Industry News

Overlays, Streets and Roads (GOLD)

Western Avenue Corridor Improvements (Bendix Dr. to Olive St.) South Bend, IN. 
Contractor: Selge Construction Co., Inc.
Owner: City of South Bend, Department of Public Works
Engineer: Abonmarche Consultants, Inc.

Concrete was once again the pavement of choice in the ongoing efforts to improve urban aesthetics and restore neighborhoods, while also providing a longer service life of arterial routes into downtown South Bend. This project constitutes a segment of a multi-phase corridor improvement on Western Avenue, and it runs approximately 2500 lineal ft. from Bendix Drive to Olive Street.

The project scope included reconstruction of the existing pavement and redesign of traffic flow patterns to include designated turn lane; permeable parking spaces; and a mix of full-depth concrete and a thin concrete overlay. The project also included placement of new underground utilities, storm/sanitary separation, and construction of new sidewalks and curbs, and the addition of updated street lighting.

The contractor, Selge Construction, placed 10-in. of full-depth pavement was placed where new underground utility work was performed, as well as a 4 in. concrete overlay over existing asphalt pavement. In all, the project consisted of 3,800 SY of 10 in. full depth concrete, and 4,300 SY of 4 in. concrete overlay, and 727 SY of 6 in. concretes. The project also included 2,500 SY of 4 in. sidewalks; 2,653 lineal ft of 6 in. and 8 in. curb; 1,300 lineal ft of ribbon curb; and 1,050 SY of permeable pavers in the designated parking lanes.

Traffic was maintained in one direction throughout the entire project, thus minimizing the impact on local business.

The Western Avenue Corridor has endured several economic upturns and downturns, but the area is now experiencing a resurgence of neighborhood pride and ethnic diversity. This and other corridor updates are well served by concrete pavement because it provides a longer service life, improved night-time visibility, and a reduced urban heat island effect. The concrete roadway will require little to no maintenance, which reduces the city’s cost of ownership.

The vibrancy of the neighborhood can be seen in the murals painted on buildings and the colorful storefronts. The central character in the renewal is the long-lasting concrete, which will provide many years of service to the residents and visitors to this area.

Overlays, Streets and Roads (SILVER)

State Aid Project (SAP) 43-603-032, McLeod County, MN
Contractor: PCI Roads
Owner/Engineer: McLeod County Public Works

When an existing bituminous roadway needed to be rehabilitated, the McLeod County Public Works department decided on a concrete overlay to provide a long lasting, durable, pavement that not have the future road-user delays associated with traditional bituminous maintenance. The concrete overlay is also expected to provide better fuel economy than a bituminous solution, thereby lowering the road’s carbon footprint.

State Aid Project (SAP) 043-603-032 was a 6.4 mi. concrete overlay on County State Aid Highway (CSAH) 3 in McLeod County, which is located approximately 60 miles west of the Twin Cities. CSAH 3 is a major collector and serves as a primary connection between the City of Glencoe and Trunk Highway 15 to the west, serving many farm-to-market haulers.

The existing bituminous roadway was 24 ft. wide and had 8 ft. aggregate shoulders with several horizontal curves. The project consisted of milling the existing asphalt pavement to a designed profile and cross slope to improve the ride as well as correct deficient super elevation transitions associated with the existing horizontal curves.

The concrete section consisted of 6 in. of undoweled, plain concrete that was jointed in 6 ft by 6 ft panels with a tied shoulder, all of which was placed in a single 32-foot wide operation.

Some of the bituminous millings taken from this project were used for part of the shoulders, while the remaining materials were stockpiled and will be used on future County projects, thereby avoiding minimizing the use of virgin materials.

The concrete mixture called for a low water/cement ratio to impart durability. The owner also specified 100% class A (granite) coarse aggregate.

The contractor encountered some random areas where the old transverse cracks in the bituminous pavement were very deep, but to address the problem, the areas were monitored closely, and filled with washed sand to prevent formation of paving lugs and to keep the concrete quantities in line.

CSAH 3 was closed to all through-traffic during construction, but the contractor provided access to residents and businesses along the project route during portions of the project.

In advance of the project, McLeod County Highway Department sent letters to all property owners in the area two months prior to the project. The letters detailed the project schedule and traffic concerns and included contact information for owners wanting more information. Agricultural businesses that were in operation and potentially affected during the construction phase were also contacted, and in addition to the outreach by the highway department, the contractor also communicated with owners prior to paving to help determine how and when they would leave and re-enter their property.
A press release was also used to inform the general public of the project which included details about the road closure and project schedule, and this effort was also augmented with social media posts.

As a result of the expert project management and execution, along with the effective communications, PCI finished the project on time, leaving property owners and travelers with a durable roadway that will handle vehicle traffic of all types for many years.

