Who is the best of the best? For the NFL, the best team from the AFC and NFC play for the Super Bowl. For college basketball, we have March Madness to determine the national champion. But for paving in Virginia, no determination of the best paving project has ever been made…until now. The first Golden Lute award recognizing the top paving project based on the winners of the VDOT and Virginia’s Best categories was awarded this year. So what was considered when determining the 2018 Golden Lute Winner? Three primary factors went into the evaluation: 1) Appearance, 2) Project Complexity, and 3) Ride Quality. All seven candidates for the award were complex due to either materials, traffic, obstructions, or location. Except for the Walking Trail ( we chose not to ride a bike on it), all the candidates had very good ride quality. Finally, some projects required excessive handwork due to the nature of the project. To say it was a tough decision to determine the best of the best would be an understatement.
Once the winning projects had been selected in all seven categories by VDOT and VAA staff, VAA embarked on a journey to pick the Golden Lute winner. Crisscrossing the state from Sterling to Virginia Beach to Groseclose, all seven projects were reviewed again, and the winner was finally selected. VAA President Scott Claud announced the winner at the Mid-Atlantic Asphalt Expo & Conference on Wednesday afternoon.
So who was the winner? W-L Construction and Paving from Chilhowie, VA!
W-L was awarded the Golden Lute for their extensive work at Mountain Empire Airport near Groseclose. This project included rehabilitation of the entire runway including the correction of cross-slopes and the repair of existing pavement before GPS millimeter milling for grade. This was followed by the necessary application of PG 64-22 with non-woven fabric before placing a 3-inch overlay over the entire runway utilizing millimeter GPS on two pavers running in tandem, extended to 17.5-foot widths with ½ tolerance acceptance. All FAA specifications for grade tolerances, gradation requirements, and density requirements were met to receive 100% pay on 13,000 tons of P-401 mix. The longitudinal joints were straight, and the transverse construction joints were smooth. Using a shuttle buggy, the runway ride was smooth and appearance uniform. Congratulations to W-L Construction & Paving and the staff at Mountain Empire Airport for winning the inaugural Golden Lute award.