Ace Asphalt was awarded a $6 million contract for the job and began work on the site in August of 2005. The company had to make use of all its talents on the project, since Ace was contracted to install the underground utilities, including the storm water and sewer systems, as well as to handle all the grading and balancing of the site.
Few projects for Ace Asphalt are complete without a paving component, and the medical center job was no different. Like many new building constructions, Mountain Vista needed a parking facility large enough to accommodate the sizeable volume of staff, patients and visitors certain to be frequenting the center on a daily basis.
Although the overall scale of the parking project was large, it was actually a conglomeration of several smaller parking lots. This meant that the individual areas to be paved could only be effectively handled with a commercial-class paver. And due to the ongoing construction of the hospital building itself, the project could not be completed in one fell swoop, but rather had to be broken into various phases.
The first phase of paving began in November of 2005, when Ace Asphalt's paving crew of seven employees brought the company's new 814-2 pavers to the job site. "We're typically running one or two of the BOMAG pavers at a time, depending on the area we have prepped," said Scott Phillips, Ace Asphalt's project manager for the Mountain Vista job.
Specifications for the paving portion of the project called for more than 20,000 tons of asphalt to be put down. Despite the nuances and tight fits of the areas to be paved, Ace was able to maintain its production goal of 500 tons per day on average. Because the 814-2 is only 12 feet long, the machine has the ability to pave its way into tight spaces, turn and pave its way out, all without stopping. "The BOMAG really allowed us to get into corners and pulled out the mat quite well," said Phillips.
With parking bays, light standards and other obstacles to negotiate, the maneuverability of the pavers was not only a welcome advantage for Ace Asphalt, but also a necessary one. The productivity of the BOMAG pavers also proved to be a valuable benefit. The 814-2 features an 85-horspower Cummins diesel engine, providing more power than typical commercial-class pavers. Additionally, a load-sensing hydraulic system on the machine only delivers power when necessary, making the paver as efficient as it is powerful.
"Normally we would use a compact paver to pull out parking bays and things of that nature, and then bring in the big paver to handle the roadways," said Tuttle. "But ever since we brought in the BOMAG's, we prefer to utilize them everywhere we can. In some instances we won't even start up the big machine or bring it to the job because it's simply more cost effective to run the 814."
Easier cleaning and maintenance of the machines is another factor that contributes to efficiency on the job. The design of the 814-2 enables the hopper bed to be raised to a clearance of six feet in only five minutes, allowing for quick, convenient cleaning when needed. According to Tuttle, other units that Ace has used take much longer to open up and still don't provide enough clearance for a thorough cleaning. The company must take these pavers to a shop, where the front end literally has to be taken apart before the machines can be cleaned.
"You can clean the pavers very easily," said Tuttle. "That was actually a complaint from our operators in the beginning because they suddenly had to do more cleaning themselves. But as far as what it means to the longevity of the unit and avoiding breakdowns, they really appreciate it now."
Thanks in part to the versatility of the pavers, Ace Asphalt has maintained its anticipated schedule throughout the various phases of the Mountain Vista project. The impressive results that the 814-2 has yielded for Ace even helped persuade the company to recently purchase three new BOMAG tandem-drum rollers.
Ace Asphalt's work on the hospital job will conclude when it paves the main ring running around the complex, a road that is remaining unpaved while a high volume of construction traffic continues to go in and out from the facility. Meanwhile, the new 814-2 pavers will have no trouble keeping busy as Ace's workload remains constant and strong.