Equipment Type

Batch Plant Certification

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) will require concrete batch plant certification on some road construction projects this year. That was a message delivered at the 39th Michigan Concrete Paving Association (MCPA) Workshop in February at The Inn at St. John's in Plymouth Township, MI. “It will be required on all projects in the next few years,” Daniel M.

April 13, 2009

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) will require concrete batch plant certification on some road construction projects this year. That was a message delivered at the 39th Michigan Concrete Paving Association (MCPA) Workshop in February at The Inn at St. John's in Plymouth Township, MI. “It will be required on all projects in the next few years,” Daniel M. DeGraaf, P.E., executive director and chief executive officer of the Michigan Concrete Paving Association, said.

“The intent of this is to have an individual on site while the batch plant is running, whether it's the foreman or the batch plant operator, with a basic level of knowledge so that we can be sure that things are done properly.”

Proper cementitious material storage and handling includes:

  • Having watertight bins or silos that provide free movement of material to the discharge opening.
  • Keeping different types of materials in separate silos or bins.
  • Keeping bagged products dry and elevated from the ground by pallets or shelves.
  • Using opened bag products the day they are opened.
  • Storing hot water in insulated tanks within the plant during cool or cold weather.
  • Protecting admixture bulk storage tanks from freezing.
  • Agitating silica fume in slurry form to prevent gelling.

Aggregate sampling is an important part of the concrete pavement construction process.

“You want to do two things. One, you want to make sure that the materials you are getting are good materials. If the materials you are getting are not good materials then the chances of making a uniform concrete that is going to perform well are not good, especially if you are designing it for a 20-year pavement life and expect to get 40 years out of it,” said Bill Foster, who gave a presentation at the Batch Plant Operation breakout session.

Batch plant scales may consist of beam indicating, dial indicating or a digital readout. Results must be verified to be accurate within +/- .15 percent of the scale capacity or +/- .4 percent of the applied load, whichever is greater throughout the range of use under the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA) guidelines; or +/- .2 percent of the applied load or one graduation, whichever is larger, under the Michigan Department of Transportation's (MDOT) 2003 guidelines.

“Concrete mixing begins at the scale. How we weigh our materials is very important to how it turns out at the other end. Mixing time starts once everything is in the drum,” DeGraaf said.

There must be a separate batcher and scale for cementitious materials from that used for aggregates. Fine and coarse aggregates can use the same batcher and scale. Water and/or chemical admixtures can be batched by weight.

DeGraaf said that a fully loaded drum should be within a half sack of cement of the correct amount of cement.

NRMCA guidelines call for equipment verification every 90 days for water and chemical admixtures and every six months for aggregate and cementitious material scales.

Four types of batching systems are recognized by NRMCA: manual, semi-automatic, semi-automatic interlocked, and automatic (MDOT).

MDOT utilizes the NRMCA Plant Certification Program, which requires re-inspection of batch plants every two years or each time they are moved. Trucks are inspected every 14 months.

MDOT Chief Operations Officer Larry E. Tibbits described the current transportation funding crisis.

“These are tough times for transportation funding. We have declining gas tax revenues; declining state revenues for aviation, highways and transit; and we certainly have an uncertain federal revenue picture. The Highway Trust Fund went bankrupt in the last year, and Congress had to come to its aid. That, coupled with increased costs and our projection that Congress will not give us a new authorization come this October when our current authorization expires, is very likely. This all adds up to uncertainty in our transportation industry,” Tibbits said, adding that Michigan will lose a total of approximately $2 billion in federal matching funds for road construction from 2011 through 2013 unless the state does something to improve its transportation funding situation.

“Certainly, the stimulus package is totally separate and helps little in this conversation. This is a flash in the pan, be it a very big flash in the pan, but it does not fix the fundamental funding crisis in the state of Michigan,” Tibbits said. He said that the road construction stimulus funds are expected to create 30,000 jobs in Michigan.

“We want to get ourselves in the position where we have obligated all of the Michigan dollars,” Tibbits said. He added that the state will pursue stimulus funds that other states have not obligated.

The 2009 Concrete Paving Awards were presented at the MCPA Workshop. The M-10 Lodge reconstruction project (Dodge the Lodge II) in Southfield, MI, was the recipient of the American Concrete Pavement Association's (ACPA) National Silver Award in the Divided Highways – Urban category. The contractor was Ajax Paving Industries, Inc., and the engineering firm was HNTB. Parsons Brinckerhoff and Tetra Tech were the project administrators, and the MDOT-Oakland Transportation Service Center is the owner.

The Coolidge Highway resurfacing project in Oak Park, MI, was the recipient of the ACPA National Silver Award in the Overlays category. Florence Cement Company was the contractor; Orchard, Hiltz and McCliment was the engineering firm; and the city of Oak Park is the owner.

The Interstate 75 reconstruction project in Bridgeport, MI, was an MCPA award recipient in the Divided Highways-Rural category. Interstate Highway Construction was the contractor, Rowe Incorporated was the engineering firm, and MDOT is the owner.

The Interstate 94 reconstruction project from Arlington Road to Gratiot Avenue in St. Clair County, MI, received an Honorable Mention from MCPA in the Divided Highways-Rural category. John Carlo, Inc. was the contractor, Parsons Brinckerhoff was the engineering firm, and MDOT is the owner.

The Interstate 94 widening and reconstruction project at US-131 in the cities of Kalamazoo, MI, and Portage, MI, was an MCPA award recipient in the Divided Highway-Urban category. The contractor was Ajax Paving Industries, Inc.; the design engineering firm was Parsons Brinckerhoff; the construction engineering firm was DLZ Michigan; and MDOT is the owner.

