ACPA National Award for Excellence in Concrete Pavement
I-495Traffic Management (2002)
Reconstruction of the Long Island Expressway (I-495), Queens County, New York
From the start, traffic management was a primary concern in rebuilding this 5.1-mile stretch of the busiest highway in the state, which is also one of the five busiest in the nation. To contend with 10 lanes of traffic, each carrying 3,000 vehicles per hour—translating to a traffic volume of up to 680,000 vehicles per day—tight restrictions were placed on lane closures. Only one or two lanes could be closed at any one time, during off-peak hours and for short periods of time other than overnight.
About half the 32,900 cubic yards of concrete on the project was slipformed, a first for New York City where it has been avoided due to traffic congestion. Surianello Construction chose a GOMACO PS-2600 concrete placer/spreader working with a GOMACO Commander III four-track slipform paver to provide the compactness and maneuverability required in the tight work zones. This equipment also was small enough to meet the city’s trailering limits.
To be able to use double lane closures, most of the slipform paving was done between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. (inbound) or 6 a.m. (outbound). That also facilitated a constant supply of concrete from an existing batch plant about five miles from the expressway, although the haul distance was often more than 10 miles due to the project size and layout. Supervisors at the plant and on the job maintained radio contact to coordinate concrete supplies that reached as high as 1000 cubic yards in a five-hour period.
Despite extreme traffic volumes, coupled with narrow, short and hazardous work zones, the project was completed at night without a lost time accident. The use of slipform paving is also credited with shortening the project by six months.
Walden and Union (2005)
Winner: Municipal Streets & Intersections (>30,000 SY) – presented to Surianello General
Concrete Contractor ; (owner) New York State Department of Transportation
(NYS DOT); and (engineer) NYS DOT – Region 5 for project D259485, the complete reconstruction of Walden Avenue and Union Road in the Town of Cheektowaga, Erie County, New York. The challenge: In an unusually wet and chilly fall in upstate New York, reconstruct 6.8 lane-miles of a busy commercial roadway, along with five intersections, ahead of the impending holiday shopping season. All the while, keep dual turning lanes open and provide minimal disruption to businesses and both commercial and public traffic. The major objective of the project was to address the deep rutting and shoving problems caused, particularly in the intersections, by high truck traffic along the heavily trafficked commercial section of Walden Avenue. This major municipal street is bordered by 34 businesses, a regional mall with more than 200 stores, and a major truck stop. This roadway also is an important commuter route for the area, providing access to the New York Thruway, as well as the city of Buffalo and nearby towns. The total traffic volume (more than 41,000 vehicles per day) also made this project a challenge. Highlights of the project included placement of some 17,525 sq. yds. of 11-in. jointed concrete over 12,907 cu. yds. of 4-in. permeable base. The lanes on this busy roadway were 12- and 14-ft. wide. The design mix, supplied by both a central mix and dry batch plant, was a NYS DOT Class C mix with fly ash.
Adding to the challenge of the project was an A+B bid item included in the contract to minimize disruption to traffic and area businesses. Incentives and disincentives up to $7,000 per day were stipulated if the work was not completed by the scheduled dates. Even further complicating the project were the utility structures that had to be embedded in the pavement area (which required some innovative joint layouts).Getting the work done involved double-shifts and night construction. To address the challenges of managing under traffic, the general contractor hired a full-time traffic control supervisor for the duration of the project. Unusually long periods of rain, generally occurring overnight, further threatened the project schedule, but thanks to some vigilant weather-watching (using internet programs) and prioritizing of the concrete paving work, the work was done in spite of the bad weather. In fact, work was often completed within minutes of poor weather conditions.
Attention to detail, constant communications, excellent scheduling, and of course, quality construction, all contributed to the successful completion of the project. The work was completed 38 days ahead of the November 1st deadline, for which the owner paid full incentives.
Despite the challenges, the project was completed, thereby resolving long-standing, expensive, and dangerous problems associated with the asphalt pavement rutting and shoving. Now, motorists and area businesses enjoy the benefits of a smooth, durable concrete pavement that has improved traffic flow, ride quality, and safety.
Gold Winner: Overlays (2006)–presented to (contractor) Surianello General Concrete Contractor, Inc. and (owner/engineer) New York State Department of Transportation’s Region 5, for the resurfacing of Route I-86 in the towns of Olean and Hinsdale in Cattaruargus County, N.Y.
