Association News

Municipal Streets & Intersections <30,000 SY (GOLD)

STH 42, Lincoln Avenue, City of Two Rivers (Manitowoc County), WI
Contractor: Vinton Construction Company
Owners:  Wisconsin Department of Transportation and City of Two Rivers, WI
Engineer:  McMahon Group                            

The reconstruction of STH 42 (Lincoln Ave) in the City of Two Rivers included a complete replacement of all facets of the transportation system.

The first set of operations included replacement of all sanitary sewer, storm sewer, and water main facilities, including lateral and service facilities. Private sewer laterals and water services that were found to be defective were replaced from the right-of-way into residential and commercial buildings during construction.

The pavement typical section consisted of 6-in. base of dense aggregate beneath 8-in. of jointed plain concrete pavement with dowels. A thicker typical section with 16-in. of select crushed material was placed on the southern half of the project to address poor subgrade soils.

Bike paths and alternating side parking presented challenges throughout the entire project. New sidewalks were constructed throughout the project were constructed to enhance the connectivity of the corridor. An off-road multi-use trail was constructed on the north end, with ultimate plans to extend the trail toward Two Rivers High School. Aesthetic enhancements included LED street lighting, colored concrete crosswalks, and more than 100 trees planted within the right of way. Restoration, including sod in the terrace areas, rounded out the project providing an immediate finished look.

Wisconsin DOT officials were quoted in the state award presentation, saying, “Vinton performed exceptionally all the way, from prior to the project beginning through the end of the project.”

Advance communications provided residents and business owners an understanding of what to expect. Quick completion of advance work allowed Vinton to start pouring concrete almost a month ahead of schedule. Once the paving operations started, Vinton planned their operations strategically, maximizing the time available to complete other tasks, according to the Wisconsin DOT.

Vinton focused on completing the south half while utility work continued on the north end. Using zero-clearance pavers and belt placers allowed all mainline concrete to be placed without sacrificing pedestrian access.  The contractor also reduced project costs by $200,000 through the recognition of different subbase soil conditions.  Because the soils were very good, and sand was well-drained on the north end, they contractor saved money for the DOT by eliminating the same crushed material used on the south end.

Forward thinking was also evident in the decision to delay the pouring of the colored concrete on the project. Waiting until almost all other work was complete allowed subcontractors to start their work sooner to have greater access to the work site. The quality of the colored concrete was also enhanced in that it was more uniform, and the timing prevented any unsightly marks on the new surface from other operations, the DOT added.

With 10 paving gaps planned on the project, there was a good the ride quality would have been affected, but Vinton coordinated with the city officials and business owners to eliminate every gap, creating continuity and a smooth ride on the mainline pavement. 

Communication with the city and the DOT highlighted a potential issue with the closing of 35th Place, the northern-most intersection on the project.  Many local motorists were using this intersection as a shorter detour route around the construction. Although contract documents allowed the intersection to be closed, Vinton identified a solution to avoid unnecessary impacts to that traffic. Instead of closing the intersection, Vinton constructed a temporary bypass, allowing the intersection and mainline pavement to be completed without interruption to the normal traffic flow through the intersection.

Foresight and communication were keys to resolving issues, often well before they became big problems. With vast experience in urban construction, Vinton was well suited to handle all that was presented, resulting in outstanding performance and construction.  The result was a project that Vinton Construction Company, Wisconsin DOT, McMahon Group, and the City of Two Rivers will be proud of for decades to come.



Municipal Streets & Intersections >30,000 SY (GOLD)

6th Street/US Hwy 14 Reconstruction (from 20th Ave. to 34th Ave.), Brookings, SD
Contractor: BX Civil & Construction
Owner: South Dakota DOT – Brookings Office
Engineer: South Dakota DOT – Pierre Group

This complex reconstruction project was originally scoped by the South Dakota DOT for a two-year completion time frame, but after further discussions with business owners, City of Brookings officials, and the contractor, it was agreed the completion in one year would be best.

