year considered holy by the Amish, the project team identified those days in conversations with residents and determined they would not to work as a show of respect to the Amish and to allow them to observe the days without interruption.

Overlays (Highways)

Silver Award – Fiber-Reinforced Overlay Project, MN Highway 63, Rochester-Zumbro Falls, Mn.

Contractor: Croell, Inc.*

Owner/ Engineer: Minnesota Department of Transportation       

Minnesota State Highway 63 Project SP 5510-84 was the first fiber-reinforced concrete overlay project in the state of Minnesota. Stretching from Rochester at the south end to Zumbro Falls at the north end, the two-lane highway covered 12.5 miles and included two box culvert bridge replacements. The overlay was 5 in. over scarified asphalt, covered two 12 ft. traffic lanes, and included 4 lbs. per CY of macro synthetic fiber as the sole pavement reinforcement.

The overlay was sawcut into 6 ft. by 6 ft. panels, requiring over 450,000 ft. of sawing. The project was an inlay—

a 3 in. mill with a 5 in. overlay, and q 24 ft., 6 in.-wide mill with 24 ft. pavement—all performed with automated machine guidance stringless milling and paving. The almost 25 lane mile project used more than 178,00 SY of concrete. Total project cost was $7,544,046 with $3,325,000 of the total representing concrete costs.

Project challenges included a forced control-joint activation process at a very early pavement age (10 to 12 hours), along with a premature errant drive-through over a 1/4 mile stretch of less than two-hour old pavement that required a mid-project remove-and­ replace exercise.

Due to evident lack of joint activation, Croell proposed and MnDOT approved early pavement loading with a fully-loaded water truck. A gross-weight 58,000 lb. truck traversed the pavement at the 10 to 12 hour mark to activate a majority of the sawcut joints.  

Gold Award – Thin Concrete Overlay, State Road 3, Henry and Delaware Counties, Indiana

Contractor: E&B Paving*

Owner: Indiana Department of Transportation  

Engineer: SJC Associates

State Road 3 in Henry and Delaware Counties exemplifies the Indiana DOT’s dedication to being on the cutting edge of concrete paving.

The project included a thin overlay portion, a 9 in. concrete portion and variable depth transition areas. There are three sets of bridges, an overpass with ramps at US 36, and a Norfolk Southern Railroad crossing on the road, all of which were greatly enhanced by this project. 

  • Transitions to the bridges were smoothed out and reinforced with added sleeper slabs;
  • Pavement under the US 36 bridge was replaced after drainage was improved; and
  • The railroad crossing was repaved, and the track elevations were adjusted in coordination with Norfolk Southern Railway.

E&B Paving averaged nearly 5,000 ft of paving per day, placing 12 ft. wide concrete pavement.  On the best day  of the project, crews placed 8,400 SY in nine hours. In addition to the high speed of construction,  the concrete paving quality was excellent, as evidenced by the $187,000 in smoothness incentives awarded to the contractor.

The 4.5 in. concrete overlay was placed on a milled asphalt surface. The patch areas were excavated, patched and milled to create a uniform, rough textured surface. The transition areas were placed on compacted aggregate, subbase density was verified using the light weight deflectometer (LWD). The 9 in. concrete was placed on 6 in. of compacted aggregate with a 3 in. drainage layer, and the density was also verified using the LWD method. More than 344,000 SY of concrete was used to overlay 49.23 lane miles on the 12.3 mile long project.


Divided Highways (Rural)

Silver Award – I-376, Airport to Business 376, Alleghany, Pa.

Contractor: Golden Triangle Construction*

Owner/ Engineer: PennDOT, District 11 

I-376 Airport Expressway is a limited access freeway that serves as the main access for high speed traffic traveling to Pittsburgh International Airport from the Metropolitan Pittsburgh Area. The average daily traffic on this highway is 50,000, but ADT is expected to climb to 70,000 vehicles.

Golden Triangle Construction won the alternate bid for the project, which included full-depth concrete replacement, minor structure improvements of four major bridges, and updates to the guide rail and median, along with some additional construction. The entire project included 20 lane miles of paving over a span of

 4.7 miles.  The project also included two major interchanges that serve airport cargo companies and other airport vendors, as well as other businesses in the area.

After being awarded the contract, Golden Triangle proposed three innovative cost-saving ideas:

  • Using 12 in.-thick cement soil stabilization in lieu of traditional undercutting methods to stabilize the subgrade;
  • Recycling existing concrete pavement and reusing it for the aggregate subbase vs. purchasing virgin aggregate; and
  •  Designing a new maintenance and protection-of-traffic scheme to allow for full 24 ft.-wide paving in lieu of single lane 12 ft. lane paving.

These recommendations allowed for expedited construction, safer access for construction and passenger vehicle traffic and a smoother pavement.   In addition to Golden Triangle’s proactive strategies providing a better finished product, they also saved the PennDOT $1.4 million of the approximately $13.4 million allocated for paving. 

Another innovation on the project was the pilot of Performance Engineer Mixtures for PennDOT. Applying the use of the formation factor test, box test, Super Air Meter and water/cement ratio calculation using the microwave test, provided feedback to PennDOT and the contractor, and may lead to the use of more PEM mixtures on future projects.