State Roads (GOLD)

Iowa Highway 196, Sac County, IA
Contractor: Cedar Valley Corp., LLC
Owner/Engineer: Iowa Department of Transportation

This nearly 10-mile project involved the removal of 135,000 SY of existing pavement, completion of 900,000 CY of earthwork, and placement of almost 109,000 tons of base and shoulder aggregates. The contractor, Cedar Valley Corp., paved almost 200,000 square yards of detour, mainline, and shoulder paving on the project.

The existing pavement was originally placed in 1938 and had received at least four asphalt overlays in its history. This project ran from the intersection of Highway US 71/175 on the south end, north to newly constructed US Highway 20. The Iowa DOT chose to rebuild Highway 196 and then relocate US Highway 71 from its current location in to best use the 10 miles of new US Highway 20.

The contract period was stated to be 255 calendar days with goal of opening to traffic by the day before Thanksgiving, but it was an especially wet year in Sac County. Almost 40 inches of rain hit the area, more than 9 in. more than normal. In the key Iowa construction month of August, the job was hit with 9 in. inches of rain, 6 in. of which fell in one day alone. Also, it rained on 40 percent of the days, spanning from June through September.

Two bridges were also constructed on this project. The new earth berms each had assigned settlement periods, but wet weather severely delayed completion of the berms, and the saturated soil conditions impacted the rate of settlement.

The prime contractor first scheduled the paving to start on August 3, but as the job progressed, the start date slid to September 20, again to October 5, and finally to October 12. When paving started, the contractor was able to continue for five days per week over five weeks. However, when mid-November arrived, Cedar Valley caught up with the prime contractor’s grading and base operation, so the chances of opening Highway 196 to traffic during the calendar year was looking pretty bleak.

As cold weather arrived, Iowa DOT officials expressed concerns about leaving a potentially dangerous 12-mi. detour in-place during inclement weather, mainly because it included three four-way stops and a very sharp curve on the south end of the project.

Therefore, out of concern for the safety and convenience of the traveling public, the DOT allowed a defined amount of “emergency/critical” operations to ensure the mainline of Highway 196 was opened in the winter.

All parties involved realized and agreed that this meant the roadway would need to be closed down again the following spring to complete the project. The contractor developed a plan that outlined the extra measures and expenses needed in order to make sure Highway 196 was opened to traffic in the late fall. Snow was falling as the last few days of paving were executed, but exceptional planning and execution allowed Cedar Valley to pour the two outside 14-ft. wide lanes and the 16-foot median on the south end of the project, effectively closing the detour until spring.

On the following April 4, work started up again and traffic was rerouted and placed back on to the established project detour so CVC could complete the remaining 16 miles of paved shoulders, along with a couple of paved driveways. The concrete road work was completed on April 25.

The project also included matching two newly built concrete bridges and approach pavements. Stopping the paving operation at these locations and passing over the bridges impacted smoothness in these sections. The bridge approaches, CD baskets, intakes, maintaining the many access restraints, and the extremely wet job conditions and haul roads all had the potential to negatively impact CVC’s ability to attain the maximum pavement smoothness incentive. Even so, because of preplanning and expertise on the grade, the contractor achieved almost 71 percent of the maximum zero band smoothness incentive on the mainline paving, thereby earning $111,050.

Cedar Valley used Shilstone principles to design an optimized concrete mixture, which enabled the contractor to earn the maximum mixture bonus of $121,857, as allowed by IDOT specifications. However, the money was returned to the citizens of Iowa in the bid.

In spite of the many challenges and the extraordinary steps needed to battle the weather and meet the schedule, Cedar Valley had no injuries or recordable vehicular accidents after 35,500 man-hours.

According to CVC, the best public relations a contractor can do is to get in, build the job, and get out as quickly as possible. In spite of very wet weather and other challenges, the Cedar Valley lived up to their goal by successfully battling the elements, working through the winter, and doing everything possible to meet the schedule.

State Roads (SILVER)

Intersection of SH-51 (6th Street) & US-177 (Perkins Road), Stillwater, OK
Contractor: Duit Construction Company, Inc.  
Owner: Oklahoma DOT
Engineer: Benham

Stillwater, OK, is home to more than 49,000 people, but thanks to Oklahoma State University (OSU), the population increases by almost 26,000 students every August.

The intersection of SH 51 and SH 177 was the site of a test section of 4 in. fiber-reinforced concrete placed on asphalt pavement. The section was in service for 19 years, but with ADT of 21,167 ADT and 4% trucks, the owner to replace the intersection as part of a plan to increase capacity and upgrade the bridges adjacent to the intersection.

