Airports Paver Gets Major Honor


    GRAND RAPIDS — Long waits and searches occasioned by security measures have hurt the popularity of air travel, but this community’s airport rates pretty high with John Carlo Inc. (JCI).

    And vice versa.

    JCI — which is among Michigan’s leading road paving and construction companies —has been honored with a prestigious industry award for its work last year in reconstructing the main runway of Gerald R. Ford International Airport.

    The project also involved rebuilding the adjoining taxiways and approaches.

    The $28 million reconstruction project involved tearing out a 40-year-old surface that had been breaking down under the weight of aircraft and loads far beyond its original design capacity.

    The replacement runway, together with its fill materials, in some places involved working to depths of six feet beneath the grade of the eventual paved surface.

    JCI completed the project — originally slated to take two years — during the 2001 construction season. This summer the company is working on a paving project at the Battle Creek Air National Base. 

    The high-speed Ford airport completion was part of the reason that the Michigan Concrete Paving Association (MCPA), in connection with its national program of concrete pavement awards, recently honored JCI.

    The award is sponsored by the American Concrete Paving Association and Concrete Pavement magazine and recognizes contractors, engineers and owners who completed outstanding projects in 2001.

    Among JCI’s project innovations and accomplishments noted by the MCPA were:

    •  Using 761,810 square yards of cement-treated base and concrete pavement.

    •  Completing the project within eight months during constant wet weather and with an active cross-runway operating near the project’s center.

    •  Pouring 8,050 cubic yards of concrete during one extended production shift.

    •  Completing the project with ride quality tolerances averaging two inches per mile, far exceeding FAA requirements of 7 inches per mile.

    Of particular note during the project, according to MCPA, was JCI’s reuse of existing cement-treated base. 

    The firm used more 100,000 cubic yards of existing base for the runway work. MCPA termed the technique “a unique and innovative means by which to increase efficiencies and overall stability.”

    MCPA also was impressed by what it termed the superior construction of longitudinal joints in the runway. “By paving at 37 1/2 feet, JCI was able to eliminate deviation between section joints, and far exceed FAA construction standards.”  

    “Also vital to project success,” the award citation continued, “were John Carlo Inc. team members Ralph Bush, batch plant operator; Rich Jozwiak, paving mechanic; Don Jozwiak, grade foreman; and Tom Benacquisto, paving superintendent.

    JCI utilized a number of subcontractors from the region, including EarthTech, All State Electric, L.J. Construction and Prein & Newhof.

    Previously, JCI managed several other projects at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport, and supervised the paving of U.S. 31 in Muskegon. This summer, JCI will complete a paving project at the Battle Creek Air National Base. 

    “We are quite proud to have our work recognized as among the best,” said Steve Gregor, JCI’s concrete division manager.

    “This award is a testament to the dedication and teamwork of everyone involved, from our employees to our construction partners, the Gerald R. Ford Airport Authority and Prein & Newhof.”

    JCI is nearly as old as the Ford runway it replaced. The firm is based in Clinton Township.

    In addition to airports, the firm serves manufacturing industries, airport authorities, government departments of transportation and land developers. 

    JCI provides concrete and asphalt paving service, site work construction, demolition, marina construction and construction management.

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