At 1 a.m. on a Saturday morning in June, the first-shift crew with Karvo Paving Company steadily makes its way southbound down a 6-mile stretch of Interstate 77 outside of Cleveland, Ohio.
Running between Rockside Road and Interstate 490, this phase of the project, which began the first week of May 2011, is a 29,000-foot mill-and-fill operation on two lanes. Using three Wirtgen 2000s from Boca Construction, Karvo removes 4 inches of asphalt off the existing roadway and then places an initial lift of 2.5 inches using a Dynapac F1000T tracked paver – all within about 48 hours.
The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) only allows Karvo to work at night Monday through Thursday. This is when Karvo works on the shoulders of the road along the project. On the weekends, however, I-77 can be closed down to one lane so that Karvo can work nonstop. ODOT does not allow vehicles to travel on a milled surface, so the entire distance must be milled and paved by Monday morning.
That means that over the next 22 to 24 hours, Karvo will mill out approximately 12,150 tons or 54,000 square yards of asphalt. They will place 7,760 tons of new asphalt, paving two lanes simultaneously.
Karvo purchased the paver with this project in mind, and it has been performing above expectations. "The first day we used it, there were some minor control issues," says Robin Boer, head estimator with Karvo Paving. "The next day the Dynapac people came out and they helped our crew solve all of the problems."
The F1000T is a 10-foot- to 19-foot-wide highway class tracked paver. Due to the short amount of time Karvo has to pave, they use a hopper insert to increase the capacity of the machine's 207-cubic-foot hopper. Continuously fed by a Cedarapids transfer device and 25 trucks loaded with asphalt, the insert also keeps the flow steady and the mix more consistent.
The key, however, to a smooth mat is eliminating centerline segregation. The F1000T features a patented height-adjustable outboard auger that has no center drive. Material flow is not impeded and is smoothly placed to the required width by the Carlson EZR-10 screed. Since Karvo is simultaneously paving two lanes, they also employ screed and auger extensions that allow them to pave at a width of 24 to 26 feet.
"We've been going through a load of asphalt every two minutes," says Derrick Sickles, Karvo project superintendent. "We've never done this kind of quantity before, and so far, so good."
Karvo has also outfitted the paver with the optional power tunnels to help control material distribution at wider widths. The tunnels can be coordinated with the extensions to move in/out as necessary.
"We have a lot of volume that flows back," says Monty Hooeps, Karvo project foreman. "I think it's quite easy to adjust your feed so it stays consistent to maintain a half-auger shaft. Even at 24 feet like we are, it has no problem getting the material out there."
This is the first project where Karvo Paving's new tracked paver has been put to the test. "This is not a typical job for us because not many jobs like this are let," says George Karvounides, president and owner of Karvo Paving. "This was an opportunity to use this new paver when we got the job. It's what we looked at, and it is working out well."
The Karvo team is quick to credit their dealer Columbus Equipment Company and Sales Representative Tim Kresowaty, and Bill Nittinger, Dynapac Regional Sales Manager – Northeast, for their responsiveness and support as they put the paver to the test for the first time.
"Once the asphalt drops into that hopper, it's 'go' time," says Kresowaty. "You can't stop. The support we give to the product is most important to the guys who are running it, and we have the parts on hand should they be needed."
After the first lift of asphalt was placed, Karvo Paving started the drainage work along the project. By the first week of August, they had placed the surface course, and paving operations were finished by the second week of September, with the entire project completed by mid-October.