Concrete Wins Big in Nevada

The Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) awarded an $83 million construction contract to a regional concrete contractor, based largely on the lower life-cycle cost of concrete roads when compared to asphalt.

The 2.5-mile-long Interstate-11 Boulder City Bypass project calls for building a four-lane concrete interstate freeway between Silverline Road and Foothill Drive as well as a full diamond interchange at Railroad Pass. The corridor currently sees 34,000 vehicles daily with heavy truck traffic. Fisher Sand & Gravel, based in Dickinson, North Dakota, will construct the first phase.

“We opted to use concrete pavement due to its longevity, which, federally funded studies show, costs 13 to 28 percent less in the long run than asphalt,” said NDOT District 1 Engineer Mary Martini. “It also reduces rutting and potholes, thereby cutting maintenance expenses by up to 75 percent.”

NDOT released contract documents for both asphalt and concrete options on this project. The asphalt option included a ‘Life-Cycle Equivalency Factor’ that accounted for maintenance during the first 35 years. The inclusion of life-cycle cost analysis and alternate designs created a competitive bidding environment and focus on long-term durability. 

The project includes a 1,200-foot-long, 28-foot-tall cast-in-place concrete retaining wall, with graphics illustrating scenes from the construction of Hoover Dam, as the corridor’s main visual element. 

Read more at Think Harder.Blog

Regional News

Hundreds Attend First FDR Symposium

Close to 300 industry professionals attended the first Full-Depth Reclamation (FDR) Symposium earlier this month in Greenville, South Carolina. PCA Southeast, in partnership with Clemson University, conducted the two-day symposium that showcased FDR practices that lead to long-lasting, economical, and sustainable pavements.

The event included sessions on the basic concepts of FDR with cement application in addition to how it benefits pavement performance and case studies on several projects. Overall, the symposium conveyed a thorough understanding of the tools required to utilize FDR in future projects. Attendees included city and county DOT employees, FDR contractors, consultants, and cement company representatives from Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.

Attendees also visited a field demonstration of FDR with cement on Nichol Street in Greenville.  A true team effort, Blount Construction and The Miller Group conducted the demonstration, assisted by the Wirtgen Group (reclaimer), Linder Industrial Machinery (grading equipment and material testing for the mix design), Summit Engineering (field compaction monitoring), and Southeastern Emulsions (prime coat). The city supplied the site, with lowered manholes and valves in advance, managed traffic control, and brought in mix water for the project.

Contact Roger Faulkner

Market Intelligence

PCA Forecasts Continued Construction Growth

Cement Market Fundamentals 022314

As forecasted earlier this year, fourth quarter results from 2014 support PCA’s projection that the residential market will remain the largest construction growth contributor in 2015 and play an important role in job creation.

The economy grew 2.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014 and has expanded 2.5 percent based on a trailing four-quarter average and 3.8 percent in the trailing six months. Strong job growth, pristine corporate balance sheets, and easing of lending standards reinforce the healthy rates of growth. PCA expects net job creation to maintain pace in 2015 following 2.9 million jobs created in 2014.

Improved job growth will benefit commercial construction and will eventually assist the public construction sector, although current tight fiscal conditions will constrain public growth in 2015.

Nonresidential construction spending is expected to accelerate 9 percent this year from the 7.3 percent rate of growth recorded in 2014. Project pipelines are expanding and nonresidential gains should be broad-based with the speed of the healing process to be largely dictated by the strength of the labor market recovery.

Contact Dave Zwicke

Association News

PCA Spring Meeting Registration Open

Registration is now open for the PCA Spring Meeting, April 6-8, 2015, at the Marriott Chicago O’Hare in Rosemont, Illinois.

In addition to PCA committee sesions, meeting highlights include the presentation of PCA’s Sustainable Manufacturing Awards on April 7 and an economic update by Ed Sullivan, PCA group vice president and chief economist, on April 8.  In addition, the Board of Directors for both PCA and CTLGroup will meet.

Deadline for hotel reservations and meeting registration is March 16.

Register for the meeting online.

Contact Kathryn DiProva


Alaska's Blue Lake Dam Expands with CTLGroup Expertise

Blue Lake DamAs part of a project to utilize more hydropower, CTLGroup assisted Barnard Construction Company, Inc. with the expansion of the Blue Lake Dam Project in Sitka, Alaska. The existing 145-foot-tall, 1950s-era concrete arch dam needed to be raised 83 feet. Challenges of the project included mass concrete placement issues, concrete materials optimization for low-heat and low-shrinkage, grout performance, and surface repairs.

Dr. Matthew D’Ambrosia, CTLGroup senior engineer, assisted in development and optimization of concrete mixture proportions for mass concrete placements to minimize shrinkage and temperature rise. He also developed a low-shrinkage grout mixture that helped to optimize the project schedule.

In addition, a team lead by Dr. Toy Poole, CTLGroup senior principal scientist, performed field evaluations and consulted with the Barnard team on development of spillway placement and surface finishing plans. The project was recently highlighted in the December 2014 Northwest Public Power Association Bulletin


RCC Proves the Right Mix for Georgia's Port of Savannah

Savannah Port

Roller-compacted concrete (RCC) was the material of choice for recent improvements at the Georgia Port Authority Ocean Terminal. Located on the banks of the Savannah River in Savannah, Georgia, the expansion project provided more storage for the loading and offloading of cargo at its primary terminal.

The project consisted of grading, base and paving as well as electrical work to provide lighting for the facility. Phase I provided 48,600 square yards of paving with the provision of adding 30,000 square yards if the budget allowed for it.

Morgan Corporation was the successful low bidder on the project. The company showed Port engineers that a 7-inch layer of RCC over a 9-inch layer of cement treated base would provide a 33 percent higher strength at an initial cost savings of 19 percent when compared to the port’s typical hot mix asphalt design, enabling the Port to proceed with the additional 30,000 square yards of pavement.

Click here to read more.


Registration Open for 57th IEEE-IAS/PCA Cement Industry Technical Conference

IEEE-IAS-PCA Cement ConferenceRegistration is now available for the 57th annual IEEE-IAS/PCA Cement Industry Technical Conference, April 26-30, 2015, at the Sheraton Centre Hotel in Toronto, Canada.

The largest conference in the industry, this meeting is an excellent opportunity to learn the latest economic forecast, industry news, government regulations updates, and the latest technology that impacts its operations and business continuity.

The meeting will include presentations from the industry’s top technical people, addressing the diverse technical issues and proposing potential solutions to the many challenges facing the cement industry. In addition, St. Mary’s Bowmanville facility, Canada’s largest cement plant, will host tours.

Register online at