Association News

Divided Highways (Rural) – Silver Award

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.
* ACPA member.

Divided Highways (Rural) – Gold Award

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% of the smoothness bonus and 100% of the thickness and mix design bonus.

* ACPA member.

Overlays (Airports) – Gold Award

Gold Award – Runway 5-23 Rehabilitation, Grand Strand Airport, North Myrtle Beach, SC

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% 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% 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. 

* ACPA member.


Overlays (Highways) – Gold

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

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.

* ACPA member.

Overlays (Highways) – Silver

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.  

* ACPA member.

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