The US-131 concrete overlay project from West River to 10 Mile Road in Kent County, MI, was an MCPA award recipient in the Overlays-Highway category. The contractor was Ajax Paving Industries, the engineering organization was MDOT, and the owner is MDOT.

The 44th Street resurfacing project from Eastern Avenue to Kalamazoo Avenue in Kent County was an MCPA award recipient in the Overlays-Local category. The prime contractor was C&D Hughes, Inc.; the paving contractor was WMRA; the engineering organization was the Kent County Road Commission; and the owner is the Kent County Road Commission.

The M-11 (28th Street) reconstruction project from US-131 to Division Avenue in the cities of Grand Rapids, MI, and Wyoming, MI, was an MCPA award recipient in the Urban Arterials Less Than 30,000 Square Yards category. The contractor was Florence Cement Company; the design engineering firm was Wilcox Associates; the construction engineering firm was Fleis & Vandenbrink Engineering, Inc.; and MDOT is the owner.

The Tyler Road reconstruction project from Beck Road to Belleville Road in Van Buren Township, MI, received an Honorable Mention from MCPA in the Urban Arterials Less Than 30,000 Square Yards category. The contractor was Tony Angelo Cement Construction Company, the engineering organization was the Detroit Water & Sewerage Department, and the owner is Wayne County, MI.

The Grand River Avenue reconstruction project from US-23 to Pleasant Valley Road in Livingston County, MI, was an MCPA award recipient in the Urban Arterials Greater Than 30,000 Square Yards category. The contractor was Six-S, Inc.; the design engineering firm was Orchard, Hiltz & McCliment, Inc.; the construction engineering firm was Soil and Materials Engineers, Inc.; and the owner is the Livingston County Road Commission.

The Walton Boulevard reconstruction project from Perry to Squirrel roads in Auburn Hills, MI, was an MCPA award recipient in the Urban Arterials Greater Than 30,000 square yards category. The contractor was John Carlo, Inc.

The M-37 (East Beltline) at Lake Eastbrook Boulevard intersection reconstruction project in the cities of Kentwood, MI, and Grand Rapids was an MCPA award recipient in the Intersections category. The contractor was WMRA, Inc.; the engineering firm was Hubbell, Roth & Clark, Inc.; and the owner is MDOT.

The Wood Street and Sam's Way roundabout construction project in Lansing Township, MI, was an MCPA award recipient in the Intersections category. The contractor was E.T. MacKenzie Company; the design engineering firm was DLZ Michigan, Inc.; and the owner is the Ingham County Road Commission.

The Telegraph Road and Interstate 75/US-24 Connector construction project in Brownstown Township, MI, was an MCPA award recipient in the Ramps/Interchanges category. The contractor was John Carlo, Inc.; the engineering firm was URS Corporation; and the owner is MDOT.

The taxiway K and adjacent apron reconstruction project at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport in Romulus, MI, was an MCPA award recipient in the Airports-Large Commercial category. The contractor was Ajax Paving Industries, Inc.; the engineering firms were DMJM of Michigan and C&S Companies; and the owner is the Wayne County Airport Authority.

The reconstruction of taxiways C, E and F at Grosse Ile Municipal Airport in Wayne County, MI, was an MCPA award recipient in the Airports-General Aviation Facilities category. The contractor was Six-S, Inc.; the engineering firm was URS Corporation; and the owner is Grosse Ile Municipal Airport.

The DeWitt Road and East Airport Service Drive relocation project at Capital City Airport in Lansing, MI, was an MCPA award recipient in the Rural Arterials category. The contractor was Florence Cement Company, the design engineering firm was R.W. Armstrong, the owner is the Capital Region Airport Authority, and the sponsor was the MDOT Bureau of Aeronautics.

The Northeastern Highway/Grand Avenue pavement reconstruction project in Madison Heights, MI, was an MCPA award recipient in the Residential Streets category. The contractor was Dilisio Contracting, Inc.; the engineering firm was Nowak and Fraus, PLLC; and the owner is the city of Madison Heights.

The Maplewood Avenue reconstruction project in Garden City, MI, received an Honorable Mention from MCPA in the Residential Streets category. The contractor was Florence Cement Company, the engineering firm was Wade Trim, and the owner is the city of Garden City.

The Doris Road reconstruction project from Opdyke to Featherstone in Auburn Hills was an MCPA award recipient in the Industrial Roads and Parking Lots category. Six-S, Inc. was the contractor; Orchard Hiltz & McCliment, Inc. was the engineering firm; and the owner is the city of Auburn Hills.

The US-131 repair work from M-11 to Wealthy Street in the cities of Wyoming and Grand Rapids was an MCPA award recipient in the Concrete Pavement Repair (CPR) Highways category. The contractor was Six-S, Inc.; the engineering organization was the MDOT-Grand Rapids Transportation Service Center; and the owner is MDOT.

The 2008 major road maintenance program in the city of Troy, MI, was an MCPA award recipient in the CPR Local Roads category. The contractor was Florence Cement Company, the engineering firm was the city of Troy Engineering Department, and the owner is the city of Troy.

The Fourth Street whitetopping project from the Norfolk Southern railroad to Main Street (M-86) in Three Rivers, MI, was an MCPA award recipient in the Special/Innovative category. The contractor was Northern Construction Services Corporation, the engineering organization was the city of Three Rivers, and the owner is the city of Three Rivers.

The Kearsley Street reconnection project at The University of Michigan in Flint, MI, was an MCPA award recipient in the Special/Innovative category. The contractor was Angelo Iafrate Construction Company, the engineering firm was Rowe Incorporated, and the owner is The University of Michigan-Flint.

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