2022 ACPA Awards

Date Published: Thursday, March 2, 2023

The American Concrete Pavement Association recently awarded two gold “Excellence in Concrete Paving” awards to Cedar Valley at their 59th annual meeting in Nashville, TN. The awards are given to projects that represent the best built jobs in the nation, and to apply, a contractor must first win at the state level. Cedar Valley has won a whopping 23 ACPA “Excellence in Concrete Paving” awards over the last ten years.

The 2022 gold winners were in the Highway Overlays category, where our Iowa Highway 31 project in Woodbury/Ida/Cherokee Coun-ties won, while our US Highway 20 project in Black Hawk County won gold in the Rural Divided Highways Category.

Iowa Highway 31 project in Woodbury/Ida/Cherokee Counties, Iowa

The pavement is owned and engineered by the Iowa Department of Transportation. The job was a hilly project that included 45 horizontal curves, 12 of which were superelevated. Highway 31 also boasted an astounding 108 vertical curves. The project had two bridge approaches poured half-width by hand in order to maintain local traffic and then match with the mainline paving. Occasionally the Iowa Department of Transportation invites contractors to run field tests to try out new concepts or, in this case, new materials. CVC agreed to incorporate synthetic macro-fibers at differing rates into test sections of various panel sizes. The hope was that the use of macro fibers would help prevent random cracking that often occurs during Iowa's numerous freeze-thaw cycles. The length of the project was 8.2 miles, and CVC crews placed over 137,000 square yards of paving. The project called for a nominal 6-inch thick, 24-foot-wide overlay with attached 2-foot-wide, 8-inch shoulders. A safety edge was also added on the outside shoulder. Combined, these pavements consumed 20,600 cubic yards of concrete.

US Highway 20 project in Black Hawk County, Iowa

The pavement is also owned and engineered by the Iowa Department of Transportation. Plan review by CVC noticed that the detour planned by the Iowa Department of Transportation was 5 miles long and included numerous stops and narrow lanes. Working with the City of Waterloo's engineer, IDOT's detour was changed. CVC input also resulted in the addition of two ramp entrances, two ramp exits and four gore areas to the project to improve overall paving quality, replacing planned HMA patching with a thin, full-width HMA overlay for the lanes that would serve as a detour for eastbound traffic and re-design the joint detail for ramp configuration to allow for machine versus hand pours. The Black Hawk-US Highway 20 entailed 3 miles of 177,000 square yards of paving, including 56,018 square yards of tied concrete shoulders. The project also included two major innovative studies: rumble strips installed with stacked saw blades instead of a regular milling head to reduce damage to pavement and create a more uniform final product, and a pilot project for the Iowa Department of Transportation to study potential new compaction specifications. The results of the study led to a long list of lessons learned, updated training and updated reporting data and target values.