Grenier admits that learning the un-compacted model procedure and getting it ironed out was probably one of the biggest challenges the company initially faced. A second challenge was mastering the Trimble system for pavers. “We’re very familiar with building models and running machine control systems on earthmovers, so taking advantage of that technology for asphalt paving was a natural extension, but still new to us,” Grenier says.
“Once we figured it out, the tangible benefits were apparent,” he continues. “By far the biggest benefit was to not have to go back and mill stretches of completed asphalt paving. With the tight tolerances on this project and all of its complexities, it would be expected to have the expense of a milling crew out there all of the time — but we didn’t.”
As a result of its success on this project, Lane Construction bought a PCS900 for a paver it has working in South Carolina and is looking at two additional systems.
According to Grenier, “The big reason the paving control system is so valuable is that concrete is so expensive. We save a lot of money on milling and concrete material. If we are too low with the asphalt surface, then we would need to fill that with the more expensive concrete.”
Lane’s portion of the project started at the beginning of 2011 and was completed by summer 2012. Unfortunately, once the Western Wake Expressway section is finished, motorists will never see the asphalt that Lane Construction laid.
“When people are driving on it, they probably won’t realize all the work that went into what’s under that concrete, because they’re just going to see the concrete surface,” Graham says. “But that’s fine; all of us who worked on it will know.” ET