This test project aims to identify the most economical and long-term-performing concrete pavement reconstruction techniques. Over the next six years, the state will monitor different test sections of different longitudinal and transverse joint designs using sensors in each of three concrete overlay test sections. The 9-in. concrete pavement was prepared using three different methods. They were: rubblization, crack and seal, and no treatment. The results will be incorporated into the New York calibration efforts of the new AASHTO Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide.
Overcoming weather-related challenges, modifications to the sensor and joint placement plan, and taking care not to disturb the sensors and joints were the result of close coordination and resulted in a quality test site for New York State.
Gold Winner: Municipal Streets & Intersections (>30,000 SY) (2006)–presented to (contractor) Surianello General Concrete Contractor Inc. and (owner/engineer) New York State Department of Transportation’s Region 1 for Route 7 Crosstown Arterial reconstruction and resurfacing in the towns of Niskayuna, Rotterdam, and City of Schenectady, N.Y.
Replacing the existing pavement – a concrete base topped with a failing asphalt overlay – with new concrete pavement was no easy task. Maintaining traffic flow was a priority on this heavily-commuted cross-town arterial, which also is bordered by a large number of businesses. The New York State DOT’s Region 1 selected high early strength concrete, in lieu of an asphalt design, to expedite opening to traffic. This project also was the agency’s largest road application of precast concrete slabs, requiring additional innovation in scheduling to accommodate all the different phases.
The project team overcame these challenges to complete the pavement on time, providing the owner, motorists, and local businesses depending on this route with the benefits of less maintenance and a longer service life.
Silver Winner: Municipal Streets & Intersections (<30,000 SY)(2006)–presented to (contractor) Surianello General Concrete Contractor, Inc.; (owner) New York State Department of Transportation; and (engineer) URS Corporation for the Reconstruction of Routes 36 and 408 in the village of Mt. Morris and towns of Mt. Morris and Leicester in Livingston County, N.Y.
Concrete pavement was chosen for its versatility on this roadway improvement project, critical to the economic vitality of a small rural village. The scope included replacing the existing asphalt with new concrete pavement on several routes critical for local tourism, businesses, and commuters. Traffic flow and access on these routes were critical because they serve as the main commuting links for motorists between villages, so the project team used high early-strength concrete for early reopening of all pavements to reduce the overall project schedule and congestion impact.
The project team’s ability to vary the length and size of work zones during the project’s eight-phase-long plan, as well as paving methods, played a big part in the project’s success. The end product provides enduring strength and attractive roadways, with reduced long-term maintenance costs.
Commercial Service & Military Airports — Silver 2011
Project: Niagara Falls Reserve Airbase Taxiway A, A1, A3, Niagara Falls, NY
Contractor: Surianello General Concrete Contractor Inc.
Owner: U.S. Air Force
Engineer: Urban Engineers of New York, P.C.
The Niagara Falls Reserve Airbase is home to the U.S. Air Force Reserve Command’s 914th Airlift Wing, as well as units of the Air National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve, and a Military Entrance Processing Station that serves all five branches of the U.S. military.
When Surianello General Concrete Contractor Inc. began a complete reconstruction project on one of the taxiways, it was immediately apparent the project would require close coordination among the owner, contractor, and subcontractor so that the construction did not interfere with the important missions of the base.
It was particularly important to accommodate fire and emergency response teams. As such, the project required at least one lane to be open at all times. This required the preparatory work to be completed in stages to ensure certain portions of the taxiway were open to base operations at all times. The paving operation also needed to follow this staging pattern, and work needed to be completed quickly, safely, and efficiently. The taxiway was a complete reconstruction involving removal, excavation, new under drain, new sub-base, and the installation of new heavily reinforced concrete pavement, 12,000 CY in all.
Project delivery was affected by several delays attributable to permitting issues, weather, and an air show being held at the base. Another factor affecting the schedule was the taxiway’s design, which contained a substantial amount of reinforcing steel. Smooth dowels drilled and anchored into the existing pavement, longitudinal tie bar basket assemblies, transverse dowel bar assemblies, and transverse hinge basket assemblies all affected the schedule ahead of the concrete placement and finishing operations.
Surianello invested significant time to devise a plan to complete the project on schedule. The plan had to address access, including the required non-agitating concrete delivery vehicles and other construction equipment. There was only a short window of opportunity to unload the concrete mixture, and with every movement, coordination with the base security forces was required to ensure deliveries were not slowed by time-consuming inspections.
