It is my experience that it is easier to work with an educated client. When a competent contractor works with an educated property manager or business owner the entire process runs smoother. The client understands in advance the scope of work and has a clear understanding of expectations. (Example: What equipment will be on their site, how much noise will be made, what the finished product will look like, what areas will be inaccessible during the project.) I make every effort to work with my clients to inform them as best I can. During my career, I have worked with hundreds of different clients and each of them had various levels of education about the pavement process. I have a client that I met on his first week as a Property Manager five years ago. After many conversations, site meetings and walk-throughs, he has developed a clear understanding of the pavement industry, and as a result, we work great together. It is my hope that this page will assist you in some small way to educate yourself with some basic things about the pavement industry and the contracting process. The page below is broken into categories for your convenience. Bidding a Pavement Project, Hiring the Right Contractor, How the Cost of Petroleum Affects the Cost of Pavement, Links to Key Websites, Technical Data Sheets, Asphalt Terminology & Definitions, Concrete Terminology & Definitions, and a Stump Me Section.
Bidding a Pavement Project
- 1. Request For Proposal (RFP)
This is a method that is widely accepted within the industry when a client has a specific problem and needs that problem corrected. The client has an RFP prepared that clearly specifies the scope of work. This is usually done by an independent source, like a pavement consultant, reserve study engineer or by a contractor you trust. Once this scope is created, it is typically sent to three to five contractors and a pre-bid meeting is scheduled. A pre-bid meeting is another widely accepted practice within the industry. It involves the client, board members, building owners, anchor tenants, and the three to five contractors you picked. This meeting is designed to provide all key parties the opportunity to have a question and answer session. Usually, the RFP is tweaked at these meetings and little changes are made to accommodate either the contractor or the client. A successful pre-bid meeting will have the contractor leaving with a clear understanding of how he/she is to perform the scope of work. And, the client will leave knowing they are going to receive apples-to-apples bidding. It is vitally important that every contractor bid the RFP the same way. The client should avoid at all costs the instinct to send three to five contractors to a site with directions to "evaluate the property and bid the way you think it should be corrected". This usually produces three to five different scopes of work with wide ranging price swings.
- 2. Reverse Bidding
This type of bidding has become more popular as budgets have become smaller. When a client needs more work, asphalt patching, sidewalk repairs, etc. then they have budgeted for, the client reveals their budget number to several contractors. For example, "I have $15,000 in the budget for asphalt repairs." Those contractors then produce competitive bids on the volume of work they are willing to complete for $15,000. For example, contractor A will complete 275 square yards of repair, contractor B will complete 325 square yards of repair, and contractor C will complete 300 square yards of repair. In this scenario, the client would pick contractor B because they are giving you the best value. Once a contract is awarded, the client and contractor would visit the site and determine the worst 325 square yards of repair. If this practice is repeated year after year, a client can usually get a handle on an out of control pavement situation within a few years.
Hiring the Right Contractor
Once you have received an ample number of bids it is time to hire a contractor. You should ask for the following from your pavement contractor:
- 1. Contractors License
Every state has its own departments of licensing and regulation. This is the agency that issues business and contractors licenses. Make sure any contractor you use is properly licensed. ( My Contractors License Number is MHIC # 51204 )
- 2. References
Most reputable contractors are eager to furnish references. Check to see if the jobs were performed to satisfaction in a timely, professional manner.
- 3. A warranty
Too often, business owners or property managers find out after a disappointing experience that there is no warranty on the work. If a warranty is offered, get it in writing. Most contractors place their warranty information on their proposals.
- 4. A certificate of insurance
These are simple form letters sent out by request from the insurance company that insures the contractor. General liability and workers compensation insurance is easily attainable for legitimate companies.
- 5. Do not pay full cost in advance
Most state laws prohibit contractors from receiving more than 1/3 of the contract price at the acceptance of the contract. Find out the terms of payment and avoid contractors that only accept cash.
- 6. Get it in writing
Always get a written contract before you permit work to proceed. This should detail when work is to begin, the exact details of the improvements to be made, the quality of material to be used, an estimated completion date and payment terms. Read the entire contract before signing, including any small print.
Links to Key Web Sites
- www.asphaltinstitute.org - The leading school and research facility for everything asphalt
- www.asphaltalliance.com - The Asphalt Pavement Alliance is a great resource for asphalt issues
- www.hotmix.org - The National Asphalt Pavement Association web site
- www.mdasphalt.org - The Maryland Asphalt Association - this site posts asphalt index pricing
- www.pavementpro.com - The National Pavement Contractors Association
- www.concrete.org - The American Concrete Institute for everything concrete
- www.sealmaster.net - A national supplier of pavement maintenance products
Technical Data Sheets
Technical Data Sheets are used industry wide. They are single sheet forms that describe a certain way of doing something. They are designed as the industry standards for construction and repairs. Click on any of the items below and a downloadable PDF will appear and allow you to print.
