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Phase 2 Construction Moves Forward on Tucson’s Grant Road By Chuck Harvey CEG CORRESPONDENT
Calling Grant Road just another road in Tucson, Ariz., would be a gross understatement. Crews are widening the much-used thoroughfare — referred to as an urban arterial road — from four to six lanes. An arterial road or arterial thoroughfare is a high-capacity urban road. Its primary function is to deliver traffic from collector roads to freeways or expressways and between urban centers at the highest level of service possible. Grant Road runs east of I-10 and just a few blocks north of the University of Arizona. It is considered a popular road with traffic on the rise as Tucson grows and tourist activity increases. Stores, restaurants and auto shops are situated near Grant Road. Besides widening and modernizing the road, crews will make it pedestrian and bicycle friendly. Second-phase construction is under way on a six-phase Grant Road Improvement Project that will add a new lane in each direction and improve transit, bicycle and pedestrian facilities. Crews will build and improve bike lanes, widen sidewalks, put in more signalized crosswalks. The $19 million second-phase project will provide improvements on Grant Road from Castro Avenue to Santa Rita Avenue. The stretch of roadway spans 1.2 mi. It is a busy stretch that includes Mansfield Park, a popular destination with sports facilities and a recreation center with bingo, guest speakers and crafts. Phase 2 construction began in March 2017 and is scheduled for completion in summer of 2018.
Tucson Department of Transportation photo
Second-phase construction is under way on a six-phase Grant Road Improvement Project that will add a new lane in each direction and improve transit, bicycle and pedestrian facilities.
Design of Phases 3 and 4, Pala Verde Avenue to Venice Place, is expected to be 60 percent complete before the end of 2017. A start date for construction has not been set. Construction for Phases 5 and 6 from Santa Rita Avenue to Palo Verde Avenue is expected to take place in about 2026. In the current phase, workers will install a new median as well as access lanes to businesses and homes. Pullouts and shelters also are being installed along Grant Road to improve transit, and a pedestrian signal will be installed at 6th Avenue. Besides roadway improvements, workers will install new landscaping along the route that includes water harvesting systems. The Phase 2 project also includes indirect left turns at Stone Avenue and 1st Avenue. An indirect left turn is made possible by installing an indirect turn lane and
Tucson Department of Transportation photo
Phase 2 construction began in March 2017 and is scheduled for completion in summer of 2018.
widening the far side of the turn so a U-turn can be done without stopping (when clear). It reduces interference between U-turn and through traffic, particularly for large vehicles.
When complete, Grant road will improve the region’s east-west mobility with improvements starting from near North Oracle Road just east of I-10 and extending east to near North Swan Road. The six
phases cover 5-mi. of Grant Road. Planners designed the improvements to create a state-of-the-art, multi-modal transportation corridor. Safety also was an important consideration. “The improvements resulting from the Grant Road Improvement Plan will enhance safety and balance mobility and accessibility for all users including motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders and those with disabilities,” said Michael Graham, public information officer of the city of Tucson. “The widening of Grant Road to six lanes also improves its function as an urban arterial street within Tucson’s network of streets.” Graham added that average daily traffic on Grant Road from Castro Avenue to Santa Rita Avenue is 29,039 vehicles a day. Grant Road was originally established in 1920 as little more than a country road. Now besides being widened, the road is being catered to multiple users. “Signalized crosswalks improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists,” Graham said. Voters approved the Grant Road Improvement Project and its halfcent sales tax funding in May 2006 as part of a $2.1-billion Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) plan. Once the project started, work went smoothly except for some problems with utility locations. “We had utility issues early on,” said David Burbank, project engineering manager. “We worked with the contractor to avoid those areas, which in turn, gave the various utilities time to move their facilities.” see TUCSON page 7
Page 2 • February 4, 2018 • www.constructionequipmentguide.com • Arizona State Supplement • Construction Equipment Guide
Kenworth T880s Means Big Savings for Aggregate Hauler Insearch Corp. had an interesting start. The company that began life in the vending machine industry, later changed direction and has achieved success in the world of moving construction material. Founded by Jim and Penny Beito in 1992, Insearch, based in Tempe, Ariz., was launched as a business directly tied to the vending machine industry. When vending machines were installed, Insearch would place pictures of missing children on the machines — hence the name “Insearch.” But, Jim Beito’s first love was the construction industry. He had worked for the same highway heavy construction company for 27 years and it was in his blood. So, a year later, Insearch entered into that industry. With a cell phone and pickup truck, Beito began orchestrating projects — eventually buying trucks, trailers, backhoes and crushing equipment. The company became a major player in the Phoenix marketplace. Insearch soon became a family affair. Jim’s son, Chad, started working part-time for the company while still in high school, and daughter, Heather, soon after also joined the company. Today, Chad is the president; Heather is the company’s director of sales and marketing; and Chad’s wife, Julia, serves as director of program management. In recent years, Chad Beito has added new equipment, including the Kenworth T880, to augment
Insearch Corp. is a family affair. (L-R) are Heather Beito, director of sales and marketing; Chad Beito, president; and Julia Beito, director of program management.