The total cost of the project was $17 million, putting it in South Dakota DOT’s Top 10 by dollar volume for 2017. The contract was jointly awarded with the DOT and the city. With the aim of attracting efficient, high quality contractors, the DOT placed significant incentives and disincentives on various phases of the project.

BX Civil & Construction was the prime contractor for the project, which included removing existing pavement, grading, and construction of storm sewer, water main, sanitary sewer, concrete paving (70,000 SY), curb & gutter, and sidewalks. The project also included traffic signals, decorative railings, decorative street lighting, signing and signals along 6th Street (US Hwy 14). In addition, the entire Interstate 29 Brookings Interchange was removed, and a new bridge and ramps were constructed.
Almost 95% of the $17 million was spent with companies located within 60 miles of Brookings.

This project involved 30 to 50 employees working at all times.

  • The intersection at 6th Street & 22nd Avenue was the most time sensitive component of this project. Originally scoped for no more than 75 days, the project team completed it in only 55 days.
  • Four ramps were allowed 21 days each for a total of 84 days, but the team completed the work in only 68.5 days.
  • Phase 2 of the project was completed 11 days ahead of schedule and Phase 3, which was anticipated to be completed on June 30, 2018, but most of the work was completed in the fall of 2017.

In all, the contractor placed 70,385 SY of concrete with a project length equating to about 4 lane miles. With nine intersections/interchanges, a bridge, and 21 businesses along the route, this six-phase project had many complexities.

In addition to the project complexities and accelerated time frame, the project team was also mindful of potential impacts beyond the immediate area. The project involved a major interchange on Interstate 29 and could have made vehicle and pedestrian travel difficult to and from South Dakota State University (SDSU), the state’s largest campus. BX collaborated with SDSU leadership to keep traffic flowing in and around the construction area during peak events, including fall move-in day and five home football games.

Positive TV and newspaper coverage recognized the project team for keeping things running smoothly and quickly.

The challenges were no match for the BX-CC, which worked closely with the DOT and city, landowners, subcontractors, and their own staff to coordinate details closely and carefully. BX-CC was able to successfully complete the project and collect incentives of $411,000, and after the project was completed, the BX-CC employees, subcontractors, and project owners celebrated with a catered barbecue. The project team also gave businesses, residents and travelers something to celebrate, too. They now have a durable roadway that was completed in less than half the time of the original two-year project scope.

Municipal Streets & Intersections >30,000 SY (SILVER)

Lindsey Street (from 24th Ave. SW to East of Berry Rd.), Norman, OK
Contractor:  Sherwood Construction Company
Owner: City of Norman 
Engineers: Poe & Associates, Inc. and Atkins

This important stretch of roadway is lined with restaurants, businesses and homes, and is also a vital like to the University of Oklahoma.  With about 25,000 vehicles (including delivery trucks) using this roadway every day, it’s easy to see why there was a lot of attention on this project.

This project was the second portion of a major upgrade to this important corridor. After citizens of Norman approved a major bond issue, crews went to work on utility relocation and other work, including the upgrade of a water line through this area.

Sherwood Construction coordinated closely with hundreds of businesses located along the corridor to maintain access throughout the whole project. The project was phased almost as if it were two separate projects.

The contractor first established a detour by removing the existing curb, then connecting all the driveways with a 6 in. fiber reinforced concrete pavement on untreated base.

To construct the base, Sherwood used a modified cement-treated base/econocrete base, which they developed to allow the use of ready mixed concrete. Placing the econocrete base with a slipform paver had its challenges because of it was only 4 in. thick. To meet the challenge, Sherwood developed a sliding rail forming system to place the material by hand. Pins where set on grade and a steel channel was set on the pins.  The channel would slide from pin-to-pin and served as a strike off for base material. 

The contractor moved traffic out to install a new storm sewer system which, at some locations, was an 8 ft. x 7 ft. box that was almost 20 ft deep to the flowline. The replacement storm sewer extended to two side streets to alleviate flooding in the residential areas north of the corridor.