- 1. Crack Filling
- 2. Enhanced Crack Filling
- 3. Seal Coating
- 4. Striping and Stenciling
- 5. Full-Depth Asphalt Base Patching
- 6. Full-Depth Asphalt Finish Patching
- 7. Surface Restoration
- 8. Asphalt Overlay
- 9. Asphalt Overlay and Paving Fabric
- 10. Surface Milling
- 10A. Transitional Milling
- 11. Subgraded Stabilization
- 12. Reinforced Subgrade Stabilization
- 13. Asphalt Speed Bumps
- 13. A. Speed Humps
- 14. Asphalt Curb
- 15. Utility Adjustments
- 16. Under Drain Trench System
- 17. Restoration of Light Post Base
- 18. Concrete Curb
- 19. Concrete Sidewalk
- 20. Concrete Entrance
- 21. Dumpster Pad in Paved Area
- 22. Full-Depth Concrete Base Patch
- 23. Full-Depth Concrete Finish Patch
- 24. Horizontal Concrete Repair
- 25. Vertical Overhead CC Repair
- 26. Typical Full-Depth CC Repair
- 27. CIS Concrete Drawings
A hard inert mineral material, such as gravel, crushed rock, slag, or crushed stone, used in pavement applications either by itself or for mixing with asphalt.
A dark brown to black cementitious material in which the predominating constituents are bitumens, which occur in nature or are obtained in petroleum processing. Asphalt is a constituent in varying proportions of most crude petroleum and used for paving, roofing, industrial and other special purposes.
Interconnected cracks forming a series of small blocks resembling an alligator's skin or chicken-wire, and caused by excessive deflection of the surface over unstable subgrade or lower course of the pavement.
Asphalt Leveling Course
A course of hot mix asphalt of variable thickness used to eliminate irregularities in the contour of an existing surface prior to placing the subsequent course.
Asphalt Tack Coat
A relatively thin application of asphalt binder applied to an existing asphalt concrete or PCC surface at a prescribed rate. Asphalt emulsion diluted with water is the preferred type. It is used to form a bond between an existing surface and the overlying course.
The layer in the pavement system immediately below the binder and surface courses. It usually consists of crushed stone, although it may consist of crushed slag or other stabilized or unstabilized material.
The act of compressing a given volume of material into a smaller volume.
Full-Depth Asphalt Pavement
The term FULL-DEPTH (registered by the Asphalt Institute with the U.S. Patent Office) certifies that the pavement is one in which asphalt mixtures are employed for all courses above the subgrade or improved subgrade. A Full-Depth asphalt pavement is placed directly on the prepared subgrade.
Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA)
High quality, thoroughly controlled hot mixture of asphalt binder (cement) and well-graded, high quality aggregate, which can be compacted into a uniform dense mass.
A vertical crack in the pavement that follows a course approximately parallel to the centerline.
A self-propelled unit having a cutting head equipped with carbide-tipped tools for the pulverization and removal of layers of asphalt materials from pavements.
Aggregate particles in a pavement surface that have been worn smooth by traffic.
Bowl-shaped openings in the pavement resulting from localized disintegration.
The progressive separation of aggregate particles in a pavement from the surface downward or from the edges inward.
Cracks in asphalt overlays (usually over deteriorated PCC pavements) that reflect the crack pattern in the pavement structure below it.
This word can have a dual meaning, in one scenario it could mean to place a coating of sealer over the asphalt in other cases it could mean to install 1.5 to 2.5 inches of asphalt over an existing surface.
A thin surface treatment used to improve the surface texture and protect an asphalt surface. The main types of seal coats are fog seals, sand seals, slurry seals, micro-surfacing, cape seals, sandwich seals and chip seals.
Interconnected cracks forming a series of large blocks, usually with sharp corners or angles.
Crescent-shaped cracks resulting from traffic-induced horizontal forces that are open in the direction of the thrust of wheels on the pavement surface. They result when severe or repeated shear stresses are applied to the surface and there is a lack of bond between the surface layer and the course beneath.
The breaking or chipping of a PCC pavement at joints, cracks or edges, usually resulting in fragments with feather edges.
The course in the asphalt pavement structure immediately below the base course. If the subgrade soil has adequate support, it may serve as the subbase.
A crack that follows a course approximately at right angles to the centerline.
The localized upward displacement of a pavement due to swelling of the subgrade or some portion of the pavement structure.
The capability of a material or process to develop a system of microscopic bubbles of air in cement paste, mortar, or concrete during mixing.
The irregular raising of a thin layer at the surface of a placed cementitious mixture during or soon after completion of the finishing operation, or, in the case of pipe, after spinning; also bulging of a finish coat as it separates and draws away from a base coat.
