Tag Archives: Colorado DOT

Bomb Cyclone is No Match for the Colorado/Wyoming Chapter

In this week’s continuing coverage of “Gold Standard” Chapter events, we’re pleased to highlight the Colorado/Wyoming Chapter’s 2019 Annual Concrete Pavement Workshop, held March 14.

The “Pi Day” theme of the annual workshop gave Angela Folkestad, Jamie Johnson and Emma Dolan the opportunity to add some humor to the day-long event, but as the day of the workshop drew closer, talk of a large-scale snowstorm moving across the region proved to be no laughing matter.

“My first thought was, ‘will it really happen?’ But, there was no way I was going to cancel just because of a snowstorm,” Angela says.  “People in Colorado know how to get around in snow, especially people in the construction industry.”  After all, big trucks and four-wheel drive vehicles are common, she adds.

As the storm approached, calls started coming in from speakers, who said their flight plans (including double- and triple-booked alternative flights) were being canceled.  Eventually, all but two out-of-state participants were grounded at home or at intermediate connection points.

That’s when Angela reached out to ACPA staff, and Jerry Voigt (one of the grounded speakers), Andy Gieraltowski, and Bill Davenport to put a plan into action.  With support from ACPA and the CP Tech Center, all the “remote” speakers were able to participate through live web-based broadcasting programs.  “I was very relieved to have ACPA helping out throughout the day,” Angela adds.

By the morning of the event, the bomb cyclone had dumped 5 to 20 inches of snow throughout the state, delivered winds gusting up to 80 mph, and dropped the  barometric pressures to historically low levels, according to 9News.com. 

Angela praised Melody Perkins of the Colorado DOT, who was stuck in the storm on her way home the night before.  After spending most of the night trying to get home, and then after only an hour of sleep, she presented at the workshop. Angela recognized Colorado DOT Chief Engineer Joshua Laipply for presenting at the workshop, in spite of the severe weather.  It’s also worth mentioning Colorado DOT materials engineers from around the state spent most of the day before the workshop meeting in a dark conference room after the power went out in their building.  “They didn’t want to miss their opportunity to meet while the whole group was in town,” she says.

Angela also commended the remote speakers for delivering presentations seamlessly and complimented presenters and moderators who were at the conference, noting their flexibility in adapting to time changes and jumping in where needed. 

The use of the “webinar” program to link the remote speakers wasn’t the only technology put to use during the workshop.  Two undergrads studying with Dr. Tyler Ley at Oklahoma State University, were able to attend, thanks to their arrival earlier in the week. Emily Rideout and Hailey Goodale, participated in the program and assisted with the Q&A following the presentations. They used a toll-free number where participants could text questions, a technology that led to a very robust exchange of questions and responses. “About half of the questions came through the texting program,” Angela says. 

Although the conference fell a little short of the anticipated attendance, Angela said there were more than 225 attendees.  “To have more than two-thirds of our expected attendance is really amazing,” she says, adding, “A few people were not able to attend because roads were closed in Wyoming and south of Denver.”

Throughout the day, this writer observed that Angela, Jamie, and Emma, exhibited tremendous grace under pressure.  The workshop delivered a wealth of technical information, program updates, and some hospitality and networking events, along with the Chapter’s paving awards program.  Along the way, there were plenty of “Pi” jokes, which underscored the humor and forethought that went into the workshop.  In the end, the workshop also showed that ACPA members, national and chapter staff, agency customers, and others excel through even the harshest conditions.

Click here for more information about the “Gold Standard” feature coverage

Concrete Pavement Restoration (SILVER)

US 160/US 550 Concrete Pavement Rehabilitation
Contractor:  ACME Concrete Paving, Inc.   
Owner:  Colorado DOT
Engineer:  Colorado DOT, Region 5 Durango Residency

The Colorado DOT used a cost-effective strategy to rehabilitate a busy highway, and despite challenges, was able to complete the project ahead of a very busy tourism season. 

The project involved work on the concrete surface and shoulder on a 27-year-old section of US Highway 160/660 through the City of Durango.  The $6 million project had a few challenges, including two change orders that pushed the project completion date out two months. The project involved adding ADA ramps to 15 corners, unexpected bridge deck rehab, and additional manhole and valve-box adjustments.

The contractor also diamond-ground close to 150,600 SY of pavement and completed joint/crack resealing on existing pavement.

Overall, the contractor improved the roadway smoothness, restored skid resistance, prolonged the life of the original pavement, and enhanced the safety of the highway. In addition to replacing and patching damaged concrete pavement, the contractor also removed conflicting stripe shadows, installed new pavement markings with bike lanes, and installed bike friendly inlet gates.  

One of the greatest benefits of the project was that it was a more cost-efficient alternative to an estimated $40 million to $60 million that complete reconstruction would have cost. Concrete batching was allowed only during daytime hours because of local ordinances, but ACME Concrete Paving was allowed to work day and night for six days per week to complete the work on time. This schedule also allowed the contractor to avoid the local lane closure restriction, which in turn, allowed crews to work large sections with minimal traffic impact.

As a result of the efforts of the project team, the business owners, residents, and traveler in this area have are now driving on a 27-year-old pavement that has now has an additional 15 to 20 years of life added to it.

Divided Highways (Urban) – US 36 Express Lanes, Colo.

US 36 Express Lanes – Federal Boulevard to Table Mesa Drive

Boulder, Adams, Weld, and Broomfield Counties, Colorado


Right click on photos to view or download. Need a larger sized photo? Please email Bill Davenport at ACPA (bdavenport@acpa.org)

Return to “Excellence in Concrete Pavement Awards” page


Streets & Intersections (<30k SY) - US 285 Antonito Reconstruction

Municipal Streets & Intersections (<30,000 SY) U.S. 285
Antonito Reconstruction

Right click on photos to view or download.   Need a larger sized photo?  Please email Bill Davenport at ACPA (bdavenport@acpa.org).

Return to “Excellence in Concrete Pavement Awards” page

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