Complicating this was heavy traffic at the base entrance during paving operations, but special provisions allowed the teams to meet the required discharge times.
Completing the project required constant communications. Surianello’s paving schedule was communicated to base security and operation forces well in advance, and base personnel then sent out notifications to all the divisions to ensure people were informed of the schedule and potential impacts. When construction operations were in proximity to the active runway, constant communications needed to be maintained with the air traffic controller in the tower. Traffic on the taxiway was restricted to base personnel, as well as Surianello’s construction equipment, support vehicles, and personnel. (On the grade, daily toolbox discussions also helped keep construction personnel well informed of safety and security requirements.) All in all, the aim were to maintain a safe and efficient work zone, while keeping one side of the taxiway open at all times. This allowed the base’s emergency responders complete access to the taxiway and the runway for daily training exercises, as well as in the event of actual emergencies.
Keeping one side open proved to be a difficult task, particularly because of the cure times required on the grade. Surianello’s team demonstrated their responsiveness as the open lane changed locations many times when cure strengths were achieved and traffic could be moved to allow other paving and repair operations.
Looking back at the construction of the original taxiway, it was completed during the 1950’s (using fixed-form paving), and the pavement since experienced joint failure. The specifications called for the new pavement to match the existing pavement, but it was soon determined and reported to the base engineers that matching the existing pavement would not produce the desired surface characteristics.
The project specifications required the use of a profilograph for smoothness measurement, but after inspecting the existing conditions, the contractor informed the base engineers that it was not possible to match the existing pavement and still meet the smoothness requirements. After all the information was presented, the base engineers waived the profilograph smoothness requirement in favor of matching the existing pavement.
The contractor used averaging skis on the paver helped to remove the variations that were present in the existing pavement, and to create a significantly smoother surface than the existing pavement that was to be matched. Even though profilograph traces were not required, the Surianello team still profiled the new pavement after installation was complete. The results indicated a significant increase in the smoothness of the pavement, which met or exceeded the ¼ in. in 10 ft. straight edge specifications.
The new concrete was placed using different pieces of transfer equipment. One phase used a GOMACO RTP-500 rubber-tracked placer, while the other phase used a GOMACO PS-2600 placer/spreader.
The pavement was slipformed with a GOMACO GHP-2800 slipform paver with averaging skis located on the four corners of the machine. An autofloat attachment was mounted on the back of the paver. A motorized work bridge then completed the paving train, applying the burlap drag surface texture and the cure.
Extra steps were taken to ensure that the only pavement that matched the existing pavement would be near the edge, not in the wheel paths of the planes using the taxiway. Wheel paths were hand finished after the paver passed over to further enhance smoothness.
In spite of delays, complexities, safety and security considerations, and the requirement to keep one lane of the taxiway open, the project was completed under budget and within schedule. The end result is a quality taxiway that will serve this vital military base for many years.
Municipal Streets & Intersections (<30,000 SY) — Silver 2011
Project: Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority, Buffalo, N.Y.
Contractor: Surianello General Concrete Contractor Inc.
Owner: Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority
Engineer: Nussbaumer & Clarke, Inc.
The Ferry Grider Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority (BMHA) projects were originally constructed in the 1950’s. This is the first inner city reconstruction project performed in the area since then.
The scope of this 5 million dollar project replacing more than 15,000 SY decorative concrete pavement roadway, including concrete curbs and gutters. The decorative, exposed aggregate pavement on this job is used as a maintenance access road that runs through the middle of the complex and around the entire perimeter for property management personnel to maintain easy access into each courtyard.
Traffic flow and access were very critical for the residents in this complex, so Surianello used a mixture of high early-strength concrete, which allowed quick reopening and reduction of traffic congestion. Quality, safety, cost efficiency, and adherence to the project timetable also were important factors, as were the aesthetic qualities of the decorative concrete. In fact, noting the importance of the aesthetics, Surianello presented the pavement monthly to the Housing of Urban Development for acceptance.
The original spec for placing exposed aggregate pavement was used for the reconstruction project. It would have required pouring 5 in. of concrete, then seating 1 in. of aggregate, a method similar to those used to build many sidewalks.
Instead, Surianello suggested eliminating the separate aggregate seating process by spraying a retarder on the finished surface, and then, power washing it three hours later to achieve the same etch in the exposed aggregate. Surianello reasoned this also would improve the structural integrity, while also imparting a more uniform appearance.