Oldcastle Precast’s Fontana, Calif., operation was set to close by this month the Interstate 210/Foothill Freeway Pavement and Slab Replacement Project precast schedule. Over an April 2016–March 2017 window, the producer fabricated 6,500 precast slabs, 12.5-ft. wide x 11.33-ft. long, to replace 9.7 miles of deteriorated, mainline pavement north of Los Angeles.
|New precast slabs run nearly 10 miles up Interstate 210 in Los Angeles County.|
California Department of Transportation specified the 12-in. thick slabs for the $148 million contract, one of largest precast pavement system installations in North America. Lead contractor Flatiron West of Chino Hills, Calif., scheduled overnight work between two I-210 interchanges, 12 miles apart, whereby highway lanes were closed at approximately 9:00 p.m., deteriorated sections cut out, and lean concrete bases poured. Precast slab placement followed about one hour after the bases, ahead of lane reopening by 5 a.m. Crews averaged 280 slabs, or 630 linear feet of pavement, nightly.
“Our team took an innovative approach to this project, drawing on our many years of experience, which resulted in a successful outcome for all,” says Oldcastle Precast Regional General Manager – Southern California Todd Ebbert. “[Precast pavement slabs] offer a solid solution to improving our highways while creating little impact to the public.”
As agencies and motorists have observed in past upgrades for major thoroughfares, he adds, precast pavement systems promote construction methods that reduce traffic congestion and project duration, increase safety, and yield durable repairs. Along with quick installation, the slabs minimize lane closure requirements and crew exposure to live traffic; can be installed in most any weather; and, per Caltrans specs, exhibit service life up to 50 years.
MULZER TOPS $530M CRH SPENDING SPREE
CRH Plc, parent of Atlanta-based Oldcastle Materials Inc., has closed on seven deals year to date, led by the February acquisition of one of the largest privately held U.S. aggregates producers: Tell City, Ind.-based Mulzer Crushed Stone Inc., spanning six quarries, five sand & gravel operations, 14 materials yards, plus four ready mixed concrete and three asphalt plants serving Ohio River and Kanawha River valley markets in Indiana, Kentucky and West Virginia.
Mulzer Crushed Stone, plus smaller stone, aggregate and asphalt transactions in Connecticut, Minnesota, Washington and Montreal complement Oldcastle Materials South, North, Central, and West divisions, along with CRH Canada. Totaling about $530 million, the deals were chiefly funded by $425 million in proceeds from the January-February 2017 sale of CRH Europe assets: A cement plant in Germany, plus precast concrete and clay product businesses accompanying five other deals in four other mainland countries.
“Development activity in the first two months of 2017 demonstrates both our strong pipeline and commitment to value-accretive portfolio management,” says CRH CEO Albert Manifold. “Proceeds from divestments since 2014 have reached €2 billion [$2.13 billion], and the Group continues to reinvest these proceeds to strengthen our core businesses and expand operations.”