Oklahoma Contractor Claims Top Asphalt Paving Award

Asphalt Article December 28, 2000
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The following is an overview of the contractors and projects chosen to receive recognition by the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) as finalists in the 1997 Sheldon G. Hayes Award competition for the highest quality asphalt paving project in the U.S. In May, ROADS & BRIDGES will feature an in-depth profile of the Hayes Award-winning contractor, Haskell Lemon, and the company's outstanding project.

Haskell Lemon Construction Co. of Oklahoma City, Okla., is the recipient of the most prestigious honor in the hot-mix asphalt (HMA) pavement industry-the Sheldon G. Hayes Award-for the work it performed in reconstructing five miles of I-40 in Canadian County, Okla. The presentation was made at a special ceremony at the National Asphalt Pavement Association's (NAPA) 43rd Annual Convention in Palm Desert, Calif., in February.

To be eligible for the Hayes Award, a pavement project must use at least 50,000 tons of HMA. The pavements that are nominated are evaluated by an independent firm after being open to traffic for at least one full year. The winning project was constructed in 1996 and received a Quality in Construction Award from NAPA that year.

In addition to Haskell Lemon, two other asphalt contractors were named as finalists for the award: Ritchie Paving Inc. of Wichita, Kan., and Rogers Group Inc. of Tullahoma, Tenn.
Ritchie Paving was named a finalist for work performed on a project involving approximately 11 miles of overlay construction on Kansas Route 96 from Maize, Kan., west into Sedgwick County, Kan. The project used more than 142,000 tons of HMA.

Rogers Group was honored for its new construction of approximately 9.5 miles of four-lane limited-access highway on State Route 50 in Franklin County, Tenn. The construction was fast-tracked to expedite the opening of the highway.

Lemonade from a Lemon

On the I-40 project, Haskell Lemon removed 70,000 tons of HMA, all of which was recycled, and laid more than 88,000 tons of new full-depth polymer-modified HMA. It was Oklahoma DOT's first use of A + B bidding, in which both dollar cost ("A") and time of construction ("B") are considered in awarding the bid. A + B bidding places an explicit value on speedy construction and recognizes the benefits of reduced delays for the motoring public.

Cost reduction proposals by both the state engineer and the contractor helped to complete the project on time and under budget. The company received a bonus for achieving an extraordinary smooth-riding pavement.

"The project ended up being rated at 3Ú8 in. per mile of roughness, as measured by a profilograph. The degree of smoothness is astounding," commented Tom Hubbard, the Oklahoma DOT resident engineer who was responsible for the project. "This was an extremely successful contract. It still looks beautiful."
David Cline is the ODOT division engineer who was responsible for executive oversight of the project. Eighteen months after construction was completed, he said, "I knew this was going to be a good project, I just didn't know it was going to be a great project.

"During construction, from my point of view, it was essentially trouble-free," he said. "It was a good design. One thing that helped us on the job was that the project manager, Faria Emamian, designed the project, then transferred to the field division to oversee the construction. To my knowledge this is a first in our department, and it was very helpful."

Cline credited Emamian, Mike Carter, ODOT inspector, and Tom Hubbard, resident engineer, with contributing to the success of the project. He added, "The only way you can build a project like this is if you all work together. We worked in the spirit of partnering with Haskell Lemon Construction on the project. They are competent, qualified folks, and are always good to work with."

Hubbard pointed out that, "The contractor used exactly the number of construction days that he bid, to the day. That may not be unique, but this particular project contained smoothness specifications. To get that speed of construction with the level of quality control is extremely unusual."

Larry Lemon, secretary treasurer of Haskell Lemon, pointed out that "the value of the pavement that was removed and recycled in 1996 was more than the original cost to the state of Oklahoma when the pavement was first built in 1962. Little did the state engineers know in 1962 that they were making an investment for the future."

After milling the old pavement, the contractor constructed a 6-in. underdrain for the entire 4 1Ú2-mile length of the project. A pavement fabric was placed on the existing base. A 3-in. open-graded bituminous base was laid, acting as a drainage layer and adding structural value. The next layers were a 6-in. base and a 1Ú2-in binder course. The surface is a 3Ú4-in. open-graded friction course, providing a quiet ride. The contractor used a portable HMA facility site.

Ritchie Paving

The Kansas DOT praised Ritchie Paving for obtaining excellent profilograph readings. "These readings are the best for any surfacing project in the state of Kansas," said Benny P. Tarverdi, P.E., metro engineer, Kansas DOT. "The Kansas Department of Transportation has received many phone calls complimenting the appearance, ride, and overall quality of the project."

On the 7.5 miles of the project's western end, the contractor milled 5 in. of asphalt from the roadway and shoulders and placed four lifts: a 4-in. lift of base; two 2-in. lifts of base course; and one 1-in. lift of surface course. On the 3.5 miles of the project's eastern end, the contractor patched the existing concrete pavement and remixed and recompacted the existing asphalt shoulders. A 2-in. lift of base was placed on the recompacted shoulders; three 1.5-in. lifts were placed on the roadway and shoulders; and one 1-in. lift of surface course was placed on the roadway and shoulders.

Rogers Group

Asphalt production on Rogers Group's new construction project averaged 3,800 tons per day, with peak production of 4,500 tons per day. The project used a total of more than 162,000 tons of HMA and 347,000 tons of crushed stone base. The stone was produced at Rogers' Cowan Quarry and the HMA facility was in the same location.

The project was the first to employ a newly designed joint heater, which was used to improve the durability of the longitudinal joints. The surface mix longitudinal joint was constructed with a sloped joint using the heater.

Rogers earned a substantial rideability bonus from the Tennessee DOT. There were no penalties for segregation, gradation, Marshall properties, density or rideability.
One paving crew was used throughout the project. The project was completed with no accidents at either the production facilities or on the construction site.

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