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.