“A substantial part of the project involved milling off 1.75 inches of the existing asphalt pavement and paving back new asphalt pavement of the same depth,” says Dan Oesch, Resident Engineer for MoDOT.
Nearly 50,000 vehicles per day drive on this section of U.S. 63 from Route B in Boone County to U.S. Route 54 in Callaway County. The expressway has at-grade crossings in some locations and on and off ramps in other more urban places, including in Columbia.
“The STIP is our commitment to Missourians of the projects that will be developed and delivered over the next five years,” said MoDOT Director Patrick McKenna, in a statement.
Bridge deck repairs and extending one of the acceleration ramps needed to be done and some of the guardrails were replaced, as well as minor guard cable improvements. The scope of work also included resurfacing Ponderosa Street from Gans Creek to East Meyer Industrial Drive in Columbia. MoDOT engineers designed the project.
Third-generation, family-owned Capital Paving and Construction of Jefferson City, Missouri, the low bidder, received the $15.3 million construction contract from the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission. The company operates throughout the Midwest and performs small and big jobs.
“This was a large job,” says Collin Anderson, Project Manager with Capital Paving. “It took a lot of communication on this heavily traveled route.”
Crews began the pavement resurfacing of U.S. 63 in June 2022, and the work was completed in November. Capital Paving then began work on an addition to the contract to resurface a section of pavement at the nearby Connector, where the road had deteriorated.
The majority of the job entailed milling the existing pavement and placing SP 125 asphalt pavement. In several sections, the overlays consisted of SP 190 for two inches, topped with SP 125. MoDOT added high friction surface treatments, or rumble strips, where the road curves to improve safety.
The mix used on Highway 63 was pulled from three of Capital’s plant locations – two of their permanent plants in Columbia and Jefferson City, and the company’s portable plant stationed in Ashland. “It was a team effort on our end, working with the materials division and our hauling division,” Anderson says. “Our truck counts varied from 10 trucks one day to 40 the next.”
“These tools enabled us to ensure we had the number of pass counts on the fresh asphalt while it was still hot enough to compact, and the infrared scanning enabled us to ensure thermal segregation was minimized,” Oesch says. “Having the extra technology included in the project provided additional assurances and monetary incentive for the contractor to meet these criteria and allowed evaluation of the entire surface instead of relying solely on a statistical approximation from a hand full of cores.”
Anderson reports Capital likes using the technology. The rollers produce a path, which serves as a guide, making it easier to see at night. “It’s proven to be a big help to us,” Anderson says.
In addition, crews worked on six bridges in the corridor, placing a latex-modified concrete overlay. A blend of latex solids is mixed into the concrete. Dow Chemical developed the overlay in the 1960s but initial field testing lacked the expected results. However, when the chemical company tried applying it with a mobile mixer, giving control of the mix to people at the job site, the latex-modified concrete met expectations. The mix must be fresh to achieve the best results.
The latex mix waterproofs the concrete and protects the bridge’s rebar from salt-based deicing materials used during winter, which can cause steel to rust. It also enhances the concrete’s adhesion while increasing traction and the strength of the compaction. “It makes for a more resilient concrete,” Oesch says.
Although the initial plans included a 500-foot long, full-depth pavement replacement in the southbound lanes south of Bonne Femme Creek Bridge, the department reworked those plans and made full-depth pavement repairs instead.
Crews completed the rehabilitation of the southbound U.S. 63 exit ramp over Oilwell Road, connecting to U.S. 54 in August 2022 and the rehab of westbound exit ramp U.S. 54 bridge connecting to northbound 63 in October 2022. Work also was done to extend the southbound on ramp at Route H, near the Columbia Regional Airport. However, Oesch says, this was a small part of the overall work accomplished.
“The bridge work we did was challenging,” Oesch reports. “We appreciated the public working with us during the closures.”
During the final weeks of the job, crews completed striping and guardrail work and worked on the acceleration and deceleration lanes north of Ashland. “It’s been a long job, but it’s been a good job,” Anderson says. “MoDOT has been a great partner. We felt we made a good team and put out a good product.”
Traffic management, typically, involved closures of one lane from 7 p.m. until 6 a.m. But the plan also included closing some ramps during the project. Drivers were detoured for a couple of weeks at a time. “The paving generally occurred at night during the summer and fall.” Oesch says. “This allowed for minimal inconvenience to the public since most of the work occurred while traffic volumes were the lightest.”
Nighttime paving presented challenges for operators, but they handled it well, he adds. Anderson explains that it’s harder to see at night, so the crews had to be extra focused with a greater attention to detail.
“The surface turned out well on the project,” Oesch concludes. “The pavement is smooth, and the bridges should be set to service traffic for many years.”
Photos courtesy of Capital Paving and Construction