Following their second quarter Board of Directors Meeting on Friday, June 7th, the Southwest Concrete Pavement Association (SWCPA) held a “Contractors Roundtable” lunch at the Flatiron headquarters in Chino Hills, California, hosted by SWCPA Executive Director Charles Stuart.

Allen King, Office Chief, Caltrans Office of Concrete Pavements, sat down with representatives from Flatiron, Sully-Miller, Security Paving Co., and Granite Construction to talk about the state of the concrete pavement work with Caltrans. King expressed an openness to hear about any issues as they arise in order to provide the most expeditious solutions.

George Butorovich, Area Operations Manager at Flatiron, brought up the challenges that contractors encounter due to the design differences between Caltrans Districts. Frank Stevenson, Pavement Manager at Sully-Miller, and Jon Hamilton, Concrete Paving Operations Manager at Flatiron, agreed that consistency is needed across all Districts in order to ensure accurate bidding. They stated that it’s not only a challenge for contractors, but often, Caltrans then has to deal with a less-than-buildable situation after a contract has been awarded and face increased costs.

Simple Changes Could Save Caltrans $1 Million a Year
As an immediate remedy to this concern, Butorovich suggested a design review for concrete pavement projects larger than 20,000 cubic feet. Jon Hamilton illustrated a number of instances where simple design changes could save Caltrans $1 million a year, without having to split the savings with a contractor once the project is underway.

To provide insight on how design translates in construction, Allen King expressed the importance of having Caltrans pavement designers go out to projects under construction to get a better understanding of how their designs are being built. Charles Stuart then spoke about the training that Allen King and Caltrans have initiated throughout the Districts. Stuart went on to talk about the possibility of developing a Concrete Pavement Professional Certification Training Program for pavement designers, resident engineers, and anyone else at Caltrans or within the industry who is involved in the creation of concrete pavements.

Continuing the Dialogue Between Caltrans and SWCPA Contractors
Allen King concluded with the request to SWCPA’s member contractors for: Notes on Section 40; Inconsistencies from District to District that contractors are encountering; creation of an informational workshop for contractors on “why” Caltrans specifies what they do in the Standard Specifications and Standard Plans; Training on what makes a good Mix Design and why it’s important; and Examples of materials that are currently not on the Authorized Materials List but should be.