The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is currently making concrete repairs on C-470 between I-25 and Santa Fe Drive (Denver southwest metro area) as part of an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) project.
The $32 million project will repair nine miles of C-470 with a micro surfacing application followed by a stone matrix asphalt (SMA) overlay. Concrete repairs will also be made along 26 miles of the C-470 bike path between I-25 and I-70.
The project will not only improve the riding surface of C-470 and the bike trail, but will extend the life of the pavement. The multi-modal rehabilitation project is being funded through the ARRA stimulus program and is expected to be completed by June 2010.
The C-470 corridor is the public section of the loop around Denver that is owned and maintained by CDOT. The existing eastbound/westbound road sections under repair consist of two 12-foot wide PCC (Portland cement concrete) travel lanes and 4-foot inside and outside shoulders.
The roadway is subjected to heavy traffic in an area of expansive soil conditions. The combination of traffic and soil conditions has contributed to the deteriorating existing road conditions. Project scope called for replacing damaged concrete sections, milling asphalt patches, milling and paving bridge decks, and then placing a micro surfacing treatment as a leveling course prior to a 2-inch SMA wearing course overlay.
Originally, the micro surfacing solution was intended to fill rutting problems and act as a bond breaker for the SMA overlay.
CDOT soon recognized that the planned 2-inch SMA overlay was not going to improve the ride significantly, so an additional layer of micro surfacing is being placed to improve ride smoothness prior to the SMA placement.
A-1 Chipseal, a full-service asphalt preventive maintenance company located in Denver, is performing the micro surfacing work required on the project.
The micro surfacing material is being applied with a Bergkamp M1 continuous paver using 15-foot leveling skis.
"On the first pull (covering one of the 12-foot-wide travel lanes) we used a 12-foot-wide slurry box with a rigid (metal) strike-off (screed) to fill the ruts and improve the overall rideability of the surface," explains Ben Vagher, owner and president of A-1 Chipseal. "We were spreading 30 to 35 pounds of material per square yard to fill the ruts (which in some cases were ½-inch deep) and apply an overall ½-inch film thickness over the entire lane."
To further enhance the ride quality, Vagher's paving crew placed a second ½-inch layer of material using the continuous micro surfacing paver equipped with the skis.
Profile numbers were taken before and after, but at press time the information was not available. However, Vagher and CDOT officials say travelling over the treated sections of roadway versus untreated sections provides a noticeable difference in the ride quality they wanted to achieve with the decision to place an additional micro surfacing layer prior to the SMA overlay.
Crews began on the westbound lanes first this past summer and will continue work on the eastbound lanes when the westbound portion is completed. Throughout the project, work is being performed on the weekends with only one lane of westbound or eastbound C-470 open from 8 p.m. Friday to 5:30 a.m. Monday.
Lane closures are limited to work zones and not the entire project length.
"By working weekends, we can get more work accomplished each weekend than we could in five nights and we improve safety and production," explains CDOT Project Engineer Scott Smith. "We will have crews working night and days over the weekend in order to keep the project moving and get the work accomplished as quickly as possible."
Weekend lane closures will be in place, except holiday weekends, until December 2009 or inclement weather becomes an issue. In either case, the project will shut down for the winter and resume in the spring of 2010 with the same weekend hours.