Industry News

2017 Urban Arterials and Collectors Awards

(Silver Award)   NY Gateway Connections Improvement Project – U.S. Peace Bridge Plaza, Buffalo, N.Y.

Contractor:  Surianello General Concrete Contractors, Inc.           

Owner: New York State Department of Transportation – Region 5             

Engineer:  Parsons Transportation Group of NY, Inc.                       


Surianello General Concrete Contractors, Inc.* was awarded the contract to improve access to and from the U.S. Border Port of Entry at the Peace Bridge Plaza, in Buffalo, N.Y.  

The project was awarded under the auspices of the Federal Highway Administration, in cooperation with the New York DOT, and in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act.

The primary goal was to address the limited direct access between the Plaza and Interstate I-190.

Existing direct access is limited and requires regional and international traffic to use the local street system.

This limited access adds additional commercial traffic to the local streets, which were originally designed to only meet the needs of local traffic. The aim was to reduce the use of the local streets by interstate traffic and provide improved access to the existing plaza.  

The project was bid as a “design-bid-build best value,” as determined by an evaluation committee working under the direction of the New York DOT’s Contract Management Bureau. Submissions were scored according to best value scoring criteria. A combination of the technical submission (comprised of five technical sections) and price proposal was used to award the contract based on “Best Value.”

The $5.4 million project included placement of 19,200 SY of 10 in. concrete pavement for a total of 2.72 lane miles.  The existing pavement and foundation were removed and was found to consist of asphalt, concrete foundation pavement, cobblestones, and stone base material. The concrete foundation material was brought to a crushing operation and 12 inches of recycled base coarse material was installed and compacted.

The project proved to be more than the best value; it was incorporated innovation, creativity, and a commitment to sustainable construction practices.  Surianello used recycled concrete as an alternative for the base course. The contractor also used colored concrete for a concrete roundabout, which was originally designed in asphalt. 

Visitors and other motorists crossing the border at the U.S. Peace Bridge Plaza, as well as motorists and businesses in the surrounding area, now have greater access, thanks to high quality, durable concrete pavement.


(Gold Award)  State Highway 119 Reconstruction, Longmont, Colo.

Contractor:  Castle Rock Construction Company

Owner:  Colorado DOT – Region 4            

Engineer: Colorado DOT – Region 4, Boulder Residency   

State Highway 119 between I-25 and County Line Road is a growing corridor north of Denver that connects Longmont to Boulder and the surrounding cities. This 4-mile highway project included placement of 200,000 SY of 9 in. dowelled concrete pavement; 75,000 SY of full depth reclamation; and   placement of 18,000 CY of riprap. The project also included bridge resurfacing on two structures and the construction of new approach slabs; 75,000 CY of embankment material; and 135,000 SY of pavement removal.

The original completion deadline was the summer of 2017, but crews met high production goals and aggressive schedules, resulting in project completion in December 2016. This limited the adverse impact on the traveling public, and allowed the bride to be open to traffic early, alleviating the need for dangerous work zones through winter and spring.  

An innovative adaptive traffic signal system which reads traffic flows and changes the timing on signals also helped keep the traveling public moving during the project. 

One of the challenges on this project was the complexity of work in live waterways. The 2013 floods in Colorado caused scouring around bridge piers in the St. Vrain Creek and the Idaho Creek box culvert.

The Colorado DOT’s emphasis was not only on rebuilding the roadway, but also repairing flood damage, and preparing for future flooding. The design solution for the prevention of future damage was placement of riprap on the slopes for over a mile and around the structures in the waterways. 

CRCC used inflatable coffer dams to divert water and worked in phases in order to keep the water flowing as they completed the work.

In addition to completion well ahead of the schedule and on budget, the pavement is very smooth and along with the other work by CRCC, is very aesthetically pleasing.

Safeguards were built into the project to prevent damages from another flood event, and so, this concrete highway is expected to serve the people of northern Colorado and traveling public for decades to come.


