(Silver Award)  Merriam Lane Reconstruction & Improvements, Wyandotte, Kan.

Contractor:  Miles Excavating, Inc.           

Owner: Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City          

Engineer:  Burns & McDonnell                   


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.


(Gold Award)  Allamakee-B-38-Postville, Allamakee County, Iowa

Contractor:  Cedar Valley Corp., LLC        

Owner/Engineer:  Allamakee County      


Obtaining pavement smoothness on county overlay paving projects is always challenging  because the county road system in Iowa was never required to meet the same design standards applied to primary highway and Interstate projects.

The 5.46 mile project in Allamakee County contained 17 horizontal curves and 23 vertical curves that closely followed a meandering, existing profile. Seven of the vertical curves exceeded 3 percent, and one approached 6 percent.   

The county did not apply the Iowa DOT smoothness specification to this project, but CVC still ran a profilometer, results of which revealed an average smoothness of 2.39 inches per mile along the entire project length.

Cedar Valley faced several obstacles during construction. Allamakee County was deluged with 7.5 in. of rain in June alone, but then, the weather took a turn for the worse.  Some 26.71 in. of rain fell between July and September, more than twice the average 12.53 in. of rainfall.  The area was declared a state and federal disaster area.

The second major obstacle was providing access to the many local property owners. The traffic control plan for the job specified all adjacent property owners would be able to traverse through the project at all times. The most difficult traffic challenge was to keep the various property owners informed as to when their driveways would be impacted, as the roadway CVC was paving was the only access route for property owners in this hilly terrain.

A third challenge CVC crews faced was dealing with wide farm equipment and numerous grain trucks as the fall harvest was well underway during the construction of this project.

Before construction began, a public meeting was held at the county office to explain the construction process and discuss access. Area residents were invited to the meeting. CVC personnel detailed the entire construction process, and explained how maturity testing would be used to determine the shortest time to open to traffic.  As the job progressed, residents received updated paving schedules from CVC’s project manager.  At the end of every paving day, CVC reestablished access where strength had been reached.  Crews removed stringline to allow driveway access.   

The property owners were very appreciative that maturity testing enabled their access to be restored as quickly as possible. Cedar Valley’s excellent communication with property owners allowed the contractor to complete the project while maintaining access to the highest degree possible.

Despite the wet weather, the large number of curves and other challenges, CVC completed a high quality pavement that is serving the county, along with property owners, farmers, and other travelers well.  Also, in spite of traffic and other project complexities, CVC recorded almost 7,000 man hours with zero recordable accidents or injuries.


* ACPA Member.