Blackfoot businesses express thanks to ITD for paving

Businesses in Blackfoot have let ITD know how they feel about the recently completed paving project through town – the first warrantied paving project in the state. The project began around Aug. 10 and wrapped up Aug. 27. As you can tell from the sign above, the speed and quality of the work has been noted.

The speed was a significant factor, because, as District 5 Resident Engineer James Orner (pictured below, left) explained, The contract had a very short schedule — it had to be done prior to the Eastern Idaho State Fair, starting Sept. 5.

In the warranty contract, bidders provide their own design, which must meet the agency's life-cycle requirements and other minimum parameters for quality and longevity. In exchange for that freedom of design, the contractor provides a warranty on the work (in this case three years). Once design is approved, the contractor proceeds to build it — without ITD needing to be present.

“It's a great way for us to stretch manpower resources,” said District Engineer Ed Bala.

Impressively, Orner said, the contractor actually exceeded the contractual requirements. The contractor even submitted documents and information before the contract was finalized.

District 5’s Jesse Barrus (pictured above, far right) developed the paving specifications and worked extensively with Karen Merrick (Construction/Materials Engineer with ITD’s Division of Engineering Services), the Federal Highway Administration, and the Idaho Associated General Contractors in order to get them approved. Bala also helped develop the specifications, Barrus said, and was instrumental in convincing ITD leadership on the warranty concept.

“From a design standpoint, I was particularly impressed on a number of items the contractor did and thought of to get a quality product,” said Barrus.  “The innovation used by the contractor sped up the project, reducing traffic disruption.”

“The contractor was not required to perform any testing for asphalt-mix approval as part of the warranty, but chose to have a mix design confirmation done by the ITD Central Lab,” explained Barrus. “This reflected the desire they had to put a quality product on the ground.”

The project included updating existing pedestrian ramps to meet American with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements. Curb/ADA ramp work and removal of the center islands officially started Aug. 10. Milling at the curb line and intersecting roadway approaches occurred on Aug. 20, and paving started the next day. Paving was completed Aug. 25.  

“This is the type of project that will give our staff pride in the work we do,” said Orner, ITD’s resident engineer on the project.

“The contractor did what we expected, and the initial results of the pavement are looking great,” said Barrus.

“And we have a three-year warranty period on this product,” he added, focusing on the bigger picture.

Published 09-04-15