Sherwood then detoured traffic to one side of the grade to construct half the new driveways and the 8 in. jointed plain concrete pavement.  The traffic was then moved to the new pavement to allow construction of the other half of the roadway.  Next, the median and islands were constructed to complete the middle of the roadway.

Slipform paving proved to be challenging.  String line was set to get the most productive run of each paving section, typically from intersection to intersection. The contractor would then block out alternating driveways to maintain access to the businesses.  The block-outs would be poured by hand later using a high early strength concrete mixture that would allow for re-opening the driveways 24 to 48 hours later.

This high-profile project required excellent communications.  The City of Norman had several public meetings before the project started to inform businesses and residents along the project of the upcoming work.

During construction Sherwood and the engineers would meet with city officials on a bi-weekly basis to go over project schedule.  Businesses or residents that were would also be notified in advance of work, and in time for city officials to issue press releases and media advisories about upcoming closures or traffic switches.

The contractor earned a $400,00 incentive for early completion of the project and now, local residents and roadway users have a long-lasting, high quality concrete that will serve this busy corridor for many years to come.

County Roads (GOLD)

Weld County Road 49 Design-Build: I-76 to US 34, Weld County, CO
Contractor: Interstate Highway Construction, Inc.  
Owner: Weld County, Colorado, Division of Engineering
Engineer: Felsburg Holt & Ullevig

As the first design-build pavement project for Weld County, this was also the largest single contract awarded in the county’s history. The selection of concrete pavement was a big step for the owner, which historically used their own asphalt paving crews and, until recent years, had not constructed any major concrete roadway projects.

As one of only two major north-south farm-to-market routes within the County, WCR 49 is essential to the area, but the existing roadway was also one of the most dangerous in the county. About 53% of the traffic is from heavy haul trucks serving the local farming/ranching and oil/gas industries. Roadway conditions and numerous sight distance issues meant the failing roadway needed attention. The roadway crossed two major flood plains and was often inundated during heavy rainfall events. Considering all these factors, county officials expedited the roadway reconstruction and issued the two-year design build-effort project in place of one originally planned for 10 years.

The design-build team was challenged to eliminate the sight distance issues; provide acceleration/deceleration lanes at most of the project’s 19 county road intersections; eliminate overtopping of the roadway; establish both a general purpose and passing lane in both directions; and create a full-length 16 ft. center turn lane.

The project also involved 183 private parcel acquisitions and relocation of almost 110 miles of existing utilities. The right-of-way acquisition was completed until almost nine months after the notice to proceed was issued, and in turn, this slowed the utility work and delayed the overall project by six months.

The design-build team worked closely to identify and address environmental impacts. IHC completed environmental surveys for wetlands, historic resources and potential hazards along the corridor and the designer then incorporated information into the design to minimize potential impacts.

The total project length was 19.96 miles and included 937,000 SY of concrete paving over 19.96 miles. The project called for 500,000 tons of aggregates for the concrete. Transporting the materials to the project site would have created an enormous environmental impact, so Interstate Highway Construction (IHC) worked with a local aggregate supplier to use an existing aggregate and sand pit on the project site. This change had a significant sustainability benefits, eliminating about 1.26 million truck miles, 2,347 tons of CO2 emissions, and almost 21,000 truck trips from state roadways. Mining the aggregates on-site also improved the mix design optimization.

Close communications and teamwork among the design-build team members resulted in many other innovations, including the use of a geogrid, which eliminated 230,000 CY of excavation and embankment from the project scope. This also reduced CO2 by more than 2,100 tons and water demand by almost 10.6 million gallons.

The contractor also recycled the existing asphalt roadway and used it for construction of about 70% of the base course. This had the double benefit of sparing 202,000 tons of new base material, while also diverting the same amount from waste. This change resulted in the elimination of more than 2.1 million truck miles and almost 4,000 tons of CO2 emissions.

