CONTRACTOR'S CHOICE AWARDS: Specialized area of work

July 10, 2014

Houston contractor handles work on I-35’s section 5B

Webber LLC, based out of Houston, has specialized in highway projects since it was founded more than 50 years ago.

Currently, one of the projects they are involved with is the I-35 reconstruction project. They have been at work on section 5B of the project since September 2011. Work on the 6.5-mile section of continuously reinforced concrete pavement (CRCP) stretching from West to Abbott, Texas, will finish up in the fall of this year. Several pieces of concrete slipform paving equipment are at work on the I-35, including a four-track GOMACO Commander III. It is responsible for the slipforming of the shoulders at various widths, from 10 ft to 19 ft wide. All of the shoulders are 13 in. thick.

The concrete for the shoulders is a Texas Department of Transportation Class P mix design with slump averaging between 1.5 in. and 2 in. End dump trucks carry the concrete to the jobsite and dump it into the hopper of a GOMACO 9500 placer. The 9500 places the concrete over continuous steel reinforcing placed ahead of the four-track Commander III paver. The shoulder sometimes contains U-bars for the safety barrier wall.

Webber’s 2013 Commander III is equipped with the GOMACO-exclusive G+ control system. The controller features a display with deviation meters on the run screen. Design simplicity includes a high-definition, multicolored bar-graph meter to indicate machine deviation and assist the operator in fine-tuning both grade and steer performance. Troubleshooting is fast and efficient with advanced system diagnostics showing a full, detailed explanation of the fault and its location, along with emergency-stop location identification when one is triggered at any location on the machine. Setting up the Commander III is easier than ever before with single-person, push-button calibration for steering and grade. Then, while paving, the G+ includes the proprietary smooth-paving software, which detects and eliminates any hits to the stringline and bumps from stringline knots or the rod. The new G+ speed dial turns to adjust in deviations of 1% increments for smooth, precise paving speed control.

On the I-35, Webber’s shoulder production with the Commander III averages 200 cu yd per hour. Finishing work behind the paver is kept to a minimum and no joints are required in the CRCP.

“When we get the concrete delivery we want and the mix with a good slump, we can really get some good production,” Mike Becknell, paving superintendent for Webber LLC, said. “And another nice thing about the [concrete paver] is its ability to handle different slumps. Sometimes we have to run the concrete a little wetter because it gets pretty warm in Texas. The [paver] has no problems with a wetter mix and still builds a nice, sharp edge.”

Becknell hoped to be slipforming another application soon with Webber’s Commander III, zero-clearance paving. The company purchased a zero-clearance kit with their new Commander III, but has not had a time or a place to use it yet. R&B

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