Industry News

ACPA Presents Sustainable Practices Recognition Award

The American Concrete Pavement Association (ACPA) has presented its Sustainable Practices Recognition Award to Emery Sapp & Sons, Inc. (an ACPA Member) and the Kansas Department of Transportation for their team effort in recognizing and prioritizing sustainable construction practices on the South Lawrence Trafficway (K-10) Project.

In addition to the complexity of building a six-mile, four-lane highway on new alignment, the contractor and agency’s combined efforts successfully employed context sensitive measures in the truest spirit of sustainable construction.

The award recognized some extraordinary actions, including clearing and grubbing by hand to protect the local ecosystem, including plants and animals in the Baker Wetlands.  The award also cited the innovative spirit—including use of stringless paving, recycled timber mats, and a forward-thinking approach to foundation stabilization—which underscored the use of both modern technology and old-fashioned hard work and ingenuity.

Finally, the award recognized the contractor and agency for their lasting work, which provides a well-designed, long-lasting highway, while also meeting the delicate need for ecological balance in the wetlands.

ACPA’s Sustainable Practices Recognition Award is presented to an organization or team (owner and contractor) that demonstrates leadership by implementing sustainable design and construction practices that consider societal, environmental and economic factors.

ACPA Presents 2017 Lifetime Pavement Recognition Award

The American Concrete Pavement Association (ACPA) has presented its Lifetime Pavement Recognition Award to a 70-year-old section of concrete pavement on California’s Interstate 10 (Ontario to Colton Freeway). 

The award was presented to the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) District 8.   Accepting the award on behalf of Caltrans District 8 were Jian (James) Lan, P.E., Senior Transportation Engineer, and Kevin H. Chen, P.E., Transportation Engineer. 

Photo by Garret Larson. Copyright 2017, Garret Larson.

The concrete pavement built in 1947 along this 10-mile section, originally designated US 70-99, is still in use today and has survived the unrelenting forces of traffic and time.

In 1967, this pavement became an historic section as the first concrete pavement in the nation to receive a revolutionary new process called diamond-grinding. Today, diamond-grinding is a widely accepted and time-tested technology that is commonly used around the world.

Photo depicts just a few of the agency and industry representatives who have been involved in preservation, outreach, and promotion activities.

Thanks to the innovative and forward-thinking spirit of CALTRANS and the local paving industry, this concrete pavement continues to serve California’s Inland Empire, while linking the past, present, and future of concrete highways.

Awarded annually since 1994, this award is presented to the agency owner of an in-service concrete pavement that has demonstrated exceptional performance and service to its local community, state, and users.  This recognition rotates annually between public market segments: highway, street/road, and airport.  

Michael Darter Named 2017 Hartmann-Hirschman-Egan Award Recipient

The American Concrete Pavement Association presented its 2017 Hartmann-Hirschman-Egan (HHE) Award to Michael I. Darter, Ph.D., P.E., Principal Engineer with Applied Research Associates, Inc. and Professor Emeritus of the University of Illinois.

The award recognized Darter for his innovation, leadership, teaching, and mentoring in the field of civil engineering, as well as for his advancement of technology that has resulted in countless numbers of high-quality concrete pavements.

“As an authority on design, construction, rehabilitation, and management of concrete pavements worldwide, your contributions have been innumerable, far-reaching, and enduring,” said ACPA President and CEO Gerald F. Voigt.  Voigt, along with many others in the concrete pavement industry, have been students, colleagues, or mentees of Dr. Darter.

Darter’s 40-plus years of consulting, research and teaching have resulted in a legacy of exceptional pavement engineers and in engineering tools used in all facets of concrete pavement design; evaluation and forensic analyses; performance prediction modeling; performance-related specifications; life-cycle cost analysis; and rehabilitation procedures.

“Among the most noteworthy is your achievement as principal developer of the AASHTO Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide, the most comprehensive tool for concrete pavements in history,” Voigt said, adding “Your contributions continue to make profound, positive differences in the quality and longevity of pavements.  Equally important, your unique style of teaching has not just transferred knowledge, but also inspired many engineers to follow the pathways you created.”

At the presentation ceremony, Voigt was joined by Mark B. Snyder, Ph.D., P.E., President of Pavement Engineering and Research Consultants, Inc., in paying tribute to Dr. Darter.  The ceremony also included visuals of quotes from a wide-range of industry and public-sector officials, all of whom represent just a small number of the many professionals who have been students of, worked with, or were otherwise inspired by Dr. Darter.

In addition to his distinguished service to the concrete pavement industry, Dr. Darter is also the author of “Gone with the Wind, He Said: The Cold Case Search for My MIA Brother” and “Fateful Flight of the Lonesome Polecat II.”


About the Hartmann-Hirschman-Egan Award

The award is one of the most coveted awards presented by the American Concrete Pavement Association. The award recognizes individuals and companies, as well as other organizations, for unparalleled commitment, dedication, participation, and leadership in the concrete pavement community.

