All in a Day's Work

From new road construction to airport taxiway modifications, Orlando Paving Co. takes specific project challenges in stride when delivering paving expertise to a diverse customer base.

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Orlando Paving Co. (OPC), a division of Hubbard Construction Co., is accustomed to the varying project demands crews face on a daily basis and a recent visit to two current projects proved just how diverse those projects can be.

As a subcontractor on the State Route 429, the Western Beltway that interconnects the Greater Orlando area, OPC is in the final stages of its asphalt work, which involved placing 82,000 tons of hot mix asphalt. Granite Construction Inc. was awarded the $45.6 million toll road project owned by the Florida Department of Transportation in early 2004.

The project is a continuation of SR 429, a limited access toll road in Orange and Osceola counties west of Orlando. The project included the construction of 5.7 miles of a new four-lane divided asphalt paved roadway, seven bridges, and all associated frontage roads and on/off ramps. There were three box culverts that needed to be built, an extensive drainage system, signing, lighting and a signal system. The project required the on-site excavation of one million cubic yards and the import of two million cubic yards of fill materials. Work began on the project in May 2004 and is expected to be completed by early 2006.

The center of the project intersects with the Western Connector Road, a Granite project built for The Reedy Creek Improvement District. Granite completed four other projects on SR 429.

According to Paul Miller, OPC's project manager, the $5 million asphalt portion of the project covered placing 4 inches of structural 15- to 20-percent recycled Superpave HMA course containing a 5.5 percent PG 67-22 binder over a lime rock base, followed by a ¾-inch open graded friction course containing a 12-percent ground rubber additive in the PG 67-22 binder.

"We started our work in September 2004, and we'll complete paving by the end of April," Miller says.

Airport work

On another project, the rehabilitation of taxiways E and F, along with the associated taxiway connectors at Orlando International Airport, OPC received the general contract bid of $14.5 million to widen the existing taxiway structure to accommodate future flights of the new jumbo Airbus A380 jetliner. The existing 75-foot-wide taxiways had to be expanded by 18.5 feet on each side to provide a hard surface underneath the engines of the A380.

"On this project we had to trench out the adjacent shoulders and then mill 2 inches off the existing taxiways and taxiway connectors, and then put back 5 inches of new asphalt," says Robert Tanksley Jr., field engineer. "We'll be able to use the millings to build up a 6-inch compacted subase under the granular (lime rock) base on the expanded width of the taxiways and taxiway connectors, and when we're completed later this year we expect to place 70,000 tons of new asphalt."

Robert E. Boyer, PhD P.E., a consultant for OIA and past district engineer of the Asphalt Institute, designed the pavement section for the project.

"It's a Superpave design that had to meet a gyratory specification of 100 gyrations," Boyer says. "We were working with mix designs containing a PG 76-22 binder, as well as designs containing a PG 64-22 rubber additive binder."

Because of the existing marshy ground water conditions, the project called for an armi (asphalt rubber membrane interlayer) layer to be placed over the milled surface, as well as the expanded taxiway areas, prior to placement of the new HMA mats to prevent any water from percolating up through the new pavement.

"The Superpave design specification is patterned after the Federal Aviation Administration's EB 59 design used for taxiways and runways," Boyer notes. "It's a design that can be used anywhere in the country. What was unique about this project was the requirement to place a rubberized membrane in between the milled surface and the new HMA to prevent any moisture damage to the new mat."

The new jumbo jet is expected to begin flights in and out of Orlando in 2011.


Orlando-based Hubbard Construction is 85 years old and Florida's largest heavy civil construction company involved in both public and private ventures, with 2005 revenues at $254 million. Since the company began in 1920, Hubbard has literally paved the way for Florida's growth.

Over the years, Hubbard has performed turnkey site development and asphalt services, and developed thousands of miles of highways and roads throught the state. Its rich history includes monumental projects like the launch pads at Cape Canaveral, the foundations for the Walt Disney World-EPCOT monorail system, the laser range at Lockheed-Martin, and the elevated tramways for passenger trams at both Orlando and Tampa's International Airports. Hubbard has performed site work for office complexes, hotels and communities. The company has also built and renovated major sectors of I-4, I-10, I-75, I-95, the Greeneway, the Southern Connector, the Beeline Expressway and Florida's Turnpike.

Hubbard is organized into four construction divisions — three paving division and a material division. The Orlando paving division, Orlando Paving Co., has become the largest producer of HMA in Central Florida, operating four plants with a combined total production capacity of 1,000 tons per hour.

Hubbard has honed its expertise to address a wide variety of challenging construction projects, and whether it's a straightforward new road project like the SR 429 or something more complex like the Orlando International Airport taxiway modification, the company's ability to deliver a quality product has been demonstrated time and again over the course of its successful and long history.