The American Concrete Institute's Florida First Coast Chapter has named Superior's U.S. 301 Concrete Test Road project a 2023 Significant Concrete Structure. Superior also received the Concrete Supplier of Significant Concrete Structures Award. The Florida Department of Transportation-owned $32.1 million project, which received the top prize in the transportation category, is the only full-scale concrete testing facility in the Southeastern United States.
The U.S. 301 Concrete Test Road serves as a field laboratory, testing concrete pavement and base designs under live traffic loads. Composed of 52 experimental concrete pavement sections, the project utilizes innovative technologies to collect real-time data on the efficacy of various concrete types, thicknesses, and base types available for use on Florida roads. These concurrent experiments examine the roads’ structural integrity and drainage, as well as calibrate road fatigue and cracking. FDOT seeks to determine the most effective materials to create resilient transportation corridors.
“The more resilient the materials we use, the longer they last, reducing our maintenance costs and construction times, limiting the congestion travelers feel in active work zones,” said FDOT Secretary Jared W. Perdue, P.E., when the project was first announced.
The test road was constructed parallel to the existing northbound lanes of U.S. 301 in Clay County, between Maxville and Lawtey, Florida. A weigh-in-motion (WIM) system at the southern end of the test road is used to document the vehicle types and weights that traverse the road. To complete the project, Superior poured 36,500 square yards of concrete pavement — embedding it with advanced instrumentation, including strain gauges, thermocouples, and moisture gauges to continually monitor the road conditions.
Superior set up a concrete batch plant on-site during the concrete paving phase of construction, enabling ahead-of-schedule completion. The concrete portion of the project is now open to traffic. Superior’s crews are currently working on asphalt paving for phase three of the project, with an estimated completion date of June 2024.
ACI-Florida First Coast Chapter’s 2023 award winners were announced at the organization’s annual awards banquet in Jacksonville on November 16. With over 101 professional chapters, ACI is one of the largest global trade organizations and the international authority on concrete design, construction and materials. Its annual awards recognize the best use of concrete across various construction industry sectors.