Other innovations included the use of automatic plate-load testing to verify the geogrid/base calculations in the field; reduction of dowels and dowel diameters; and the use of a fusion-bonded epoxy on dowel bars and baskets to improve corrosion resistance.

Over the span of 14 months, the contractor’s crews removed and replaced 20 miles of outdated pavement, dirt, drainage and utilities. The complete 27-month project duration included design, construction, acquiring remaining right of way, working with 17 utility companies and Union Pacific Railroad. Despite a delayed start to the project, the the reconstruction of this important roadway under budget and almost 30 days ahead of schedule.

County Roads (SILVER)

Dover Oklahoma County Road EW-73, Kingfisher, OK
Contractor: Duit Construction Company, Inc.
Owner: Oklahoma Department of Transportation
Engineer: Circuit Engineering District 8

At first glance, County Road EW-73 in Kingfisher County may appear to be a indistinguishable from other roads, but there’s much more to this recently paved road than meets the eye.

First, the daily traffic count is nearly triple the population of its nearest town, thanks to major sand pits in the area that serve a large area that includes Oklahoma City. The road provides the fastest east/west access between US-81 and SH-74 for trucks hauling from these plants.

Second, EW-73 is one of the few concrete county roads in the state of Oklahoma, and there are few exceptions other than roads designed for high truck traffic.

The success of this project began with the competitive bidding process. This is the first of four projects that will resurface 16 miles of EW-73 between Dover and Crescent. The designer included concrete as an alternate bid option with the competing design of an asphalt typical section of identical thickness.

The contractor, Duit Construction, had previously completed concrete sections roads that provided industrial access to wind-energy farms and fertilizer plants in the area. Duit saw the most competitive option for the first segment would be consistent road surfaces on the remaining 13 miles of pavement.

The contractor coordinated with one of the nearby sand plants for set-up of a mobile batch plant location and optimizing the use of sand in our mix designs. Duit was the low-bidder on the project, dispelling any preconceived notions that asphalt pavements first costs are inherently lower.

The project consisted of 45,407 SY of doweled, jointed pavement along a 3.4 mile alignment. Most the concrete was 7-in. thick concrete, except for 10-in. thick pavement used at the intersection of US-81 and the sand plant entrance. The existing asphalt road was milled and re-used for shouldering material and driveways, except for excess millings repurposed by the county.
The greatest hurdle during the project was maintaining local traffic at all times. The alignment included 30 drives, two cross streets and a high production sand plant facility.

Coordination with residents and the plant manager, along with maintenance of temporary access routes were vital to ensuring the traveling public were not negatively affected. In some cases, the contractor was able to detour traffic long enough to place and cure concrete adjacent to driveways, and in a few instances, homeowners opted to stay in area hotels during the construction.

Several sustainability factors where addressed in this project, including:

  • Most of the alignment exists within a FEMA zone AE, which are at high risk for flooding. This underscored the importance of grading and elevations. This paired with Duit Constructions desire to provide the smoothest ride possible even without a ride bonus specification, resulted in a ride well within specification and ensured this roadway serves as shining example of concrete’s use on county roads. The road was closed to through traffic and Duit only maintained local traffic into the construction zone (including sand plant trucks).
  • Biological studies determined that culverts on the project were used as nests for Cliff and Barn Swallows, protected by the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and measures were taken to prevent nesting and finish construction efforts prior to the next migration season.
  • Duit has implemented an idle-time analysis system on its fleet. The goal is to reduce idle time on all equipment, maximize productivity and minimize fuel usage.

The contractor kept property owners (including the homeowners and the sand pit operators) informed with construction signs and door-to-door communication prior to the start of construction. As the project neared completion, Duit staff went door-to-door to share the news verbally. Duit credits the crews for the effective communications and goodwill that came from this personal outreach. As a result of the ingenuity, hard work, and extra efforts, the paving project was completed without delays and a week ahead of schedule.

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