Making the Grade

Case Studies
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One of the problems with building roads in new subdivisions is getting the grade right. For Clarence Gianarelli, secretary and treasurer of Ideal Concrete, Colorado Springs, Colo., that means preparing a roadbed within an accuracy of .005 in. of the required grade.

Like many of Gianarelli’s projects, roadwork in the Flying Horse subdivision began on an open field nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. The excavation contractor cut the streets out of raw ground from rough-cut grade stakes. The utility contractors then installed the water, sewer, electric, cable and phone lines.

Before beginning the next phase of the road construction, the site was surveyed and stakes placed. The project required installing intersections, along with 50,000 lineal ft of concrete curb and gutters.

“We followed the survey stakes,” said Gianarelli. “Using one of our two Case motor graders, we took the road down to the proper grade. Then we set string lines.”

Ideal Concrete owns a Case 865 and a Case 865 DHP motor grader. “Our motor graders are equipped with Topcon Sensors so we’re able to sense off the string line,” said Gianarelli. “That makes our job almost an automatic operation. The sensor controls the moldboard and the machine pushes dirt or deposits dirt depending on whether the road is high or low in any given spot. When we finish each section, we have the grade within the required .005 in.”

Following the Case motor grader was Ideal Concrete’s Gomaco GT-3600 slipform paver that placed the concrete curb and gutter at the proper elevation.
For the intersections, Ideal Concrete drew upon its fleet of six Case skid-steer loaders, including two model 430s. The company also uses the skid steers when installing sidewalks, paths and hiking trails.

“I love those 430s. They give us a lot of flexibility,” said Gianarelli. “We’ll be replacing our older skid steers over time so I look forward to having more in our fleet.”

In addition to the skid steers and motor graders, Ideal Concrete owns two Case wheel loaders, a 621C and a 621D. They also own a Case 580 Super L loader/backhoe . All of the Case equipment was purchased from Ellen Equipment Co. of Colorado Springs.

“Our Case dealer has been great to work with,” said Gianarelli. “We get the parts we need right away with no problems and they do a great job on repair work when our technicians get too busy.

“Once the curbs and gutters were in, we came back to dress the road to take care of any spoils. This is an important step in making the road presentable for other construction traffic.”

At this point, the road meets the required grade specification. Ideal Concrete’s part of the project is finished and the road is ready for the asphalt contractor.

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