(Silver Award)   Voca Road & US 69 West, Atoka County, Okla.

Contractor:  TTK Construction Co., Inc.   

Owner:  Oklahoma Department of Transportation            

Engineer:  Southeast 3 Circuit Engineering District                           

Hidden among rolling hills of rock and beautiful landscapes of Atoka County, there is a small county that extends through southern Oklahoma that features some of the smoothest pavement the state has ever seen.

This project involved paving 5 miles of new county road for the local Bureau of Indian Affairs project and local home owners near the Dolese Coleman Quarry.

The old asphalt, gravel, and dirt roadway—with its many layers—had begun to crumble under the constant stress of semi-trucks and passenger vehicles heading east or west.

As a starting point, an internal traffic control plan was established, with safety precautions outlined and safety meetings held to inform crew members of the major hazards. As with all TTK projects, proper personal protection equipment and safe construction practices are strictly enforced.

This approximately $3M project called for more than 67,000 SY of fiber-reinforced jointed concrete pavement and the use of recycled asphalt millings for shoulders.  Construction began with building a model for using GPS-guided grade preparation equipment.

A few inches were milled off the asphalt to create a smooth base for new paving, and the millings were used for shoulders, under the pad liner, and to shoulder up the pavement next to the ditches. In addition to providing a stable base for paving, this sustainable construction practice also reduced environmental impact and saved money compared to using virgin aggregate.

One of the complexities of the project was to add 4 ft. of roadway width, while leaving in place an existing ditch along the roadside.  To keep the traveling public and workers safe, the road was closed to all but local traffic during construction.  The Oklahoma DOT used informational signs to help local farmers move equipment and crops through the area.

There were no funds for constructing detours for local traffic, so the contractor had to come up with creative ways to help homeowners returning home every evening. TTK’s project manager met frequently with homeowners and worked on ways to get them home safely every night. In some instances, TTK paid for hotel rooms for several nights when the paving train blocked homeowner access.

There was no ride specification to meet, but TTK wanted to measure the pavement anyway. An average smoothness of 34 in./mi on a 0.0 blanking band was achieved with no grinding.  This was particularly challenging to achieve because of the soft subgrade shoulders that were used for paver tracks.

Finishing touches included new signs, new striping, and shouldering with the millings from the old roadway. The project was completed on time and under budget.


(Gold Award)   County Road M-56, Dickinson County, Iowa

Contractor: Cedar Valley Corp., LLC         

Owner/Engineer: Dickinson County, Iowa                           

The summer population of Dickinson County routinely swells to 100,000 people each year as vacationers and anglers gather in Iowa’s Great Lakes region.  Many tourists access the area using US Highway 9. County Road M-56 is a heavily traveled north-south artery that intersects US Highway 9.

A new roadway was designed and was paved 30-ft wide with 2 ft earth shoulders. No shoulder access was available, so Cedar Valley Corp., LLC* (CVC) trimmed and placed concrete with one machine. The modified dual-lane trimmer configured with a dumping belt placed the concrete and allowed the crew sufficient 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 out the concrete in front of the paver and over the recently placed baskets, which also helped maintain a consistent head of concrete.

The day after CVC erected a portable plant, heavy rain began, dropping six inches of rain during eight of the following 12 days. The plant site was so saturated that CVC had to abandon its material drive-over. CVC worked around the problem by using a hopper conveyor belt to transfer aggregates from higher ground to be closer to the plant, as well as a bulldozer and motor grader to aid the movement of haul trucks in and out of plant site.

The project area was closed to through traffic, but CVC had to maintain local access, partly because of landlocked FedEx ground facility located in the middle of site.  Dickinson County specified a temporary 2,325-ft long rock access road, but the 5 in. of rock placed on a virgin field required considerable effort, and the situation worsened with almost daily rains.  Recycled asphalt base helped the trucks move in and out of the facility.

At the north end of the project, a landlocked subdivision also presented a challenge. Twelve property owners were impacted, so CVC and its grading subcontractor came up with solution.  Using some nearby land owned by the subcontractor, CVC negotiated an extra work order with Dickinson County to construct a second rock detour that allowed alternate access for the homeowners.   

In spite of weather issues and other complexities, CVC achieved excellent smoothness on the project and earned 86.36 percent of the maximum smoothness incentive bonus and an almost $14,000 in thickness bonus. CVC crews also finished the project in only 35.5 working days, 14.5 days less than the 50 specified. Equally important, CVC crews worked more than 5,400 man hours with no recordable accidents or injuries.  



* ACPA Member.