* ACPA Member.

2017 Overlays, Highways Awards

(Silver Award)  State Highway 51, Blaine County, Canton, Okla. 

Contractor:  Duit Construction Co., Inc.  

Owner/Engineer:  Oklahoma DOT


The Oklahoma DOT originally designed this project as a 3 in. asphalt overlay to resurface this 5.52 mile section. It was bid twice, but because of asphalt oil prices and limited bidders, it appeared asphalt pavement was not a good choice for the project.

The Oklahoma DOT flipped the project to concrete overlay, and when they did so, they received four bids instead of the one they received when the job was specified asphalt pavement. With the new 5 in. concrete using the existing milled asphalt base, the pavement could prove to have a 50 year life.

Duit Construction* faced many challenges with this bonded concrete overlay project. Strict placement specifications required the milled asphalt surface to be dry before placing the concrete.  This limited the amount of moisture used in the milling operation and made timing critical to achieve the correct moisture for the bond.

Surface temperature and concrete strength specifications during the summer were hurdles had to overcome when placing the 98,485 SY of concrete with 39,700 lbs of fiber to be completed.  

Daily summertime temperatures of 94 degrees and higher on the milled asphalt put the concrete paving operation out of placement specification range.  Also, the project had a 45 minute daytime limit for placement of concrete, and because of these factors, the concrete paving had to be done at night.  

Duit Construction was able to use a trimmer capable of milling/trimming at least 1 in. of asphalt on a single, 16 ft. pass.  By performing the trimming/milling during the day and concrete paving at night, the concrete paving was completed in 20 days for the 29,136 linear ft of two lane highway.

To help with access during construction, Duit set up a paving plan that determined which business driveways could be closed and which ones could remain open.

The contractor also determined the section roads or intersections to detour traffic around the work zone.  By doing so, Duit was able to determine limits for traffic restrictions and make the paving as seamless as possible.

Thanks to planning, communications, and persistence this 5.52 miles of roadway was completed about 90 days from the time of bid to final construction.  



(Gold Award)     State Highway 13 Resurfacing Project, Moffat County, Colo.

Contractor:  Castle Rock Construction Company 

Owner:  Colorado DOT – Region 3            

Engineer:  Colorado DOT – Region 3– Craig Residency      


Castle Rock Construction Co. (CRCC)* was responsible for constructing the 6 in. concrete overlay on State Highway 13 north of Craig, Colo.    The project was originally let as concrete or asphalt alternate, but during the bidding process, concrete pavement was determined to be the most economical material.

This area of the state traditionally uses only asphalt, but the project allowed the concrete pavement industry to break into the secondary road market, which had been impossible previously.

Because concrete was the first-cost low selection without any life cycle cost adjustment ($650,000) confirms project owners can afford the long-lasting benefits of concrete paving.

To produce the concrete for this job, CRCC mined and processed 47,000 tons of rock and sand. The company’s concrete batch plant provided the concrete for all 131,000 SY of concrete overlay. The existing asphalt surface was roto-milled to smooth both the profile and cross slope prior to paving. The milled asphalt was then placed as road base material for shouldering.

Pilot car traffic control was used to facilitate the half width paving approach. This system operated without major incident and only caused minor delays to traffic.

During excavation, the contractor had to clean out of a ditch and culvert pipes to create better flow and prevent the ditch and neighboring land from flooding.  After the work was done, CRCC placed riprap to keep the slopes from eroding in the future.

This project serves as proof that concrete overlays can be and are competitive with the asphalt industry, both financially and in pavement smoothness.  CRCC and the Colorado DOT worked partnered together on decision-making and other aspects of the project.

This project will also serve as an example in future promotional efforts throughout the state. State Highway 13, which boasts a high quality, exceptionally smooth concrete overlay, will serve the people of northwest Colorado and the traveling public for decades to come.


* ACPA Member.


