Chester Unbonded Concrete Overlay Project, Chester, WV
Contractor: Golden Triangle Construction Co., Inc.
Owner/Engineer: West Virginia Department of Transportation

The West Virginia State Highway Route 30 unbonded concrete overlay project was the first concrete overlay constructed in West Virginia.

The project consisted of 20,000 SY of 7 in. concrete overlay on Route 30; a concrete overlay on four ramps; variable depth concrete reconstruction at the overlay transition areas; and concrete preservation (patching) operation on Route 2 ,which runs north and south at the interchange of Route 30.

There was also some minor drainage work in the median and upgrades to signage, guardrail and other roadside work. The proposed overlay was constructed on a 1 in. asphalt separation layer on the existing 9 in. plain concrete pavement roadway. The project plan also called for 8 in. deep asphalt shoulders adjacent to the overlay.

After the project was awarded, Golden Triangle approached the West Virginia Department of Highways with some welcome changes to the scope of the project. The contractor proposed to construct 8 in. deep concrete shoulders in lieu of asphalt at no additional cost to the Department.

Golden Triangle replaced the entire Route 2 concrete roadway for the same cost as patching the roadway would have been. The contractor also was able to minimize disruption to the business owners by designing a traffic scheme to allow Route 30 traffic to continue during the overlay construction. The new traffic plan eliminated the 20 mi. detour, which was popular with business owners and municipal authorities. The overlay portion of the schedule was originally supposed to be complete in 9 days with a $10,000 per day incentive/disincentive clause. The revised plan allowed more time to construct the overlay without the major disruption of the long detour, and as a result, contract was complete on schedule in just under 4 months without the cost of liquidated damages.

Golden Triangle requested permission for the Department of Highways to use an optimized concrete mixture in lieu of West Virginia’s standard slip form mix. This allowed the Golden Triangle the ability to lower the cement content, provide a well graded mix which in turn, resulted in IRI numbers in the 50’s and 60’s and hopefully a more durable pavement.

Non-destructive testing was used in lieu of cores to determine actual pavement depths. Round metal discs were nailed to the asphalt layer prior to paving. Each disc was surveyed to determine a
location. After the pavement had hardened sufficiently to use a MIT-2 scanner, the disc was located and the scanner was passed over the disc to determine depth. This method eliminated the 40+ cores typically required for this amount of pavement.

The widths of the shoulders ranged from 4 ft to 11 ft, so a variable width slip form mold was used to slip form the shoulders, thus combining multiple placements into one operation.

West Virginia DOH expressed their happiness with the project and indicated their readiness complete more concrete overlays throughout the state. The cold/wet spring delayed our paving schedule from an April-to-August paving schedule to a May-to-August schedule. Crews worked 10 hours per day, 6 days a week during to complete the paving in time for the first day of school in late August.

Golden Triangle actively engaged with the local government and businesses in the area. The contractor attended City Council meetings, which area business owners, residents and city/county officials also attended. It was at one of these meetings, where the revised traffic plan and schedule were presented. Traffic plans and phase changes also were communicated through the local newspaper and on the city’s website.

The contractor was able to minimize disruptions on the Route 2 reconstruction work by using night and weekend closures of intersections that allowed completion of intersections that are too busy during weekdays.

West Virginia DOH expressed their happiness with the project and indicated their readiness complete more concrete overlays throughout the state. The cold/wet spring delayed our paving schedule from an April-to-August paving schedule to a May-to-August schedule. Crews worked 10 hours per day, 6 days a week during to complete the paving in time for the first day of school in late August.