Equipment Type

Curb And Gutter The Right Way

I did an awfully lot of curb and gutter out west in my first years working construction, most of it hauling rails and stakes. So when I heard about a contractor in eastern Iowa who found a better way, I was interested. Tschiggfrie Excavating in Dubuque, Iowa, has specialized in slipformed curb and gutter with GOMACO Commander IIIs for several years.

June 23, 2008

I did an awfully lot of curb and gutter out west in my first years working construction, most of it hauling rails and stakes. So when I heard about a contractor in eastern Iowa who found a better way, I was interested. Tschiggfrie Excavating in Dubuque, Iowa, has specialized in slipformed curb and gutter with GOMACO Commander IIIs for several years. They did some sidewalk and trail projects, but never enough to warrant a slipform paver until recently.

Slipforming A Trail

Their first project with their new Commander III was slipforming a recreational trail for the city of Independence, Iowa. A new 2000 foot (610 m) section of trail would connect the golf course to an inner part of the city by a large campground. The trail, when finished, will connect to the city's school. The new portion of trail runs right along Highway 150 in Independence, and Tschiggfrie had a lot of preparation work involved with it. The trail also had to be tied into an existing bridge and involved moving the Commander III several times across the project.

"It wasn't a high-productivity job," David Kluesner, general superintendent for Tschiggfrie Excavating, explained. "There were several radii on the project because the trail had to stay within the city's easement. There were different things that we had to tie into and several driveways along the trail that we had to maintain traffic on."

By The Numbers

The trail was slipformed eight feet (2.4 m) wide and five inches (127 mm) thick. Tschiggfrie trimmed as they slipformed the project. "We can trim wider with this Commander III, so we don't have to be fine tuning our grade before we pour," Kluesner said. "We don't have to fight the grade, we just trim it as we pour."

The concrete was a basic state of Iowa mix design with an average slump of 1.5 inch (38 mm). Finishing work was minimal and expansion joints were cut in every 30 feet (9.1 m).

After just a few sidewalk projects, Tschiggfrie is already seeing the benefits of having a Commander III with a sidewalk mold.

Niche Markets

"As a company, we always did sidewalks and trails, but we did them by forming them up and hand-pouring them," Kluesner said. "We have a little niche on the market with our Commander III and we have a machine we can set up, slipform the sidewalk or trail, and be more competitive because of it.

"It also makes us more efficient. I would say we cut the time in half with the Commander III versus handforming."

Now, that makes sense.

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