The Oklahoma DOT (ODOT) and City of Stillwater chose concrete because of how well it performed for them at in the 4 in. section. In addition to increasing the capacity and reconstructing the pavement, Duit Construction had to reconstruct all the water and sewer lines in this intersection, along with the entire storm sewer.

Because of the large volume of traffic on the intersection, ODOT and the city put internal milestones in place to ensure that traffic was flowing during all the OSU football games. Knowing that as many as 60,000 fans could be drawn to the area during football games, ODOT wanted to make sure this intersection was open in time for the beginning of the season. Duit was required to start the day after the final football game in 2016 and to ensure the pavement was operating at full capacity by the first game in September for 2017.

Thanks to the team efforts between Duit, ODOT, the City of Stillwater, and the Benham Group, the team was able to complete the project in time for the first football game.

Along the way, there were several challenges, beginning on the first day of the project. Telephone and power utility issues were quickly identified. There were also two bridge boxes located within 75 feet of the intersection that needed to be constructed.

The original drawings indicated the bridge could be demolished in two phases, but the team discovered the bridge was built on four footings. If two of the footings were removed as indicated in the plan, the bridge carrying traffic would have an increased chance of tipping over. Duit revised the plan that would enable them to construct the project and demolish the bridge all in one phase—and without closing the road.

Although Duit worked to thread sewer and water lines through fiber optic lines and phone lines that were not identified by the phone company. ODOT, the city, and the contractor decided the best solution was to close SH 51 west of SH 177.

To proceed with the plan, ODOT officials had to talk to all the businesses in the area to get consensus agreement. Afterward, it was decided that an internal milestone would be added to the contract to allow Duit to close the road, but to reopen it within 40 days. Within that time frame, the single-span bridge had to be removed and the triple barrel box structure had to be demolished. Within the same time frame, two triple barrel box structures had to be reconstructed, and crews had to backfill, stabilize soil, and place the asphalt base. ODOT offered Duit an incentive of $100,000 to achieve this. With the help of subcontractors, Duit was able to complete the required work within the 40 days.

Even so, the utility delays impacted the overall project schedule, so the contractor developed a plan to move traffic onto the 3 in. asphalt base so the intersection could be open to traffic during football game weekends. During the week, Duit closed the lanes to continue the concrete paving, opening the intersection to traffic only on the weekends.

For the paving, Duit placed more than 18,800 SY of concrete 8 in. thick, jointed reinforced pavement, equaling more than 2.8 lane miles. Duit used a central mix plant, but it had to be 8 mi. from the project because of limited space and permitting issues. As such, the mixture had to be dialed in precisely to handle the relatively long haul and traffic delays.

In spite of the utility delays, the project was completed on time. Now “Stilly” residents, business owners, and OSU students and football fans can travel through this area on a project that was built to last.

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

Clear Creek Parkway Construction (Clare Rd. to Hedge Lane Ter.) , City of Shawnee, KS
Owner: City of Shawnee
Contractor: Realm Construction, Inc.
Agency: Shafer, Kline & Warren

This roadway was constructed as part of strategy to link existing and planned developments in Shawnee. The 5,100 ft Clear Creed Parkway project followed the construction of a bridge over the nearby K-7 highway. The parkway provides motor vehicle connectivity within the corridor, including connecting to Clare Road on the west and Hedge Lane Terrace on the east.

The Parkway also is designed to enhance the city’s recreational trails, a system that is intended to have multiple connections to new and future facilities.

The project scope included land acquisition, permitting, and intersection and road layout for construction of three major intersections at a roundabout. It also included grading, storm sewer facilities, decorative lighting, utility coordination, pavement design and construction, and other work.

A golf cart path and tunnel built under the roundabout includes a decorative wall that shares its design with the landscaping of the roundabout center island. The base of the roundabout features decorative rock and street light towers that use the same LED lighting as the K-7 bridge. The lights can change colors to highlight events (such as breast cancer awareness month) or other purposes determined by the city.

Realm Construction faced many challenges, including water and electrical transmission line, but quick thinking and clear communications with the utilities avoided any damage claims. The contractor also discovered a potential issue on the golf cart path through the tunnel, but the problem was solved by placing a 4 in. subfloor to ensure proper elevation, and then texturizing the path for better traction.

The project also required wetland and streambank mitigation, and a required archeological survey to accommodate and best preserve historical Native American settlements in the area. The project also required trees in a 2.5 acres area to be cleared, mulched, and used on site as temporary erosion control prior to sod placement.

Construction required 22,880 SY of concrete pavement over the equivalent of 2.9 lane miles. Construction slowed down during heavy rainstorms, which required removal and replacement of a 300-foot-long section of concrete, but this did not prevent the project from being completed on time.

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