North Vernon, IN-based Dave O'Mara Contractor Inc., specializing in asphalt paving and a variety of other types of construction, has enjoyed a very successful construction season that has included work on several highway projects in southern Indiana. "We've been quite busy," says Brian Dyer, project superintendent for the company's Asphalt Division in Bloomington, IN.
For the past few months, Dave O'Mara Contractor has focused much of its attention on a fast-paced asphalt resurfacing project — milling and resurfacing a 7.7-mile section of State Road (SR) 58 in Greene and Lawrence counties between SR 45 and SR 54, situated approximately 23 miles southwest of Bloomington. O'Mara, under a $1.3-million contract with the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT), has been responsible for milling the existing two-lane highway and putting down a new surface. In addition, crews installed two drainage pipe structures under SR 58 and corrected four slide areas throughout the project limits.
According to Don Wile, project engineer for INDOT's Vincennes District, SR 58 was in need of repair. "The surface was really bad," he says. "It hadn't been resurfaced for a number of years, and some deep potholes were developing down through the intermediate layer. It was a pretty rough road."
To upgrade the highway, Wile says Dave O'Mara Contractor milled approximately 124,000 square yards of pavement, and placed over 15,000 tons of asphalt. "That total includes the approaches, and about 1,000 tons of wedge and level necessary to correct the crown in the road," he says. "Also, about 1,000 tons of patching was done to repair some of the really bad areas."
SR 58's new top layer features 1-1/2 inches of 401 mix (a 9.5-millimeter surface specification). "The existing pavement depth averaged about 7 inches," says Wile. "An inch was milled off the surface and 1-1/2 inches was put back on. So, the new pavement will be 7-1/2 inches thick — just a little bit thicker than it was when we started."
Mainline paving required 10,454 tons of asphalt, notes Dyer, a 30-year construction veteran (six years with O'Mara). Dave O'Mara Contractor's crew, led by paving foreman Darryl Tungate, placed the material using a Roadtec SB-2500B Shuttle Buggy material transfer vehicle and a Roadtec RP 180-10 paver equipped with a Carlson screed. Two rollers provided the compaction.
Asphalt for the project was produced at a plant in Hendricksville, IN, and delivered to the project site by Bloomington-area trucking companies. Key subcontractors included M A S Markers, Lebanon, IN, and C-Tech Corp., Boggstown, IN.
Officials for INDOT's Vincennes District say the resurfacing project will provide a smoother ride for more than 3,100 vehicles traveling east/west on the highway. Many of the motorists work at the nearby Crane Naval Weapons Support Center in Crane, IN.
"SR 58 is a very heavily traveled route, especially for those entering the Crane gate off of 58," points out Cher Goodwin, public information director for the Vincennes District. "Crane employs more than 6,000 people on a daily basis, so many vehicles come through that gate."
The SR 58 project represents just one of numerous highway projects — big and small — that the Vincennes District is overseeing this year. "Over $200 million worth of projects are being constructed in 2008, between major new construction, major pavement rehabilitation, intersection improvements, new signals, etc." Goodwin says.
Among the higher profile projects is the I-69 design-build project in Gibson County. Gohmann Asphalt & Construction Inc., Clarksville, IN,received a $25.2-million contract from INDOT for this job. In Knox County, Gohmann is resurfacing U.S. 41 from 0.21-mile south of Vincennes to 1.44 miles north of SR 67 under an$18.2-million contract.
In March, Walsh Construction Co., Chicago, received a $32.5-million contract to build a new SR 62 interchange in Vanderburgh County. Meanwhile, E.S. Wagner Co.,Oregon, OH, is handling new road construction on U.S. 231 in SpencerCounty under a $29.7-million contract; Blankenberger Brothers Inc., Cynthia,IN, has a $19.3-million contract to widen SR 66 in Warrick County; and Crider & Crider Inc., Bloomington, is the contractor for an $18 million project on U.S. 231 in Spencer County. The U.S. 231 project involves new road construction and bridges on U.S. 231 from SR 162 to SR 62.