owner-operators, who also haul for Insearch. Daily more than 100 trucks delivering time-sensitive loads for the company, which has been in a growth mode in recent years. A September report by the Associated General Contractors of America showed that 74 percent of Arizona construction companies plan to add workers in the next 12 months. Housing permits in Arizona’s Pima County are at their highest levels since 2008. Insearch currently operates 45 pieces of equipment, which
includes 36 different combinations of trucks and trailers. The most recent orders have been for the Kenworth T880 — giving the company 14 of those models. The company runs double and single belly dumps, plus has 16and 18-wheel super dumps, which primarily haul aggregate (from boulders to gravel to dirt) to clients. The trucks were purchased through Inland Kenworth of Phoenix. “Our drivers rave about the T880s,” said Beito. “They like the ride and the comfort, plus they’re not tired at the end of their shift.”
Equipped with PACCAR engines rated at 430 hp with 1,550 lb.-ft. of torque, Insearch saved 400 lbs. by moving to the 10.8-liter PACCAR MX-11 engine from the 12.9-liter PACCAR MX-13. “We’re running the same horsepower and torque, and our drivers don’t notice a difference in performance,” Beito said. “But, we’re certainly seeing the difference to our bottom line. “We’re primarily paid by the unit, the load or by the ton. Weight savings is critical to us and the PACCAR MX-11 is a huge new
contributor. “We are also extremely aware of operational costs and Kenworth is instrumental in driving them down. Since nearly all our work is bid by the unit, having a handle on costs and keeping maintenance expenses to a minimum ensures our standing in the industry.” Helping drivers behind the wheel of the Kenworth T880s is the Eaton Fuller Advantage 10speed and Eaton UltraShift Plus transmissions. Beito said eliminating manual shifting has been a great benefit to drivers. “Driving in the greater Phoenix area is a lot of stop-and-go,” he said. “There’s physical and mental fatigue with shifting. Mental because you’re trying to keep up with traffic and the physical act of shifting adds to the stress of driving. With an automatic, you just go.” The Insearch trucks are easy to spot. They feature a black and gold paint scheme and stand out in a crowd. “They really do,” said Beito. “We get compliments all the time on our Kenworth T880s — people say, ‘I see your trucks all over town.’ In reality, we might have only a few running in that area, but our trucks are so unique that people notice them. They’re striking and project the desired image.” For more information, visit www.kenworth.com. (This story also can be found on Construction Equipment Guide’s website at www.constructionequipmentguide.com.)
Equipped with PACCAR engines rated at 430 hp with 1,550 lb.-ft. of torque, Insearch saved 400 lbs. by moving to the 10.8-liter PACCAR MX-11 engine from the 12.9-liter PACCAR MX-13.
Insearch currently operates 45 pieces of equipment, which includes 36 different combinations of trucks and trailers.
