Articles

Going Back to School was No Challenge for Bituminous Roadways
Jessica S.; published in www.forconstructionpros.com
Aug 17, 2017

Most schools have work done on their parking lots over summer break so contractors are well aware of the time constraints that come with accepting these kind of jobs.

Bituminous Roadways, Inc. (BR), Mendota Heights, MN, accepted the bid to reconstruct the Hastings High School parking lot in Hastings, MN, in just a 47 day timeframe.

The 16-year-old, 10,100 sq.yd. parking lot was in desperate need of reconstruction with visible cracking throughout the area. The company was also challenged with bringing the lot up to 2017 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards.

Way Off-Base

While the official access date on the bid to start the project was June 27, 2016, BR began the project on July 11. The company was immediately under pressure with a substantial completion date set at July 29 and final completion date of August 12.

“Timing was a big factor in making this job a success,” Brian Johnson, Specialized Project Manager at Bituminous Roadways, Inc. says. “The school had a final completion date based on when the lot was needed for staff to return from summer break. Because BR didn’t have access to the site until July 11, it really made for a condensed time frame.”

As crews started reclaiming the lot on July 19, the equipment started rutting due to a soft spot which became an immediate cause for concern due to the tight timeframe. BR informed the engineer and pressed for a quick decision to move forward with the work needed to repair the base.

“The school district had hired an engineering firm to assist with the project,” Johnson says. “After conferring with the on-site engineer, it was determined this area would need additional grading to provide a quality pavement.”

Communication between the engineering firm and the customer took some time, but after a week of waiting, approval was given for BR to rework the failing area.

On July 25, the crew moved back onto the site and dug out a soft spot of about 3,000 sq.ft., working to prepare a more stable base.

“The crew dug out anywhere from 6-in. to 12-in., then put 3-in. minus back in,” Johnson says. “The realization of the soft spot and the time to receive approval from the client delayed the project slightly. Weather conditions held the project up a day or two as well.”

BR also had to bring the parking lot up to ADA standards. The engineering firm on the project, Anderson-Johnson Associates, Inc., helped to redesign the handicap area for the schools main parking area.

“The handicap area was too steep and required a reduction in pitch,” Johnson says. “The crew also needed to install new curbing and sidewalks before paving could begin.”

Early for Class

Once the site-work was complete, the paving crew began their work.

A total of 1,768 tons of asphalt on the project. The base was 12.5 mm Superpave at 1.5-in. thick for a total of 982 tons. The surface course was 9.5 mm Superpave at 1.5-in. thick for another 786 tons.

Paving was completed on August 3 with striping on August 4.  Crews completed some touch up on August 6.  According to the bid, the project was to be completed in 47 days and actual time to complete was 27.

“With all of these obstacles, and the expectation of completion by August 12, the obstacles we faced on this project created a challenge for BR,” Johnson says. “However, the company is proud of how this project was managed, from the communication with the engineer and school contact to the crews working hard to create a stable subgrade. The quality of the customer service and craftsmanship is what makes BR stand out from its competition.” 

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