How do you picture quality? For some, quality is measured by checking and passing a series of tests. For others, they just know it when they see it. With VAA’s Golden Lute Award, it’s a combination of both! Initiated with the 2019 Mid-Atlantic Asphalt Expo and Conference, the Golden Lute Award recognizes the top asphalt paving project completed the previous year.
In December 2020, VAA presented the 2019 Golden Lute Award during a virtual conference. The winner was selected from one of seven statewide award categories—VDOT Construction, VDOT Maintenance, Virginia’s Best Green, Municipal, Airfield, Commercial, and Roadway paving. The Golden Lute is based on overall surface appearance, project complexity, and ride quality. The 2019 year’s award went to Superior Paving Corp., headquartered in Gainesville, for the Scotts Run Station South Public Improvement project.
Scotts Run South Public Improvements
Scotts Run, public improvement project, is located in Tysons Corner/Mclean, VA, right off I-495 nestled between the McLean silver line metro station and The MITRE corporation office complexes. The multi-phase project realigned the existing Colshire Drive along the McLean Metro Kiss & Ride/Bus station and constructed several new roadways connecting Anderson Road and Chain Bridge Road to Colshire Drive and Dolley Madison Boulevard (Rte. 123). Overall, the project provided the needed infrastructure to support this area’s commercial, residential, and public use functions. The project scope widened existing roads and added bike lanes for future developments. Superior Paving Corp. was honored to be selected by the site developer The Anderson Company as its paving contractor on this project.
Bidding on this project began in 2014, and construction finally took off in the winter of 2017. The Anderson Company had many challenges to tackle before paving with demolition and utility construction for the better part of 2018. Paving work began in the fall of 2018 and was completed in the late fall of 2019.
The project included multiple mobilizations to work on smaller segments in a very structured phased plan. Early on, the new roadways South Dartford and New Colshire Drive were built out of traffic, consisting of approximately 1,000 linear feet of roadway connecting Dolley Madison Blvd and Anderson Road. After that, the project transitioned into increasingly complex phases. For instance, the existing Colshire Drive had to be realigned while under traffic using daily lane closures between 9:30 am and 3:00 pm. During this time, all access to the Metro station, office complexes, high-density apartment buildings, heavy vehicular traffic, and pedestrian traffic had to be maintained.
Most days, both a milling and paving crew were required to be on site. The crews worked together in small work zones to transition new paving into existing entrances and side roads and profile mill existing roads to relocate crowns and maintain drainage. Connecting existing intersections with new roads provided ample opportunity to pull string and perform variable depth paving as well as variable depth profile milling to get proper elevations and flow lines. Some of these were incremental fills up to 20-inches in depth to allow traffic to keep utilizing the intersection. Some of the milling was up to 4-inches in depth and required milling tie-ins daily to maintain traffic.
In total, Superior Paving Corp. placed approximately 11,000 tons of asphalt, 6,181 tons of BM-25.0A, 2,601 tons of IM-19.0A, 2,218 tons of SM-9.5D, and approximately 4,360 square yards of profile milling.
The Scotts Run South project was indeed a team success. The project staff from The Anderson Company did an excellent job executing their work and planning and scheduling with the Superior Paving operation’s team. Over the course of the project, several different Superior Paving crews contributed and, due to timing, used mixes from several Superior Paving plants.
Other Project Challenges
The project location (See Figure 1) presented challenges
for trucking and logistics. Inside the beltway, east of Tyson’s Corner, trucks often crawled to the job site in pre-COVID-19 traffic conditions. This made estimating a round time or relying on a consistent truck count for this area challenging. The job was 25 miles from Superior’s Centreville Plant.
The project included many phased widenings where employees and trucks were in multiple lane closures. There were still a lot of active crossovers and intersections that kept truck stacking areas at a minimum. This caused us to tightly manage truck spacing and factor in traffic congestion logistics to get mix there efficiently without stacking up on site. As you can see, painted on the asphalt are examples of the variable depth fills needed to move the crowns on most of these roads (Figure 3).
As shown in Figure 4, placing new full-depth pavements on the same area the existing asphalt roads are being used caused additional phasing issues to build a half and switch, then build a half and then top all of it.
Superior’s team was challenged with maintaining traffic movement over widenings and new milled surfaces. The photo (Figure 5) was taken on Chain Bridge Road, looking west towards the Anderson Road intersection. The intersection was shifted to the left from this vantage point.
This was immediately before extensive buildup placement to reprofile this area. The new roadway makes a quick transition from a superelevation (near the traffic signal) into a crowned cross section further from the intersection—complex paving. The milling crews had ample opportunity to learn about and perfect ACOT-1 temporary pavement wedging for safer and smoother traffic transitions.
The finished project included widening for bicycle and pedestrian lanes (Figures 6 and 7), often used to access the metro rail site to catch mass transit.
As the 2019 Golden Lute Award winner, the project and company name were placed on a perpetual trophy located at the VAA office. A picture of the project will hang in the VAA office until the 2020 award winner is announced. Congratulations to Superior Paving and their
Team for winning this award (Figure 8).