Construction Equipment Guide • Arizona State Supplement • www.constructionequipmentguide.com • February 4, 2018 • Page 3
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RDO Equipment Co. Becomes New Cochise County... Wirtgen Dealer for State of Arizona Ex-Inmates May Help State Weather Labor Shortage
ment of John Deere’s RDO Equipment Co. acquisition of Wirtgen announces the company Group. With a global preshas become a Wirtgen ence in more than 100 dealer in the state of countries and a product Arizona. Effective immeportfolio that spans the diately, Arizona joins entire road construction RDO Equipment Co.’s sector, Wirtgen is the existing Wirtgen territory worldwide market leader that includes North in roadbuilding products. Dakota and South Dakota. Chris Cooper, COO of A total solutions RDO Equipment Co., said provider of John Deere the team is excited to grow and other construction equipment, parts and serv- RDO Equipment Co. announces the company has become a the Wirtgen footprint and further align with this key ice in Arizona, the addi- Wirtgen dealer in the state of Arizona. manufacturing partner. He tion of Wirtgen’s compaction, milling, mixing, paving, pro- RDO Equipment Co.’s Arizona stores. added, “We’re proud of the opportuni“We have a strong presence in the ty to take on the additional territory and cessing and rehabilitation equipment enhances RDO Equipment Co.’s offer- southwest roadbuilding industry with look forward to strengthening our relaings for the roadbuilding industry. our existing product offerings,” Dennis tionship with Wirtgen.” For more information, visit rdoeWith the industry a growing area of Howard, vice president of RDO focus for RDO Equipment Co., the Equipment Co., said. “Wirtgen is an quipment.com. (This story also can be found on move is especially exciting as it deliv- ideal addition, and will greatly enhance ers new opportunities for customers the solutions and support we’re able to Construction Equipment Guide’s website at www.constructionequipand further broadens the breadth of provide our Arizona customers.” The news follows 2017’s announce- mentguide.com.) construction equipment offered by
SIERRA VISTA, Ariz. (AP) An Arizona county on the U.S.-Mexico border is hoping former inmates can help with a labor shortage amid a federal immigration crackdown. The Arizona Republican reported Cochise County developer Rick Coffman said developers have complained that the labor shortage is slowing down production and hurting home sales. Under the program “Framing our Future,” the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office will make initial contact with potential workers and refer any interested individuals to the Southeastern Arizona Contractors Association. The program in southeastern Arizona is not targeted toward current inmates, but rather those who have completed their sentences. California and New Mexico farms also are facing a labor shortage due to stepped-up immigration enforcement and U.S. born workers not making up the difference. For more information, visit azcentral.com. (This story also can be found on Construction Equipment Guide’s website at www.constructionequipmentguide.com.)
Page 4 • February 4, 2018 • www.constructionequipmentguide.com • Arizona State Supplement • Construction Equipment Guide
ADOT’s Commercial Truck Course Increases Safety
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Drivers in Mexico who have completed innovative safety instruction offered by the Arizona Department of Transportation are proving far less likely to be flagged for safety violations when their vehicles arrive at international ports of entry. It’s a dramatic improvement that’s saving international carriers time and money, making Arizona roads safer and helping Arizona better appeal to drivers who might otherwise use ports in California or Texas. In December, the 106 drivers with International Border Inspection Qualification training who entered the United States through commercial ports operated by ADOT’s Enforcement and Compliance Division did so without a safety violation that required taking their trucks out of service for repairs. Since August when the program began training drivers in Mexico, just two of 667 qualified drivers — 0.3 percent — have entered Arizona with a violation that required immediate repairs. The rate is about 5 percent among other commercial drivers using ADOT’s international ports. Through ADOT’s International Border Inspection Qualification, the first such program in the United States, Enforcement and Compliance Division inspectors made eight trips into Mexico in 2017 to educate international truck drivers and company leaders about safety requirements for trucks driving on Arizona roads. More training is scheduled in Mexico for 2018, including three sessions in February. “This outstanding program has been great both for Arizona and for our neighbors in Sonora,” said John Halikowski, ADOT director. “In addition to making roads across Arizona safer, we are reducing inspection times and making Arizona’s international ports more appealing to commercial carriers.”
The class has the support of Sonora Gov. Claudia Pavlovich and Mexican trucking leaders. ADOT inspectors check every commercial truck entering the United States at Nogales, Douglas and San Luis for safety violations. The most serious violations require that trucks remain at the port of entry until repairs can be made, a costly process that can cause significant delays for commercial carriers. In addition, drivers who complete the International Border Inspection Qualification can use the Whats App smartphone app to contact inspectors with questions before they approach the border. That allows companies to make needed repairs more economically before drivers get on the road. Another benefit of the program: More drivers are choosing to enter the United States through Arizona’s ports instead of those in other states. Meanwhile, being able to focus on higher-risk vehicles has allowed ADOT officers to find more violations despite needing to conduct fewer high-level inspections. “More trucks entering the country in Arizona means an even greater boost to our economy,” Halikowski said. “Those drivers use more services and buy more items in our state, which helps not only border communities but all of Arizona.” The International Border Inspection Qualification program stems from ADOT’s use of the Arizona Management System championed by Gov. Doug Ducey. This approach to continuous improvement empowers employees at state agencies to come up with innovative ways to better serve customers. (This story also can be found on Construction Equipment Guide’s website at www.constructionequipmentguide.com.)