2017 Overlays, Streets and Roads Awards

(Silver Award)  Merriam Lane Reconstruction & Improvements, Wyandotte, Kan.

Contractor:  Miles Excavating, Inc.           

Owner: Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City          

Engineer:  Burns & McDonnell                   


Revitalization, beautification, practicality, and quality capture the essence of this Merriam Lane project, which extended from (24th to 10th Street), in Wyandotte, Kan. The existing roadway was at the end of its service life, and it was difficult to discern how business access was planned or managed along the route.  

The design engineers, Burns & McDonnell*, outlined key goals for the project, including constructing raised curbs and medians, bicycle lanes, ADA-compliant sidewalks and ramps, defined parking stalls, business access points, and new concrete overlay. 

The contractor, Miles Excavating, Inc.*, placed 40,705 SY of concrete overlay on the 2.73 total lane mile project.  Businesses in the area required constant access, so a combination of blockouts and short hand paves were used to help address the access issues.

The original road was constructed with concrete and is said to be one of the first concrete roads built in Kansas. Over time, numerous hot mix asphalt overlays were placed over the original roadway. As a testament to the durability of the original concrete pavement, the asphalt overlays were milled off to reveal original concrete pavement, which was then used as the new pavement base.

Project challenges included utility delays, positive drainage issues, and business access throughout construction, but all were resolved by the hard work and extra efforts of the project team, which included the contractor, the owner, the engineer, and the Kansas DOT.   

Thanks to this team effort, the rehabilitated portion of Merriam Lane is expected to provide the traveling public with an aesthetically pleasing, practical commute for years to come.


(Gold Award)  Allamakee-B-38-Postville, Allamakee County, Iowa

Contractor:  Cedar Valley Corp., LLC        

Owner/Engineer:  Allamakee County      


Obtaining pavement smoothness on county overlay paving projects is always challenging  because the county road system in Iowa was never required to meet the same design standards applied to primary highway and Interstate projects.

The 5.46 mile project in Allamakee County contained 17 horizontal curves and 23 vertical curves that closely followed a meandering, existing profile. Seven of the vertical curves exceeded 3 percent, and one approached 6 percent.   

The county did not apply the Iowa DOT smoothness specification to this project, but CVC still ran a profilometer, results of which revealed an average smoothness of 2.39 inches per mile along the entire project length.

Cedar Valley faced several obstacles during construction. Allamakee County was deluged with 7.5 in. of rain in June alone, but then, the weather took a turn for the worse.  Some 26.71 in. of rain fell between July and September, more than twice the average 12.53 in. of rainfall.  The area was declared a state and federal disaster area.

The second major obstacle was providing access to the many local property owners. The traffic control plan for the job specified all adjacent property owners would be able to traverse through the project at all times. The most difficult traffic challenge was to keep the various property owners informed as to when their driveways would be impacted, as the roadway CVC was paving was the only access route for property owners in this hilly terrain.

A third challenge CVC crews faced was dealing with wide farm equipment and numerous grain trucks as the fall harvest was well underway during the construction of this project.

Before construction began, a public meeting was held at the county office to explain the construction process and discuss access. Area residents were invited to the meeting. CVC personnel detailed the entire construction process, and explained how maturity testing would be used to determine the shortest time to open to traffic.  As the job progressed, residents received updated paving schedules from CVC’s project manager.  At the end of every paving day, CVC reestablished access where strength had been reached.  Crews removed stringline to allow driveway access.   

The property owners were very appreciative that maturity testing enabled their access to be restored as quickly as possible. Cedar Valley’s excellent communication with property owners allowed the contractor to complete the project while maintaining access to the highest degree possible.

Despite the wet weather, the large number of curves and other challenges, CVC completed a high quality pavement that is serving the county, along with property owners, farmers, and other travelers well.  Also, in spite of traffic and other project complexities, CVC recorded almost 7,000 man hours with zero recordable accidents or injuries.


* ACPA Member.


2017 County Roads Awards

(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.