First presented in 1968, the award was originally named in honor of Harold W. Hartmann, who served as the Association’s Secretary-Treasurer from 1964 until 1974. In 1987, Robert E. Hirschman’s name was added in recognition of his term as the Association’s Chairman (then President) in 1967, as well as his tenure as Secretary-Treasurer from 1975 to 1987.  In 2007, the name of Edward A. Egan was added in recognition of his steadfast leadership and dedication to the Association and the industry it serves.  Among the stations he occupied was the ACPA’s chairman in 1986, as well as Secretary-Treasurer—from 1988 to 2007, making him the longest-serving person in that capacity in the Association’s history. 

These individuals demonstrated leadership and tireless dedication to the concrete pavement industry, which helped shape the ACPA and the industry it serves. The award is presented to individuals or groups that demonstrate the same level of dedication as Hartmann, Hirschman, and Egan.


2017 Divided Highways (Urban) Awards

(Silver Award)  I-25, Lincoln Avenue to County Line Road, Douglas County, Colo.

Contractor:  Interstate Highway Construction, Inc.           

Owner:   Colorado DOT

Engineer:  Colorado DOT Region 1 – Lone Tree Residency


Interstate 25 from Lincoln Avenue to County Line Road is the last section of I-25 between Denver and Castle Rock to be widened to four through lanes in each direction. The roadway carries over 180,000 vehicles per day, including 13,000 commercial trucks.

This very complex $27 million project had 307 pay items of work including 175,000 square yards of concrete pavement (25 lane miles). Work on the 441 working day project began in August of 2014, and the grand opening occurred on time in March of 2016.

The project might never have happened without the financial partnership of the Federal Highway Administration, Colorado DOT, and Douglas County, the City of Lone Tree, the Community of Meridian, the Park Meadows Metro District, and a huge contribution from DRCOG (Denver Regional Council of Governments). 

The construction was managed entirely by Colorado DOT staff, which worked with IHC and subcontractors to keep their schedule flowing, and inspected at all times.

Traffic safety and unhindered flow through the project was a prime consideration.  The DOT did not allow any reduction in travel lanes between 5:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. Nighttime lane closures and nighttime full Interstate closures were allowed.

Construction was scheduled around schedules of the Denver Broncos’ home games for two seasons, and in advance of the Christmas shopping rush, the northbound I-25 portion of the project was open to four lanes before Black Friday. During construction, traffic conditions, including speed, accident rates and travel times through the corridor, were no worse and, in some cases, better than pre-construction conditions.

Another complex aspect of the project was dealing with utility issues. The contractor had to work around fiber optic lines (including one transcontinental line that could not be moved), water lines, power lines, irrigation, and others. 

The project can boast of many innovations and successful changes to the initial scope of the construction. The existing asphalt and concrete pavements were recycled and reused on the project, saving thousands of trucking miles and the cost of importing materials. Some concrete pavement was recycled and used as aggregate in temporary concrete detour pavement, and then recycled again in permanent pavement.  

Peak flow speeds before construction were 16 mph, but now are 48 mph, and according to the FHWA’s road user criteria, this contributes about $58,000 per day in road user cost savings. Based on this user cost savings, the project will pay for itself in approximately two years. Equally important, motorists in south metro Denver have a highway they can be proud of for 30 years or more.


(Gold Award) Grand Parkway Project, Houston, Texas

Contractor:  Zachry Construction Corp. | Odebrecht Construction, Inc.

Owner:   Texas DOT

Engineers:  Parsons Transportation Group | The Transtec Group, Inc.      

SH 99 is a proposed 180-mile circumferential highway traversing seven counties in the Greater Houston Area. The highway is divided into 11 segments.

Zachry was the managing joint-venture partner of Zachry-Odebrecht Parkway Builders, the Developer and Lead Contractor, responsible for the development of SH 99 Grand Parkway Segments F1, F2, and G (the Project).

Zachry-Odebrecht Parkway Builders worked with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to design, construct, and maintain 37.8 miles of divided two-lane controlled access toll road that intersects 19 major roads and includes 4 major interchanges.

The project included more than 120 bridges; one river crossing; 1.8 million square yards of concrete paving; frontage roads and associated drainage; right of way (ROW) acquisition management of approximately 480 parcels (2,127 acres); and the design, coordination and relocation of 177 utilities.

Zachry-Odebrecht Parkway Builders challenged the team to develop and design a project approach that was innovative and tailored to meet the DOT’s needs.

The result was a value-added concept that brought technical solutions and cost reduction through the implementation of alternative technical concepts.

The aggressive schedule was one of the fastest to deliver a project of this magnitude. The project team accelerated construction through very careful planning and sequencing of activities, as well as, the use of an on-site precast yard to prefabricate beams and deck panels.

The project was divided into three construction segments with support departments, including paving, a casting yard, project administration, public information, ROW acquisition, environmental team, and utility team.

* ACPA Member.

