Win a TXAPA Quality Pavement Award
QUALITY PROJECTS DON'T JUST HAPPEN – all parties have to establish quality as the main goal from the very beginning of the project. Starting at the pre-construction conference and extending throughout each day of the project, the key elements that comprise award-winning projects must be diligently emphasized. I have had the opportunity to both nominate and evaluate projects for TXAPA Quality Pavement Awards so I know that it is a very rewarding experience for all personnel involved in the project to be recognized as a recipient of this award.
The evaluation process is based on what the traveling public sees and feels and is graded on two categories: appearance and ride quality. Below is a list of items under each category to consider during construction:
- Mat should be uniform in appearance throughout and free from thermal or physical segregation.
- Longitudinal joints need to be straight, flush, clean, tight, and located on lane lines, not in the middle of travel lanes. Most award winners have longitudinal joints that are almost invisible.
- No roller marks – do not park rollers on mat during construction.
- Utilize consistent paving speed (20 to 30 feet/minute is recommended).
- Identify any cold weather impacts to placement of specialty mixes (Stone Matrix Asphalt, Porous Friction Course, or Thin Overlay Mixes, etc.) subject to the 70 F° surface temperature requirement. If so, see if it is possible to schedule placement during warmer months. Work with contractor's personnel for sampling/testing of materials in developing an approved Job Mix Formula and Trial Batch.
- Prior to construction, utilize any available existing IRI data and ride the project from the public's perspective. For existing roads to be overlaid, make sure the plans and specifications provide the right tools for correction of base failures, spot or profile milling, and spot level-up to bring the roadway into an acceptable profile grade and cross slope. Discuss options at the pre-paving meeting to address before full overlay operations begin.
- Use the pre-construction and pre-paving meetings as forums to have production/placement/inspection/testing personnel buy into winning a Quality Pavement Award. Discuss the contractor's Quality Control Plan in detail for balancing production/placement operations to minimize stops of the laydown machine. Also monitor the contractor's QC Ride Quality evaluation during placement, not just at the end of project. The best method is for the contractor/TxDOT representative to ride the previous day's placement to evaluate ride and mat quality. Take corrective action as needed. Refer to the TXAPA Daily Debrief (page 4) at www.texasasphalt.org/files/All-Hands-Plan-Apr2020.pdf. Performing a daily debrief can be the difference in a project moving to a second round and ultimately winning an award.
- Ride should be consistently smooth, with good transitions at the beginning and end of project and quality transverse joints.
Remember that award winners are also submitted for National Awards, which will require all testing data to be submitted as well. By striving for an award-winning quality paving project, the real winner will be the traveling public who will get the benefit of seeing their tax dollars put to good use!