Municipal Streets & Intersections (<30,000 SY) 

(Silver Award)   Diagonal Highway Reconstruction, Boulder, Colorado

Contractor:  Castle Rock Construction Company 

Owner:    City of Boulder (Public Works Dept.)

Engineer:  Loris and Associates                 

The City of Boulder Transportation Department collaborated with CDOT on this local agency project to design an impressive new “Gateway” into Boulder. This section of SH 119, also called the Diagonal Highway, used to be on the outskirts of the city, but has become a very busy area with what was a deteriorated asphalt road and no pedestrian or bike facilities.

Castle Rock Construction managed and built a complex project with an extensive new drainage system, off-street bike lanes, multi-use path, improved transit facilities, various colored concrete aesthetic components, durable concrete roadway, landscape features and art plazas for the community to enjoy.

The project also involved coordination with multiple departments within the City of Boulder, as well as the Colorado DOT, Regional Transportation District, contractors on adjacent projects, and 20 subcontractors onsite.

In addition to the placement of 27,973 SY of 8.5 in. dowelled concrete pavement for the roadway, the project also involved 31,000 SY of full depth reclamation of the existing roadway, which was recycled into road base for the new concrete paving. 

Some 11,600 SY of asphalt and concrete pavement were removed; 14,000 CY of embankment material was moved; and 10,700 SY of flatwork was completed, including a cycle track, multi-use path, sidewalk, exposed aggregate, colored sidewalk and colored median curb skirt.  The project also involved the construction of rain gardens, which not only added a touch of nature and beauty, but also serve to filter rain and storm water runoff.   The project also included monument foundations and drainage systems for art features.

To accommodate the public during construction, lane closures occurred only during off-peak times throughout the week; bike routes were maintained at all times; and intersection reconstruction work was limited to weekends.

The Diagonal Reconstruction project is the culmination of work by talented contractors whose efforts will benefit Boulder residents and visitors for many years. 


(Gold Award)  State Highway 42, Sister Bay, Wis.

Contractor:  Vinton Construction Company          

Owner:  Wisconsin Department of Transportation | Village of Sister Bay

Engineer: REI Engineering, Inc.| Village of Sister Bay

Winding through the northern half of Wisconsin’s famed Door County and along the shores of Green Bay, the state’s WIS 42 corridor is predominantly a two-lane highway connecting many communities where tourism is key.  

The corridor serves as both a ‘travel through’ roadway and a ‘main street’ to these communities, where both functionality and aesthetics are equally important.

Many of the businesses along the project make their living in only a few months of the year, so when reconstruction of a section of this important highway was needed in the Village of Sister Bay, the project requirements were carefully balanced with the needs of businesses and people in the area.

In consideration of the business community, the importance of tourism, and the seasonal population influx, construction was split into eight separate stages.

Vinton Construction proposed a Cost Reduction Incentive (CRI), allowing for placement of high early strength permanent concrete pavement in lieu of temporary asphalt early in the project.  Paving the 1.54 lane mile project with 20,389 SY of 8 in. concrete was completed 163 days ahead of schedule.  In addition to this major accomplishment, the construction cost was $173,000 under the contractor’s bid amount.

The project focused on safety enhancements, protection of the environment, minimizing future maintenance needs, and minimizing the disturbance to the local economy and tourism industry.

Public outreach was a priority to keep the local public officials and businesses informed of the progress.   This included weekly updates; public informational meetings; and day to day communication with local business owners.

Collaboration among the entire project team was exceptional, and included the efforts by the contractor, the engineer, and Wisconsin DOT.  Other hallmarks of the project included excellent design, planning and overall coordination with Village of Sister Bay staff and local businesses; 18 different contractors that were extremely attentive to their work and sensitive to the local businesses; and a Village Administrator who listened to and worked closely with the construction team and made timely decisions; and a construction engineering staff that understood and managed the intricacies and demands of this urban reconstruction project.


* ACPA Member.

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