Gold Award – US Highway 20, Woodbury/Ida Counties, Iowa

Contractor: Cedar Valley Corporation*

Owner/Engineer: Iowa Department of Transportation

When Cedar Valley Corporation completed the final segment of paving on U.S. Highway 20 in Woodbury and Ida Counties, it drew to a close the successful completion of an almost $75 million project.  The project was the last of six segments built by three different contractors, who upgraded the highway to a four-lane facility, a project that also include 1.7 million SY included work on intersections and adjacent streets.

CVC paved two sections (and more than 1 million SY of paving). The final project involved 551,901 SY of concrete paving, including 43.82 miles of alternate-bid concrete shoulders measuring  4 ft. wide and 6 in. deep. The project also included 19 crossovers and 42 turning lanes.  CVC also trimmed more than 629,000 SY of subgrade.

The overall project scope involved six segments and three different paving contractors. Noting the scale, CVC anticipated the demand on local material producers and haulers. During early planning, CVC purchased a material stacker to build stockpiles in the autumn prior to paving, then added two acres to their plant site to accommodate the additional stores of materials.  Even with this foresight, material suppliers could not always keep up with demand for the first year paving , so additional sources had to be identified.  By the end of the first year paving, CVC had stockpiled almost 30,000 tons of paving aggregate for the following year. This proactive planning enabled CVC to maintain excellent production throughout the project.

CVC also developed another strategy to allow material producers an opportunity to catch up with CVC’s needs during the project. After paving half the mainline, CVC dropped back to complete shoulders, intersections and side roads.  

The large scale of this project proved to be no match for CVC crews, who had only one loss-time injury and no recordable vehicle accidents, even with almost 97,000 hours of exposure.  CVC also earned 82 percent of the smoothness bonus and 100 percent of the thickness and mix design bonus.

Divided Highways (Urban)

Silver Award – I-440 from Arkansas River Bridge to 140 , Little Rock Ark.

Contractor: Koss Construction Company*

Owner: Arkansas Department of Transportation

Engineer: Bridgefarmer & Associates Engineering

Koss Construction Company had the challenge of reconstructing the concrete pavement on a very busy stretch of Interstate 440 on the east side of Little Rock, Ark.  

Facing a tight schedule, tough access and high standards, the team needed to assemble quickly and intentionally to have a shot at a successful project. Using a majority of local subcontractors and suppliers, Koss hit the ground running as soon as temperatures allowed.  They removed the rumble strips by milling and filling with a magnesium-phosphate based patching material.  After the traffic was switched, it was time to remove the old pavement and make ready for new.

The Arkansas Department of Transportation placed a huge emphasis on the time of construction by bidding it with the A+C method. With a daily road user cost set by the owner at $35,000 per day, Koss bid to complete this project in just 294 calendar days. Every minute counted as the team began to remove and replace over 208,000 SY of pavement along 19 lane miles.

Many issues compounded the complexity of this project, but none more than requirement to match the inside lane profile to the existing 27 year-old concrete shoulder that the owner wanted to remain in place. By carefully planning the removal and reconstruction of some of the most off-profile shoulder segments, the constructed pavement lane was able to meet thickness and smoothness requirements.

The concrete mix used on this project was as close to a Performance Engineered Mix as allowed under current ArDOT specifications. The mix was designed to have a low paste volume with low permeability and good air characteristics. FHWA was on site during paving and verified the quality mix through a battery of PEM tests which included super air meter (SAM), Box Test, Surface Resistivity, Rapid Chloride Permeability and Calorimetry.

Gold Award – Northwest Corridor Express Lanes, Atlanta, GA

Contractor: Archer Western Construction, LLC*

Owner: Georgia Department of Transportation  

Engineer: Parsons Transportation Group

The Northwest Corridor Express Lanes on I-75 and I-575 in Cobb and Cherokee counties in Georgia, just northwest of Atlanta, represented the largest infrastructure project in the Georgia Department of Transportation’s history and the first project awarded as a design-build-finance project.

The project entailed 29.7 miles of reversible, managed toll lanes along the expressway and included 1.2 million CY of unclassified excavation, 140,000 LF of drainage, 328,000 SY of concrete paving, and 280,000 LF of concrete barrier.  The project also included construction of 1.4 million sq. ft of sound wall, 1 million sq. ft of bridge deck on 40 bridges, and 900,000 sq. ft of retaining walls.

Because the large-scale project is directly adjacent to one of the highest volume interstate highways in the Atlanta metropolitan area, a significant amount of work was performed at night.  Dedicated construction entrances and exits were required along the corridor. The use of engineered traffic control plans and dedicated construction access points, the risk of construction traffic entering and exiting the busy interstate was minimized and construction activities were separated from the traveling public.

Weather affected construction on 177 days over the five years of the project. To recover these lost days, the concrete paving team implemented two separate strategies:

  • Roadway shoulders were paved before the mainline paving to allow the concrete barrier wall slip forming operation to be advanced in the schedule.
  • An additional paving operation—crew and equipment—was deployed to allow double shifts for the paving operation. This accelerated the mainline paving while also allowing other crews to pave shoulders.

At the beginning of the project, three different mix designs were created, with the percentage of manufactured sand differing in each mix. The three mixes were: 100 percent manufactured sand; 80/20 manufactured/natural sand; and 60/40 with manufactured/natural sand. Ultimately, the project team elected to use the 60/40 mix design, which cost more, but was selected to increase workability and ride quality.

With the completion of this mammoth project, motorists have an exceptional and durable highway that will provide years of service.

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