2013 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.





APAC-Missouri and the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) won the award for APAC-Missouri’s work on 15.3-miles of Interstate 44 in Jasper County. The project included the milling the existing pavement, paving on both the mainline lanes and the ramps and the overlay of the road’s shoulders.


“This was a nighttime paving project, and that has its own sets of challenges,” said Tyson Collins, the project manager for APAC-Missouri. “We used strategic planning and logistics to achieve proper trucking, plant time and paving time so that the roadway could be open by 7 a.m. daily.”
That careful planning — and the attention that APAC-Missouri crews paid to every facet of the project — contributed to the outstanding results. “The project was extraordinary due to the consistency of the mix, smoothness of the roadway and the exceptional quality control data,” Tyson said.


“The test results were one of the things that made this project so good,” said Greg Chapman, MoDOT resident engineer in Joplin, Mo. “All the results were where they needed to be: the density, the air voids, and so on.” The profilograph, which measures the smoothness a roadway, results were proof that this was an extremely smooth roadway, Chapman added.


APAC-Missouri began construction in mid-July 2012, and the job was completed by early September. The asphalt mixes came from the company’s Joplin plant, which was about 12 miles away from the project site.


APAC-Missouri incorporated sustainable paving techniques into the project, taking the millings from the job back to the plant site for use in the binder mix. The binder course included 15 percent reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) and 3 percent recycled asphalt shingles, which came from local sources. Millings from the job that were not used for the new I-44 pavements were used in other MoDOT projects. 


“Everything just went really well,” said Chapman. “APAC was really good to work with, and if there was a problem they handled it immediately.”


“We strive for quality on every project, but it takes total commitment from the crew, quality control, MoDOT, and all other parties involved to end up with a quality project of this nature,” said Mike Eshleman, APAC-Missouri branch manager.






Heartland Asphalt Inc. and the Iowa Department of Transportation were named a finalist for Heartland Asphalt’s work on State Route 14 in Butler County, Iowa. “It was an old concrete road with significant joint problems; riding on it was like driving a car with square wheels,” said George Jessen, president and general manager of Heartland Asphalt The work the company performed over a two-year period smoothed out the bumpy road, transforming it into an exceptional pavement.


To minimize inconvenience to motorists, the company kept one lane of the two-lane road open to traffic at all times during the paving operation.


During the first contract year, Heartland Asphalt performed full-depth patching on the existing concrete road, installed subdrains, and widened the pavement by 2–3 feet on each side to get a consistent 28-foot width for the road. The company then placed a 2-inch lift of asphalt over the old concrete.


In 2012, Heartland Asphalt returned to lay a second intermediate lift and a 1.5-inch surface course. The company also built 8-foot granular shoulders and installed grooved pavement markings. Additional work on the project included removal of an old railroad overpass along the route.


Heartland Asphalt used sustainable paving technology for the project, incorporating 20 percent reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) in the underlying layers and 15 percent RAP in the surface mix.


The company took much of the irregularity and bumpiness out of the road with first lift of asphalt. When the project was completed, Heartland Asphalt earned 90 percent of the possible incentive pay for the road’s smoothness.


“This was a pretty straightforward, well-run project and everything went well from the beginning to the end,” said Roy Gelhaus, Iowa DOT District 2 resident construction engineer. Cooperation and coordination between the state and the contractor helped make the job a success, he added. “The product that Heartland Asphalt put out was a very smooth pavement.”






Knife River Materials, Northern Minnesota Division, and the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MNDOT) were named a finalist for Knife River Materials’ work on the milling and overlay of U.S. Route 75, The King of Trails, in Marshall County. When the company encountered some unexpected soil problems in one section of the subgrade it did everything possible to keep the work on schedule. Detours on the 16.8-mile road were already causing inconvenience to motorists, and the company was determined to ensure that the project did not take any longer than was absolutely necessary.


By working closely with all parties on the project, Knife River was able to bring in new fill for the subgrade and finish all work by the original completion date. The project timetable ran from June 4 to August 4, 2012.


“The biggest challenge on this project was the shape of the existing road,” said Josh Weickert, estimator and project manager at Knife River Materials, Northern Minnesota Division. Although the road’s average daily traffic count is usually around 1,400, it handles significantly more truck traffic in late summer and fall when trucks are hauling sugar beets from area farms.


Knife River Materials milled 5 inches of asphalt off the road, taking it down to the original base, then laid a 1.5-inch permeable asphalt stabilized base, which helped solve the road’s drainage problems. The 3.5-inch wearing course went down in two lifts; the top layer was a Superpave warm-mix asphalt produced using a foaming process.


Warm-mix asphalt is a sustainable paving technology that reduces the amount of fuel required to heat the asphalt. The company employed other sustainable paving techniques, as well, including recycling 92,000 tons of millings from US 75 back into the project’s asphalt mixes. Knife River earned 93 percent of the ride incentives and 98 percent of the density incentives available for this project.


“Probably the biggest reason for the job’s success is the contractors themselves,” said a MNDOT spokesperson. “They cared about the type of work that they did, worked well and planned ahead. They just did a good job.”







The Shelly Co. and the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) were named a finalist for The Shelly Co.’s work on the mill and overlay of I-76 near Akron, Ohio. Since the project timetable was tight, and paving didn’t start until late July 2011, the company put two crews on the job and instituted a 20-hours-a day construction schedule to make sure that it could meet the Oct. 15 completion deadline. The 40 members of the project team worked five days a week, pausing work for three hours in the morning and two hours in the evening to minimize inconvenience to motorists during rush hour.


Construction on the $7.2 million project extended over two years. The first phase, which took place in 2011, included milling of the existing concrete surface, asphalt resurfacing, bridge overlays, drainage work, and resurfacing of almost 8 miles of interstate, two lanes in each direction. The second year, the company performed additional structural rehabilitation on the pavement and bridge overlays.


“We milled over 475,000 square yards of pavement and performed multiple repairs,” said John Winters, operations manager for The Shelly Co. The company also used sustainable paving techniques, recycling 30,000 tons of material from the existing roadway back into new pavement mixes for I-76. The surface asphalt mix contained 15 percent reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP), and the intermediate layer included 20–25 percent RAP.


The paving crews used a foamed, warm-mix asphalt to produce a 3.25-inch asphalt overlay in two lifts. Warm-mix asphalt is a sustainable paving technology that reduces the amount of fuel required to heat the asphalt.


Paving underneath the seven bridge structures along the route required The Shelly Co. to perform additional work. “The project was specified for 1.5 inches of milling, but there was a transition point — 100 feet on each side of a bridge — where we milled down 3.25 inches to ensure proper clearances,” said John Mazzola, project manager for the ODOT. “That took extra time, and we had to make it safe so there wouldn’t be a 3.5-inch drop off between the passing lane and the driving lane.” 


The Shelly Co. also paved the deceleration and acceleration ramps at two interchanges and two rest areas and ramps along the route. The project team had to coordinate shutdowns and traffic control with an adjacent overhead bridge replacement project.


The Shelly Co. completed work on Sept. 23, 2011, almost a month ahead of schedule.
“I think the success of the project came down to planning and communicating our goals, what we were trying to accomplish, to the team every day. We also had a wonderful superintendent on the job who kept the plan going forward,” Winters 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.