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2014 Sheldon G. Hayes Award


The Sheldon G. Hayes Award winner is determined through a two-year process. Highway pavement projects using more than 50,000 tons of asphalt are eligible for consideration. Initially, they must win a Quality in Construction (QIC) Award, which is determined by numerical scores given by pavement engineers at the National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT) on the basis of how well the contractor met the specifications and achieved density on the finished pavement.  All the pavements that meet a benchmark figure are given the QIC award.


The year after a project wins a QIC Award, it may be considered for the Sheldon G. Hayes Award. The top-ranked projects from each year are tested for smoothness, then visually inspected by an independent pavement consultant with many years of experience in the industry. This year, the evaluators praised the contestants for high-quality construction practices resulting in smooth, safe, and durable pavements.







SGH WINNER 2014Northeast Asphalt Inc. and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation Northeast Region were named the winner for Northeast Asphalt’s work on State Trunk Highway (STH) 22 from Gillet to Oconto Falls, Wis. In the spring of 2012, just prior to the start of Northeast Asphalt’s mill and overlay, a utility conflict along both sides of the 8.1-mile project was discovered, threatening to wreak havoc with the targeted completion date before year’s end.

“In the typical utility relocation, it would happen just prior to us coming in and doing any work,” Ric Szalewski, Project Manager said of Northeast Asphalt’s winning project. “But they were anticipating a couple of months to relocate those utilities and there was talk of delaying the project until 2013.”

Everyone involved in the project came together to discuss options. In the end, innovative thinking saved the day.

“We came together with our dirt contractor, Relyco Inc., to use Spar technology with ground-penetrating radar and advanced software to locate the utilities within a three-dimensional space,” Szalewski said.

With the radar exactly pinpointing the utilities, the construction crew was able to provide a workaround solution without harming the utilities.

“They could start construction and not have to worry about interfering or damaging any utilities,” Szalewski said. “They knew the areas where the utilities crossed, so they skipped those areas. And where the utilities were running with construction, they could stay away from them or stay above them. The utility contractor could come, work behind them, relocating them.”

With this utility conflict solved, Northeast Asphalt was able to complete the project quickly and efficiently. The company was anxious to submit this job for a Sheldon G. Hayes award only to face another unexpected hurdle: the weather. Winning pavements of the Sheldon G. Hayes award are scrutinized after undergoing one winter with the new roadway.
Because Northeast Asphalt’s STH 22 project was completed so late in 2012 – Oct. 30 – the company had to wait until 2013 to submit its entry. Thus, the pavement was evaluated with two winters under its belt, including the winter of 2013-2104, one of the harshest on record.

“I looked back through the records in this area, and there were 59 days during the winter when temperatures were at or below zero degrees Fahrenheit,” said Brett Stanton, Director of Engineering Services for Northeast Asphalt said “That was particularly unique and [the road] looked very good for the rough winter it went through.”

Northeast Asphalt was also able to procure a cost reduction incentive (CRI) modification to the original contract.

“We partnered with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to evaluate the pavement, and we realized we could save the DOT $160,000 if we changed the pavement structure and used some of the existing materials on site,” Stanton said.

While some of the materials were new, “we imported far less by utilizing what was there,” Stanton said. In the end, recycled asphalt material reduced the company’s need for virgin asphalt by 24 percent with the 12.5mm surface design mix and 23 percent with the 19.0mm binder mix.







SGH1-Koss-I40-Image1Koss Construction Co. and the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department were named a finalist for Koss Construction Co.’s work on I-40 in Prairie County, Ark. The job entailed rubblizing and overlaying a 10.3-mile section of the four-lane highway in 215 working days while traffic flowed. The existing pavement was 10-inch faulted Portland cement concrete pavement, which was rubblized in place using resonant breaking. This was overlayed with three asphalt lifts – a 5.8-inch base, a 3-inch binder, and then a 4-inch surface layer.



“This area had been flooded before to the extent that it was under water about a foot,” said Kelly Moore, Asphalt Division Manager for Koss Construction Company. “We raised the grade through the whole area to about one foot.”


Indeed, much of this portion of I-40 is swampland, as it runs through a river wetland and state wildlife management area. A whopping 413,000 tons of asphalt was used in all, “giving us the opportunity to stack the asphalt to achieve our smoothness.”


Due to its protected location, Koss Construction didn’t have much wiggle room with traffic considerations.


“We had very little options to reroute traffic or detour traffic,” Moore said, adding that the average daily traffic through this section is estimated at 45,000 with semi-trucks making up 65 percent of that traffic. Barrier walls were the norm during construction, and unfortunately, so were accidents, he said.


“We built with a head-to-head situation using barrier walls trenching in different areas, and then we built the rest behind the barrier walls,” Moore said.


The project was broken into three parts to minimize the length that traffic would be placed head-to-head with the barrier walls. The specifications of the project were such that one part of the project needed to be completed before moving on to another part.


Koss placed a portable asphalt plant at the first interchange off the project. To minimize delay in haul trucks traveling from the on-site plant to the paving operation, work hours were scheduled when possible from early morning until mid-afternoon to avoid the highest traffic periods of the day.


In addition, two bridges adjacent to the White River were replaced in both directions of travel. “At the bridge ends there was a 750-foot removal section reconstructed to allow the pavement and the base to fit back in flush with the bridge ends,” Moore said.


A project of this magnitude took a tremendous amount of coordination, Moore said. Weekly planning meetings were held with Koss, ASHTD, on-site subcontractors, and state highway police.


Despite its many challenges along the way, the ASHTD and the driving public said it is pleased with the finished project.


