Night Utility Repair Cools Off

The Asphalt Contractor magazine

October 2001

By Sandy Lender

Reprinted with permission from The Asphalt Contractor® magazine, October 2001.


When concrete fill won’t cure fast enough, contractor turns to cold asphalt product for surface course

Creating and repairing a 9,000- foot (2,743-m) utility cut without disrupting traffic flow sounds impossible. Imagine the logistics involved in making a 300-foot (91-m) utility cut 4.5. feet (1.4 m) deep by 5 feet (1.5 m) wide, laying 12-inch (300-mm) plastic pipe, backfilling, pouring 10 inches (250 mm) of concrete, then paving with an asphalt mix between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. Traffic’s headed toward the site in the morning, so you’vegot to be out of the way. The crews of Flint Paving Co., Atlanta, a division of Natcomm Inc., Houston worked with Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) officials to approve a plan for getting in, getting the job done and getting out of the way.


Atlanta utility update requires new pavement

“Our project is approximately 9,000 feet (2743 m).of replacement,” explains Jim Smith, construction coordinator on the 12-inch (300-mm) bare steel renewal project for Atlanta Gas Light.. “The gas line that we’re replacing is a 12-inch (300-mm) bare steel that was put into service back in the mid to late 1930s. This (replacement) is mandated by the public service commission.” Smith explains that the 12-inch (300-mm) plastic line that his company is installing is a medium high-pressure line that is placed about 4 to 4.5 feet (1.2 to 1.4 m) beneath the surface. “The standard procedure is to saw cut and remove the asphalt and dirt composition,” says Smith, “The DOT will not allow us to put spoils on the roadway, so we have to remove all this as we do it.” To get a smooth driving surface, Atlanta Gas Light accepted bids from contractors to perform the project.


Flint construction paves with cold patch

Flint Construction won the bid, but the original specs were going to be difficult to work with, according to George Betzner, manager of Flint’s paving division. As Betzner explains it, combining about 10 inches (250 mm) of “high early concrete” with ‘a 2-inch (50-mm) hot mix asphalt (HMA) layer would have required perfect timing. “The problems that we had with the combined high early concrete and hot mix (being placed on) the same night were simply logistical,” says Betzner. He explains that crews had to let the concrete cure, then start up an asphalt plant, bring the mix to the site, lay it and roll it within a 10-hour window. “Anyone watching knows that pouring concrete, putting down asphalt and opening a road to traffic within a couple of hours leaves no room for error,” says Betzner. “Everything has to be perfect.”

George Betzner, manager of Flint’s paving division, proudly states that Georgia officials moved the “rough road” signs away from his crew’s job each morning when the roadway was returned to traffic. He explains that officials had anticipated a rougher surface and traffic complaints, yet realized neither.

In order to stay on schedule each night, Betzner had to have concrete in the ground by midnight so it would have a full six hours to cure before traffic was allowed on it. As he explains, putting a layer of HMA on uncured concrete is not an ideal scenario. “Our spreader box weighs 40,000 pounds (18,144 kg),” says Betzner. “Obviously, curing concrete won’t handle that kind of weight.” Even hand-applying the hot mix left crews with the dilemma of how to compact without driving heavy rollers on the cut. Betzner found that his crews could use a cold mix, such as the EZ Street® product, as the top course at any time of the night, and not compromise the curing concrete beneath. To address time concerns, Flint Construction crews, with the help of representatives from EZ Street Co., Miami, performed a test section for GDOT. They poured concrete into the utility cut, gave it some time to cure, then used a wheel loader to shovel EZ Street cold mix asphalt on top. After luting and raking, crews did light rolling to smooth the surface. “What the EZ Street did for us on this project was it allowed us to pour concrete,” says Betzner. “Then later in the morning, we’d take the roller and roll it, make it smooth, then break down traffic control and go away.” After the final night of utility replacement, Flint milling and paving crews completely removed and replaced the width of the affected lanes.