Work Begins on $40M Casino LAKE HAVASU CITY, Ariz. (AP) The Chemehuevi Indian Tribe broke ground on a new $40 million casino and resort in California across the border from Lake Havasu City, Arizona. On Nov. 16, the News-Herald reported the 25,000 sq.-ft. Havasu Landing Resort and Casino will feature 48 hotel rooms and 320 gambling machines and tables. California-based Bernards Bros. Construction has slated the project to be ready for opening in the spring of 2019. The Nov. 14 groundbreaking ceremony marked
the next step of the project that officials began planning in 2014. Chemehuevi Tribal Council Chairman Dennis Patch said this project isn’t about economic development but about economic independence for the tribe. The facility also will include a restaurant and a marina. The ferry from Lake Havasu city will be diverted to the new casino upon completion. (This story also can be found on Construction Equipment Guide’s website at www.constructionequipmentguide.com.)
Construction Equipment Guide • Arizona State Supplement • www.constructionequipmentguide.com • February 4, 2018 • Page 5
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Page 6 • February 4, 2018 • www.constructionequipmentguide.com • Arizona State Supplement • Construction Equipment Guide
Museum Displays Old Plank Road Between Yuma, San Diego Arizonans think nothing of a quick weekend drive from Phoenix to San Diego’s beaches in about six hours. But a century ago, that trip could take the better part of two days across primitive roads and nearly impassable sand dunes. Horses were more reliable for traversing sand dunes until enterprising road builders came up with a boardwalk for motorcars in 1915. That’s right. Early adopters of horseless-carriage technology built a road of wooden planks across seven miles of sand west of Yuma in California. Arizona notably did not follow California down the path of building wooden roads. The Plank Road and the Colorado River bridge at Yuma, completed in April 1915, were key steps forward for motorists traveling across the Southwest deserts in the early 20th century. Those advancements also were factors in competition between San Diego and Los Angeles to be the western terminus for a cross-country highway along a southern route. The Colorado River State Historic Park in Yuma has a Plank Road display with a Model T automobile. There’s also a preserved section of the Plank Road at the Bureau of Land Management’s
back onto the Plank Road, Imperial Sand Dunes said Tina Clark, historian Recreation Area south of of the Yuma Crossing Interstate 8 on the Gray’s National Heritage Area. Well Road about 12 mi. The Plank Road was an west of Yuma. extension of previous Plank Road skeptics methods early motorists like civil engineer Joseph used to get through sand Lippincott, an Auto Club dunes and other difficult of Southern California terrain. consultant, pegged the In 1910, the National wooden highway as “the Highway Association most asinine thing he had employed a pathfinder ever heard of,” according named A.L. Westgard to to a San Diego Tribune explore cross-country report at the time. routes from Washington, But the road, despite its D.C., to Los Angeles. He’s flaws, carried traffic for been described as the more than a decade until it “Marco Polo of the Motor was replaced in 1926 by an Age.” asphalt road that became While scouting a route U.S. 80 and more recently Wikimedia Commons Cbl62 photo Interstate 8. Remnants from the Old Plank Road through the Imperial Dunes and Ford auto- called the Trail to Sunset, One Yuma merchant mobile on display at the Yuma Quartermaster Depot Historic Site, 201 N. 4th Westgard used rolls of Avenue, Yuma, Ariz. canvas on the sand to get praised the Plank Road. across the Yuma dunes. “It is no ride across the Sahara Desert, but rather a pleasure Commission took over the Plank scrapers were used to clear the He later carried wooden planks on trip anyone can enjoy,” the man Road, installing 12-ft. by 8-ft. sand, which damaged the planks his vehicle to get across sand or said, according to B. Johnny Rube wooden sections on the dunes west and made for a rough ride. Sand mud flats, according Arizona drifted across the planks and driv- Highways, published by the in his 1996 book, A Wooden Road of Yuma. The knock on the one-lane ers would “lose” the road and end Arizona Department of Through the Hollow of God’s Plank Road was that it forced driv- up stuck in the sand. That created Transportation. Hand. (This story also can be found Initially, the Plank Road was ers traveling in opposite directions commerce for the Fort Yuma boards laid in parallel tracks to pro- to use pullouts every 1,000 ft. to Quechan Indians whose horses on Construction Equipment vide a path for adventurous drivers. pass each other. Maintenance was served as the tow trucks of the era, Guide’s website at www.conIn 1915, the California Highway a constant problem as horse-drawn pulling cars out of the sand and structionequipmentguide.com.)
