Cutting Paving Time at Echo Summit

May 31, 2011

Caltrans made a historic decision in allowing a California contractor, CC Myers, to close US 50 over the famed 7,382 foot Sierra pass called Echo Summit.  The city of South Lake Tahoe depends on this highway for its commercial and tourist needs.  MWV Asphalt Innovations with their partner, Telfer Oil Company, provided Evotherm on a Caltrans project to address cold weather paving concerns with a 90 minute haul and to reduce overall road closure time.

CC Meyers had two weeks to conduct a major reconstruction of safety walls and pavement before the Memorial Day Holiday. A snow storm dropped over a foot of snow on the project site just before the start. Finally, the clouds parted and allowed time for Don Garcia Paving to plow a foot of snow prior to milling of the surface. Teichert Aggregates produced the ¾” mix containing Evotherm in the town of Truckee, CA, over 90 minutes from the project location.  The State suggested that the use of WMA as a result of anticipated cold morning conditions with lows in the upper 20s.  

After a trek around the eastern shore of Lake Tahoe, the first trucks arrived onsite. The mix was windrowed on the milled surface and placed in a single 3” lift.  Don Garcia Paving achieved density with two passes even with mix temperatures behind the screed of 210F. The sheer rock face and over hanging rocks were a safety concern. Too much vibration could cause rocks to fall onto the paving operations. Achieving the necessary compaction during breakdown allowed the remaining rolling operations to be conducted in static mode and minimized rock falls.

Starting the paving operation in the early morning and completing the paving long after the sun had set, allowed Don Garcia Paving to complete paving in one day instead of two days.  CC Meyers reopened US50 to traffic two days ahead of schedule (Every Day Counts!). Evotherm once again showed its ability to be produced, hauled, and placed in low ambient temperatures.  How can you use Evotherm to improve your operations?

Author: Brandon Milar