Divided Highways (Rural)

(Silver Award)   Wood County I-75 Reconstruction, Perrysburg, Ohio

Contractors:  E&B Paving, Inc. | E.S. Wagner Co

Owner/Engineer:  Ohio Department of Transportation – District 2             


The Wood County I-75 reconstruction project began in July 2014 and continued to late 2016.  The project included replacing and widening of pavement, drainage, signage, pavement marking, and new paving. The project also involved construction of one bridge, plus overlaying and replacing decks of existing structures.

E.S. Wagner* was awarded the project and E&B Paving* was the low bidder on the proposed alternate bid paving package, which included 369,203 SY of concrete, including 145,977 CY of 13.5 in. concrete.

The project required meeting annual milestones, a situation impacted by wet weather that threatened the schedule for the first two years.  

In the first year, E&B Paving used concrete for temporary 9 in. pavement, which was constructed adjacent to the existing southbound lanes to allow all traffic to be placed in the southbound lanes, which in turn, enabled full width construction of the northbound concrete pavement in 2015.

With the exception of the SR582 on and off ramp and the mainline pavement through the ramps the full width pavement was able to be completed with no outside traffic maintenance.

The SR582 concrete ramps and associated concrete mainline were completed in only 38 days of a 45-day scheduled closure. After the pavement was completed, all four lanes of traffic were switched to the northbound lanes before winter.   This set the stage for southbound lanes to be constructed during the third year of the project.

In 2016, the third year of the project, the southbound lanes were built in a mirror image to the previous northbound lanes completed in 2015.  Work progressed more quickly because only minimal weather days were experienced.  The SR 582 concrete ramps and concrete mainline were again constructed under a 45-day closure, and once again, the work was completed in only 38 Days.

A major challenge was the consistent delivery of wet batch concrete to the paving operations because of car accidents that occurred, sometimes daily, in the bi-directional traffic configuration.  In response, the contractor was able to establish a secondary route to allow production to continue in case of other delays.

Trucking also was an issue on the entire project.  The DOT had several other projects progressing in northwest Ohio simultaneously, which made it difficult to find enough wet batch to make good productions.  Working together, E&B Paving, E.S. Wagner and the DOT we were able to find alternative haul routes and more trucks from E.S. Wagner to assure the highest quality product possible.

In spite of the challenges, E&B Paving was able to achieve 31 percent of incentive dollars for smoothness based on average IRI readings of 54.31 for total project.  

Local commuters, truck drivers, and the traveling public will benefit from the added travel lanes, as well as the more durable and sustainable concrete. The smooth ride and the noise reducing longitudinal tines also will provide added benefits for years to come.



(Gold Award)     South Lawrence Trafficway (K-10), Douglas, Kan.

Contractor:  Emery Sapp & Sons, Inc.      

Owner:  Kansas Department of Transportation   

Engineer:  HNTB Corp.   


The South Lawrence Trafficway Project (K10) project scope entailed a six-mile, four-lane freeway that moved existing K-10 onto a new alignment, beginning at the south junction of U.S. 59 and the K-10 interchange and reconnected with existing K-10 on the east side of Lawrence.  

Emery Sapp & Sons, Inc.* was awarded the project, which also included the creation of more than 300 acres of new wetlands, as well as, bike paths. Also included were relocated sections of Louisiana Street, 31st Street, and Haskell Avenue that run alongside the Wakarusa Wetlands. On the east side of the city, 31st Street was also extended.

The challenges of this project proved to be no match for ESS, which along with 14 subcontractors and 13 suppliers completed the project on time and within budget.   The project scope included 21 bridges; 4.35 million CY of grading; 527,000 SY of concrete paving; and 102,000 sq. ft of noise wall.    The project also included large scale earthworks, drainage, soil stabilization, and utilities.

The 9.5 in. concrete pavement spanned 6.33 miles or a total of 43.23 lane miles.   ESS self-performed approximately 70 percent of the $138 million project.  Although the project schedule spanned almost three paving seasons, careful planning, phasing and hard work allowed ESS to complete more than 85 percent of the contract work including paving within the first two construction seasons.

In terms of sustainability, the project used a combination of new technology and old-fashioned hand work to meet two objectives.  The first was to meet environmental protective measures for the 927-acre Baker Wetlands. 

The contractor worked to avoid disruption to this area that resided within the project parameters in order to protect and preserve the wetlands ecosystem. Special measures included clearing and grubbing by hand, as well as placing recycled timber mats over the wetland area when hauling.

Another critical component was that all equipment used to place foundation stabilization and lower the embankment was required to have less than 5 psi of ground pressure. Also, noise walls and landscaping were added to help create a barrier that would provide increased protection to the ecosystem. 

The contractor also turned to state-of-the-art stringless paving to meet the second sustainability objective, which was to use energy-saving equipment/processes.

The project is expected to have an economic benefit to the region of $3.7 billion, the largest of any project under the 10-year, $7.9 billion Transportation Works for Kansas (T-WORKS) transportation program.


* ACPA Member.

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