One of the fastest growing areas in the country, Douglas County continues to be challenged by the need to ease traffic congestion and increase mobility. The completion of Hess Road provides a welcome east-west arterial roadway connecting Parker Road and I-25. The project bid in March of 2010, with an asphalt/concrete alternate. R.E. Monks Construction was awarded the prime contract and subcontracted Interstate Highway Construction to perform the concrete paving. Paving began in June, 2011 and placed 91,000 square yards of 9" PCC on the mainline. Contract revisions and miscellaneous paving accounted for an addition 7,000 square yards, with 3,240 lineal feet of curb and gutter and 990 square feet of median cover completing the concrete paving scope.
Schedule and Complexity
The County originally planned to connect I-25 east to Stroh Road, however the extension of the Rueter-Hess Reservoir made that cost prohibitive and attention focused on Hess Road. Constructed on the south side of the reservoir, the roadway was designed to follow the natural topography. As a result, the more rugged terrain, with its numerous curves and superelevations, provided challenges to the paving crew. The unusually cool spring and early summer followed with seventeen straight days of rain in July.
Construction and Innovation
Although the asphalt alternate was bid at a lower price, the prime contractor and the paving contractor met with Douglas County officials and presented a 30-year life-cycle analysis. After reviewing the maintenance of both pavement types, the County agreed that PCCP would be the best choice for this project.
The paving reinforcement design called for rebar baskets, since at the time Douglas County did not accept automatic dowel bar insertion. A value engineering proposal by the paving contractor to a DBI proved past success and provided a cost savings to the project.
R. E. Monks prepared the base to +/- 1/10', and IHC did the final grading. The 36' wide roadway was paved with a Guntert-Zimmerman S850 paver set to pave 30' wide for the two 12' travel lanes and one 6' shoulder. A Gomaco Commander III finished the other 6' shoulder. Concrete was mixed in a Con-E-Co on-site batch plant and hauled in tandem-axle dump trucks to the paver. Extra stringline pins were used to ensure continuity for the extra roadway curvature.
The paving contractor was responsible for all quality control testing, with Douglas County handling quality assurance testing on a one in ten basis. The project-specific Quality Control Plan set the project specifications as minimum standards. The acute attention to detail received 100% of strength incentives and grinding was required only on the first day's pour.
Weekly safety meetings were mandatory for all members of the paving crew. The project safety officer ensured 100% enforcement of Personal Protective Equipment. Flaggers on the short open road from the batch plant to the project site ensured safe conditions for the traveling public and the wet batch trucks.