Infrastructure doesn’t always get the respect that high-rise and residential gets. There are the Infrastructure Week government proclamations, usually quickly forgotten and, so far, not acted upon. But the segment of construction that builds the roads, airports, and ports has a champion in the ACPA (American Concrete Pavement Assn.). The organization recently named recipients of its 30th Annual “Excellence in Concrete Pavements” awards, recognizing quality concrete pavements constructed in the United States and Canada.

As an example, the Gold Award in General Aviation Airports went to Sioux County Regional Airport in Iowa. This was a case of creating a new airport out of an Iowa cornfield, according to the engineer who headed up the team that designed the Sioux County Regional Airport. Due to a funding quirk by the Federal Aviation Admin., this concrete paving project was built under two different contracts separated by a year.

In addition to the challenges posed by the FAA multi-year funding package, horrible weather conditions during the two years also created scheduling challenges. Overall, the airport was constructed during five different construction seasons. Cedar Valley Corp., built the 5,500 lineal ft. by 100-ft. wide runway including four taxiways, a large apron area, and the concrete around two T-hangars. In all, CVC placed 122,532-sq. yards of concrete. Crews placed concrete 47 different days to complete these projects. The stops and starts in the project, stemming from the funding issue and bad weather, may have affected the schedule, but did not impact CVC’s focus on quality. The contractor was not allowed to use probes to determine concrete strength, so crews used extra sets of beams to determine early strengths.

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