Michigan’s Superior Asphalt Adopts Adjustable Risers in Paving Projects

May 28, 2020

Jeff Kresnak, owner and CEO of Superior Asphalt Inc., started his firm in 1983 when he was just 16, and 36 years later it has grown into an operation that runs three full-time paving crews, four prep crews, and two milling operations, all supported by state-of-the-art plants and laboratories, and all while remaining Michigan’s only 100% locally owned paving company. 

But even with all that experience and expertise, Superior Asphalt is still capable of learning new tricks, as happened in 1998 when Project Manager Andrew Maioho was hired and suggested the use of American Highway Products Pivoted Turnbuckle Manhole Risers when raising manholes to grade after new paving lifts. “I’d already been working in paving for 10 years at two previous paving companies when Superior hired me, and I was specifically brought in to suggest new ways to get projects done quicker and to save money,” Maioho explains. “At the time, their crews were using solid, cast iron risers to raise manholes, and I knew from experience that AHP adjustable risers were a higher quality, more efficient, and more cost-effective solution.”

Pivoted turnbuckle manhole risers are flexible rings of galvanized U.S. steel approved for use by most DOTs and cities. They can be ordered in very fine increments of thickness and diameter to closely match existing utility rims, and when they are set into original rims the turnbuckle can be cranked a few turns with a screwdriver to expand the riser and seat it tightly. It is the only adjustable riser available that achieves continuous contact with the original rim around its entire circumference—the expanding turnbuckle exerts thousands of pounds of force, creating a tight metal-to-metal seal, and snug contact that is far more secure than the set screws used by other adjustable solutions. 

Compared to rigid cast-iron risers, the AHP risers are “easier to install and less expensive,” says Maioho, and he should know—Superior installs hundreds annually in state, municipal, and commercial paving projects. In fact, when installed just prior to paving (as is typical for Superior crews) they often take five minutes or less to set in place and expand. And unlike non-adjustable risers, American Highway Products risers never rattle in rims or pop out dangerously under strain. “When we’ve properly installed a correctly sized AHP riser, we’ve never had one fail,” Maioho says. “I don’t believe there’s a better product for the cost. If they’re adjusted properly and set tight, they’re going to ride just perfect. I see risers in place from jobs I did 20 years ago, and they’re all doing just fine.”

Editor's Note: Scranton Gillette Communications and the SGC Infrastructure Group are not liable for the accuracy, efficacy and validity of the claims made in this piece. The views expressed in this content do not reflect the position of the Roads & Bridges' Editorial Team.