Employee Innovation Helps ADOT Reopen Freeways Faster After asphalt lanes get a rejuvenating seal designed to reduce cracking and extend the life of pavement, an innovation by Arizona Department of Transportation employees allows crews to reopen freeways faster. Using scrap metal, ADOT maintenance workers fashioned what’s essentially a reverse stencil — a diamond-shaped template that keeps the oil-based seal off of white HOV markings within lanes. They also designed a metal arm to lift and transport the template from one HOV diamond to the next. While applying the seal doesn’t affect lane striping, HOV markers within lanes once had to be repainted before a freeway could reopen. In addition to shortening the full closures required to apply the seal, saving the time and money needed to repaint HOV markings adds up to $310 for each diamond. According to Mark Kilian, an ADOT highway operations technical supervisor, using the reverse stencil usually involves
Using scrap metal, ADOT maintenance workers fashioned what’s essentially a reverse stencil — a diamond-shaped template that keeps the oil-based seal off of white HOV markings within lanes.
two trucks, each transporting and placing one template. This process improvement, he said, is designed to better serve drivers, who are ADOT’s customers. “We had a major interstate shut down, and we wanted to make sure we can get it open as soon as possible, so we have to be as efficient as possible,” Kilian said. This innovation is another example of ADOT’s commitment to continuous improvement through the Arizona Management System (AMS) championed by Gov. Doug Ducey. AMS challenges all employees to identify and develop ways to deliver more value for taxpayers. “Every time that we are successful at something like this,” Kilian said, “it gives us even more motivation to go out and find new innovation and ideas to help us make processes easier.” For more information, visit azdot.gov. (This story also can be found on Construction Equipment Guide’s website at www.constructionequipmentguide.com.)
Construction Equipment Guide • Arizona State Supplement • www.constructionequipmentguide.com • February 4, 2018 • Page 7
Tucson Project on Schedule for Summer 2018 Completion
Tucson Department of Transportation photo
The project has 13 subcontractors with about 30 workers on the job each day. TUCSON from page 1
In a few instances, the city of Tucson used eminent domain proceedings to remove obstacles or structures, so the roadway could be widened. Phase 2 Contractor Markham Constructing of Phoenix is prime contractor for the Phase 2 project. The company was selected through a request-forproposal process with the award going to the low bidder. The project has 13 subcontractors with about 30 workers on the job each day. Major subcontractors include Jenco Construction of Oklahoma City for concrete drainage structures; Mountain Power Electrical Contractor of Tucson, Ariz. for all electrical work; Flores Masonry of Los Angeles for sound and screen walls; Pavement Marking of Tempe, Ariz., for striping; Speedie & Associates Inc. of Phoenix for quality control testing; and The Groundskeeper of Tucson, Ariz., for landscaping. Heavy equipment at the construction site includes backhoes, track hoes, scrapers, motorgraders, water trucks, end dump trucks and front loaders. All the improved and widened roadway will be constructed of asphalt. Crews will apply about 31,000 tons of asphalt over the course of the project. Road level had to be lowered slightly in places, requiring some dirt to be hauled out. “On this project, we have a small amount to be exported, 36,700 cubic yards,” Burbank said. Hot In-Place Recycling Train Project crews will use a hot-in-place
(HIR) recycling train to repave Grant Road. A concrete replacement crew will mill the existing road top that includes 1-½ in. of asphalt. Milling is performed by milling machines or cold planers. The machines use a large rotating drum to remove and grind the road surface. Crews then heat the roadway and mill another inch of asphalt. Workers then mix milled concrete with “rejuvenating” aggregate materials to produce new asphalt. They then lay down 1-½ in. of the new asphalt. Crews conclude the process by resetting utilities and painting permanent stripes to divide the roadway. Driver Impacts Los Altos Avenue and 2nd Avenue will be closed at Grant Road and North Street will be closed at 1st Avenue. The most significant side street improvements will be on Stone, Euclid and Park avenues. The improvements include minor widening near intersections and where new sidewalks are being put in. Some side street closures have been necessary to install new underground utilities. Revitalizing Local Area “The project recognizes the diversity of residents and independent businesses along Grant Road and will help them to revitalize the places in which they live and work,” Graham said. (This story also can be found on Construction Equipment Guide’s website at www.constructionequipmentguide.com.) CEG
NEXT ISSUE CLOSES FEBRUARY 22, 2018
Page 8 • February 4, 2018 • www.constructionequipmentguide.com • Arizona State Supplement • Construction Equipment Guide
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