Hot mix plant makes cold product

EZ Street is typically seen in white and blue bags, but for a project this size, the product came in bulk. “We make the mix at our Phillips Highway facility,” says Mitchell Gant of Duval Asphalt, Jacksonville, Fla. “Making EZ Street is just like making hot mix.” In his words, Gant explains that EZ Street originally started as a pothole patch, but it was based off of a hot mix design. “So, essentially It looks and acts like hot mix,” says Gant. The company produces it in a 400-ton (363 Mg) per hour plant from Gencor Industries, Orlando, Fla. Dag Seagren, president of EZ Street Co., concurs, explaining how the product is being used as a surface course. “EZ Street’s design methodology has enabled Duval Asphalt to produce a product that meets stringent criteria, while giving Flint Construction the flexibility of having materials stock piled on the job, available for use when they need them,” he says. “The application of EZ Street in the Flint utility project sets precedence in the asphalt industry. For the first time in Georgia DOT’s history, they have approved the use of a cold asphalt in a 9,000-foot (2,743-m) section of utility, located in downtown Buckhead, one of Atlanta’s most prestigious residential neighborhoods. EZ Street Co., in conjunction with Flint Construction and the involved agencies, developed a plan to employ the use of EZ Street as a virtually permanent repair in the utility.” Jeff McGee account manager of EZ Street for Duval Asphalt, agrees that the ability to stockpile the product has teen an added benefit for Flint Construction “He (Betzner) was about to turn to the expense of keeping a plant operating all night,” says McGee. “They (Flint crews) are putting down about one to two truckloads a night, which ranges from 24 to 48 tons (22 to 44 Mg). It’s going in up to 6 inches (150 mm) thick, depending on the area” As every contractor knows, keeping an asphalt plant up all night for only 24 tons (22 Mg) is not conducive to making a profit. By having the material stockpiled, crews could call for just the amount they needed at any time, depending on the night’s schedule. “The public sees a road that is repaired and, essentially, repaved the next day, with no disruption in the flow of traffic,” says Betzner. With a team producing a new product and a DOT willing to try it out, Flint Construction has the best of both worlds in this utility project. What could have been a logistical nightmare night after night has turned out to b a smooth operation. The project shows how teamwork and the right materials can get the job done successfully.

NO WAITING IN LINE BECAUSE IT’S READY TO USE EVEN AFTER MONTHS OF STOCKPILING.

NO HEATING, NO MESS. NO MIXING JUST POUR IT FROM THE BAG OR FROM A TRUCK.

ONCE IT’S DONE, IT’S DONE, .BECAUSE IT’S GUARANTEED PERMANENT NO MATTER HOW MUCH WEAR IT RECEIVES.

AS SOON AS YOU COMPACT IT, IT’S INSTANTLY READY FOR TRAFFIC WITHOUT LANE CLOSURES.

SUMMER, WINTER, IT WORKS IN ANY TEMPERATURE AND ANY ALTITUDE.

EVEN MORE INCREDIBLY, IT WORKS IN WATER-FILLED POTHOLES. JUST SHOVEL IT IN.

The return to traffic was carefully timed to avoid penalties.

YOU DONT HAVE TO READ BETWEEN THE LINES TO SEE THE ASPHALT INDUSTRY IS ABOUT TO CHANGE.

Introducing EZSTREET®, the revolutionary new cold asphalt technology that’s transforming the industry. Available in bulk or convenient bags, it’s a fast, permanent solution for potholes, utility cuts and overlays. It handles like hot asphalt even in cold temperatures, but can be stockpiled for up to one year. It can even be used in standing water. DOT’s, utility contractors and maintenance crews everywhere are raving about it and they all say the same thing: It’s easy.

To find out how your company can prosper with EZSTREET®, call (305) 663-3090 or visit www.ezstreet-online.com.

Before Flint Paving Co. crews hit the scene, the pavement had cracks and seams to repair (above). When crews finished each morning, the end result was a smooth, temporary surface for the traveling public (below).

Team Leaders Make Utility Project Look Easy

George Betzner is the paving manager for Flint Paving Co., Atlanta, a division of Natcomm Inc., Houston

Jeff McGee is the account manager for Duval Asphalt, Jacksonville, Fla. Duval provided the EZ Street cold mix asphalt for the Atlanta utility project.

Jim Smith is the construction coordinator for the project for Atlanta Gas Light.

Reprinted with permission from The Asphalt Contractor magazine October 2001.

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