Lanham, Md.— The National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) announced that Diamond B Construction Co. LLC of Alexandria, La., has been named a finalist in the 2006 Sheldon G. Hayes Award competition for excellence in construction of an asphalt pavement. The company received its recognition on February 20, 2007, at the association's 52nd Annual Meeting in San Francisco, Calif. Also recognized were the winner, Des Moines Asphalt and Paving Co., Iowa, and two other finalists, E&B Paving Inc., Indiana, and Norris Asphalt Paving Co., Iowa.
Diamond B Construction received the recognition for its work on I 49 from the interstate's junction with LA 191 to its junction with LA 106. The work area runs through sections of Avoyelles, Rapides and Evangeline parishes. Despite interruptions from hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Diamond B completed work on this 10.3-mile stretch of the interstate in just 90 days.
Company crews milled off 2 inches of the existing road and overlaid it with a total of 4 inches of Superpave hot-mix asphalt (HMA) placed in two lifts. Using a material transfer vehicle to ensure a smoother pavement, they laid a total of 102,114 tons of HMA. Diamond B earned bonuses from the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development for the quality of its mixes and for the smoothness and ride quality of the completed road.
"This job went remarkably well," notes Mike Boswell, area manager for Diamond B's Alexandria region. "We did a lot of planning before the project started, which made the work easier when we got on-site."
Even the effects of the two large Gulf Coast hurricanes didn't impede the fast-track schedule. "When Katrina came through, we had just finished putting the binder on — in fact, we finished it the very day that the Department of Transportation told us to get off because of the hurricane." The company did end up losing several days of work to Katrina and Rita, but managed to complete the project on time because the state DOT added days lost onto the schedule.
Excellent planning made the real difference to the success of this project, Boswell says. "Everybody on the job knew where we were headed every day, and it went just like we planned."
The Sheldon G. Hayes Award winner is determined through a two-year process. Highway pavement projects using more than 50,000 tons of HMA are eligible for consideration. Initially, they must win a Quality in Construction (QIC) Award, which is determined by numerical scores given by pavement engineers at the National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT) on the basis of how well the contractor met the specifications and achieved density on the finished pavement. All the pavements that meet a benchmark figure are given the QIC award.
The year after a project wins a QIC Award, it may be considered for the Sheldon G. Hayes Award. The top-ranked projects from each year are tested for smoothness, then visually inspected by an independent pavement consultant with many years of experience in the industry.