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SH 359 TxDOT Plan for Construction Materials Engineering

HVJ Provides Local Knowledge and Expertise to Seamlessly Support Completion of 38 Miles of Highway Resurfacing in Only 10 Months

Project Background

SH359, Webb County, Texas

Testing Cement-treated Base, Concrete and Asphalt Pavement for Highway Resurfacing

Starting in Southeastern Texas near Corpus Christi, SH359 runs southwest and west to Laredo at the international border with Mexico. The primarily two-lane highway winds through mostly rural areas and spans 135 miles. 

HVJ became involved when TxDOT was resurfacing the existing highway with Type B and D Superpave asphalt mix. Our client, HW Lochner, provided the Construction Engineering and Inspection (CEI) services on a section of SH359 from SL20 to the Duval County Line.

Practice: Construction Materials Engineering and Testing

Sector: Road

Location: Webb County, Texas

Services: Testing Services for Cement-treated Base, Concrete and Asphalt Pavement

Asphalt Laying

The Problem

The task at hand was a straightforward highway resurfacing job, a core service provided by HVJ.  As with every project, our project team started by developing a full understanding of the unique requirements for successful completion.

Highway resurfacing is a multi-step process in which each step depends upon the other. We learned early on that an exceptionally tight schedule allowed for only ten months to complete 38 miles of resurfacing. The plan left absolutely no room for hiccups or delays.

To meet the timeline while continuing to provide the highest quality and accuracy of services, we needed to modify our standard process and assemble a highly responsive, team with 24/7 availability to be on-site for quick decisions and resolve challenges that might occur. To avoid a learning curve on this tightly scheduled project, it was also crucial that testers on the team already have local experience working with the TxDOT Laredo District.

The Goal

To provide reliable and high-quality testing to ensure all materials met standards required for the resurfacing job. To meet the timeline, we needed experienced, senior staff on-site 24/7 to provide same-day turnaround on testing, seamless field-plant coordination, and quick problem resolution.

Our Solution

We created a multi-faceted plan to meet the unique needs of this project:

  • We identified our senior testers to serve as on-site subject matter experts, then hired local staff who were experienced with the Laredo District to work with our senior testers.
  • We dedicated a full-time technician at the production plant to perform daily production testing and provide same-day results for all tests. The team was able to immediately assist in resolving asphalt material and placement related issues as they occurred.
  • We assigned a full-time roadway inspector with over 15 years of asphalt testing experience. The inspector coordinated dispatch between the field and plant testing activities to identify and immediately address potential issues. By assigning one full-time inspector to this role, he had an in-depth understanding of all on-going project activities and needs. He was able to identify potential blind spots proactively.

Ultimately the project was highly successful.

Through understanding the unique challenges of this aggressive timeframe, HVJ was able to proactively create and execute a plan that allowed the contractor to exceed expectations for the timeline and finish a few weeks early.

“Since our first partnership in 2013, Lochner has continued to trust HVJ to provide superior materials engineering and testing services, and HVJ has continued to deliver. The most recent project, SH359 in Webb County, showcased HVJ’s ability to plan and execute the testing role while the contractor deployed a very aggressive schedule. HVJ hired local staff who knew local materials issues, and through pro-active and effective planning and communication, our team avoided any unnecessary delays or slowdowns on the project.

Working together, we milled and paved 282k tons of asphalt in 10 months. The deficiency counts were minimized from the start, and HVJ completed their scope on time, under budget, and with the highest quality.”

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