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Business

February 28, 2013

Norris Asphalt, Ottumwa, national asphalt paving award finalist

LANHAM, Md. — The National Asphalt Pavement Association announced that Norris Asphalt Paving Company of Ottumwa is one of two runners up for the 2012 Sheldon G. Hayes award for excellence in construction of an asphalt pavement. The award, bestowed annually since 1971, is named for Sheldon G. Hayes, a founder of NAPA and the association's first chairman. Hayes spent his entire career striving for better construction techniques and improvements in the quality of asphalt pavements. The award recognizes the highest quality highway pavement in the country. The company was recognized on Wednesday, Feb. 13 during the association’s 58th annual meeting in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Norris Asphalt Paving Company was honored for the widening, milling, and overlay of 13 miles of U.S. 34 in Adams and Union counties, from the road’s intersection with Iowa Highway 148 to the western city limits of Creston. Work also included the rehabilitation of full-width rock shoulders.

“This was an asphalt road that had not been touched in about 13 years; it was very deteriorated, had huge failures, and had been patched multiple times,” said Brady Meldrem, president of Norris Asphalt Paving Company.

The company worked under traffic, paving the road during the day while minimizing disruptions to motorists. It used warm-mix asphalt for the project mixes and agreed to participate in a WMA research study conducted by the federal National Cooperative Highway Research Program. For the study, Norris Asphalt Paving Company ran three test sections using different warm-mix asphalt technologies.

“The purpose of the project was to study the moisture susceptibility of the pavements,” said Meldrem. “One of the few challenges that we had on this job was logistics and scheduling, making sure that the researchers who were doing the NCHRP study were able to get to the project when they needed to conduct tests.”

In conjunction with the Asphalt Paving Association of Iowa and the Iowa Department of Transportation, Norris Asphalt Paving Company helped host a very successful warm-mix asphalt open house during construction. This allowed engineers from the DOT, counties, cities, and consulting firms to get a first-hand look at the warm-mix asphalt process and its benefits.

Norris Asphalt Paving Company completed its work on the highway ahead of schedule, meeting incentive targets for the project’s air voids, compaction, and smoothness.

“The density was great, the road was very smooth; you just can’t say enough about it. It was a really good project,” said Scott Nixon, resident construction engineer in Iowa DOT District 4’s Creston construction office.

“I think the project’s success started with the good employees on the contractor’s end, from the plant operators and the quality control personnel in the plant all the way down to the laydown crew; these were very experienced people,” said Nixon. “Their attention to detail was above and beyond, and they had good communication among their people.”

The Sheldon G. Hayes award finalists are determined through a two-year process. Any highway pavement project using more than 50,000 tons of asphalt is eligible for consideration. Initially, the project must win a Quality in Construction Award, which is determined by numerical scores calculated by pavement engineers at the National Center for Asphalt Technology in Auburn, Ala., based on how well the contractor met specifications and achieved density on the finished pavement. Each pavement that meets a benchmark figure receives a QIC award.

This is the fourth year in 12 years that Norris has been a finalist for this prestigious award. The company received the award in 2001.

The year after a project wins a QIC Award, it may be considered for the Sheldon G. Hayes Award. The top-ranked projects from the previous year are tested for smoothness, and then visually inspected by an independent pavement consultant with many years of experience in the industry. For 2012, the evaluators praised all the contractors considered for high-quality construction practices that resulted in smooth, safe, and durable pavements.

The National Asphalt Pavement Association is the only trade association that exclusively represents the interests of the asphalt pavement material producer/contractor on the national level with Congress, government agencies and other national trade and business organizations. NAPA supports an active research program designed to improve the quality of asphalt pavements and paving techniques used in the construction of roads, streets, highways, parking lots, airports and environmental and recreational facilities. The association provides technical, educational and marketing materials and information to its members; supplies product information to users and specifiers of paving materials; and conducts training courses. The association, which counts more than 1,100 companies as its members, was founded in 1955.

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