“The new asphalt surface has an excellent ride,” said Mike Hays, resident engineer with the ASHTD. He said he is particularly pleased with the new, 10-foot-wide shoulders on the bridges as well as the 4-inch underdrains installed at the lane edges.








Wapello5NAPCONorris Asphalt Paving Co. and the Iowa Department of Transportation were named a finalist for Norris Asphalt Paving Co.’s work on U.S. 34 in Wapello County, Iowa. This particular portion runs through a wooded, hilly section of the highway, which the Iowa Department of Transportation rates a Super 2 with long grades and curves.

The project, which began mid-April 2013 and was completed by mid-August, specified pavement resurfacing with cold-in-place recycling to help correct slope and smoothness. The road also needed to be widened by three feet on both sides to make room for paved shoulders. To succeed, the job needed a good crew, quality materials, coordinated scheduling, and most importantly, proper planning, Brady D. Meldrem, President of Norris Asphalt Paving Co. said.

“A project like this doesn’t turn out well if you don’t have the problems identified and taken care of ahead of time,” Meldrem said. “That’s what gets it to the point where they’re successful projects.”
Perhaps the most challenging aspect of the project was the fact that the climbing lanes, many of which were located on the hills and super-elevated curves, overlapped a significant portion of the entire job, Meldrem said. The company’s response was to handle these lanes as a second procedure rather than in the mainline paving.

“We choose to stay in the mainline portion of the roadway and pave right by the climbing lanes and come back to match those lanes,” Meldrem said. “We think it probably doubled the amount of smoothness we got on the climbing lanes, as opposed to trying to do them hot.”

To achieve this smoothness and accuracy, Meldrem said it required decisive scheduling in terms of material delivery and the use of material-transfer vehicles. “We had trouble trying to schedule the way our materials were being delivered,” Meldrem said. “To be able to get that done we used shuttle buggies.”

The cold-in-place overlay contained 20 percent reclaimed asphalt pavement in the base and surface lifts, and 12 percent in the intermediate layer. The pavement was originally a concrete pavement, which contained five inches of asphalt overlay over the top.

“We cold-in-placed three inches over the existing five inches of asphalt in hopes of reducing reflective cracking from the concrete coming up through the new pavement,” Meldrem said.

The Iowa Department of Transportation, the road’s owner, said it is satisfied with the project and Norris Asphalt’s willingness to go the extra mile to create such a smooth highway.

“Our expectations for this project were met and in the case of smoothness, our expectation was exceeded,” Scott Sommers, Resident Construction Engineer of the Chariton office of the Iowa Department of Transportation said. “Upon project completion, we now have a safer and much smoother road surface for the public to utilize.”

The 9.5-mile section of the U.S. 34 project also involved installing more than 13,000 feet of cable guardrail along the edges for added safety. The job entailed extending culverts and performing a significant amount of slope repair, as well.








IH 43 3Payne & Dolan Inc. and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation – Southeast Region were named a finalist for Payne & Dolan’s work on Interstate 43/Rock Freeway from State Trunk Highway (STH) 83 to STH 164 in Muskego, Wis. The company was contracted in 2013 to rubblize and overlay the southbound lanes of the highway while completely reconstructing the northbound lanes. This same portion of the southbound lanes was reconstructed under a separate contract in 2012 but the final overlay was included in the 2013 project.


Because this stretch of highway is a 7-mile major thoroughfare running into and out of downtown Milwaukee, Payne & Dolan used both day and night shifts to coordinate the work and traffic flow. A significant portion of the work needed to be completed at night through some lane closures, all while maintaining a route into and out of the city.


“We milled the existing pavement, rubblizing the concrete and repaving it with three lifts of HMA pavement,” Brian Wallace, Payne & Dolan Project Manager said. “There were 10 bridges in total over the two-year span that got reconstructed and widened, five in each direction.”

To produce a quality pavement and ride for motorists, joint heaters were used on every lift of pavement placed to assist in joint construction, he said. Additionally, material transfer vehicles helped ensure consistent paving speeds.


“An infrared joint heater was placed on the paver so when we were finished paving one lane and had to come back to pave the next lane, we reheated the joint,” Wallace said. In all, about 125,000 lineal feet of longitudinal joints were reheated for the project.


Pavers were pulled in tandem for the shoulder joints, “so we didn’t have a cold joint there at all,” Wallace said.


Payne & Dolan took extra measures to use reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) and recycled asphalt shingles (RAS) whenever possible in all mixes. In each of the three layers of the asphalt mixes, between 9 to15 percent included fractionated RAP and roughly 4 percent included RAS, which helped make the project economically sound and environmentally sustainable.


In addition, 20,000 tons of existing asphalt pavement was reclaimed and used in the base course, which helped reduce the need for some virgin aggregate. “I think we probably offset 50 percent of [virgin aggregate] with the milled material that came off the job,” Wallace said.


In the end, the project contained 40,000 tons of milled material, Wallace said. Payne & Dolan rubblized a total of about 45,000 square yards, while 50,000 tons of base course was placed for widening and expansion around the bridge work.


Wallace said the company is proud of the incentives earned on the project for its International Roughness Index (IRI) score and pavement density.


Working with an experienced team also aided the project’s success. The project engineer was someone Wallace said he had experience with on previous jobs.


“We knew where we stood with each other and collaboratively we were doing the things that needed to be done to make this a high-quality project for the taxpayers of Wisconsin,” Wallace said.




The award is named for Sheldon G. Hayes, a founder of NAPA and the association's first chairman. Hayes spent his entire career striving for better construction techniques and improvements in the quality of asphalt pavements.