The raising of two concrete slabs off the subgrade where they meet as a result of grater expansion than the joint between them will accommodate; typically occurs only in unusually hot weather where joints have become filled with incompressible material; often results in cracks on both sides of the joint and parallel to it.
A crystalline solid, CaCl2; in various technical grades, used as a drying agent, as an accelerator of concrete, as a deicing chemical, and for other purposes.
Referring to a cementitious mixture that is deposited in the place where it is required to harden as part of the structure, as opposed to precast concrete.
To place a material in a crack or joint with the intent of retarding entry of dirt or water.
Cement, Air-Entraining Hydraulic
Hydraulic cement containing sufficient amounts of air-entraining agent to produce a cementitious mixture containing entrained air within specified limits.
Portland cement characterized by attaining a given level of strength in mortar or concrete earlier than does normal Portland cement; referred to in the U.S. as Type III.
A hydraulic cement produced by pulverizing clinker formed by heating a mixture, usually of limestone and clay, to 1400 to 1600 degree C (2550 to 2900 degree F). Calcium sulfate is usually ground with the clinker control set.
A period when the average daily ambient temperature is below 40 degree F for more than three successive days. Note: The average daily temperature is the average of the highest and lowest temperature during the period from midnight to midnight. When temperatures above 50 degree F occur during more than half of any 24-hour duration, the period shall no longer be regarded as cold weather.
Concrete that has set but not hardened appreciably.
Concrete cast elsewhere than its final position.
Concrete manufactured for delivery to a purchaser in a fresh state.
Compression test on a concrete sample cut from hardened concrete by means of a core drill.
A complete or incomplete separation, of either concrete or masonry, into two or more parts produced by breaking or fracturing.
In a flexural member, an inclined crack caused by shear stress, usually at about 45 degrees to the axis; or a crack in a slab, not parallel to either the lateral or longitudinal directions.
A concrete surface crack with a width so small as to be barely perceptible.
A crack that develops parallel to the length of a member.
Surface crack that occurs in concrete prior to initial set.
Crack due to restraint shrinkage.
A crack that crosses the longer dimension of the member.
Action taken to maintain moisture and temperature conditions in a freshly placed cementitious mixture to allow hydraulic cement hydration and (if applicable) pozzolanic reactions to occur so that the potential properties of the mixture may develop.
A series of longitudinal and transverse wires arranged approximately at right angles to each other and welded together at all points of intersection.
The temporary structure erected to support work in the process of construction: composed of shoring or vertical posting, formwork for beams and slabs, and lateral bracing.
Freeze / Thaw damage
This word can have a dual meaning. In one senerio it could mean to place a coating of sealer over the asphalt, in other cases it could mean to install.
Fiber-Reinforced Polymer (FRP)
A general term for a composite material comprising a polymer matrix reinforced with fibers in the form of fabric, mat, strands, or any other fiber form.
The surface texture obtained by stroking a broom over freshly placed concrete.
A decorative finish for concrete work achieved by removing, generally before the concrete has fully hardened, the outer skin of mortar and exposing the coarse aggregate.
The smooth or textured finish of an unformed concrete surface obtained by troweling.
Total system of support for freshly placed concrete including the mold or sheathing that contacts the concrete as well as supporting members, hardware, and necessary bracing; sometimes called shuttering in the United Kingdom.
A system of structural elements that transmit loads from the structure above to the earth.
The prepared surface on which a concrete slab is cast; the process of preparing a plane surface of granular material or soil on which to cast a concrete slab.
Joint - 1
A physical separation in a concrete system, whether precast or cast-in-place, including cracks if intentionally made to occur at specified locations; or 2) the region where structural members intersect.
The surface where two successive placements of concrete meet, across which it may be desirable to achieve bond and through which reinforcement may be continuous.
Joint, Expansion - 1
A separation provided adjoining parts of a structure to allow movement where expansion is likely to exceed contraction; or 2) a separation between pavement slabs on grade, filled with a compressible filler materials, or 3) an isolation joint intended to allow independent movement between adjoining parts.
Specifically, calcium oxide (CaO); loosely, a general term for the various chemical and physical forms of quicklime, hydrated lime, and hydraulic hydrated lime.
A layer of concrete or mortar, seldom thinner than 1 inch (25 mm), placed on and usually bonded onto the worn or cracked surface of a concrete slab to either restore or improve the function of the previous surface, also polymeric concrete usually less than .4 inches (10 mm) thick.
The wearing a way of concrete surface caused by the dislodging of aggregate particles.
Bars, wires, strands or other slender members that are embedded in concrete in such a manner that they and the concrete act together in resisting forces.
Props or posts of timber or other material in compression used for the temporary support of excavations, formwork, or unsafe structures; the process of erecting shores.
A fragment, usually in the shape of a flake, detached from a larger mass by a blow, the action of weather, pressure, or expansion within the larger mass.
The development of spalls.
Tie - 1
Loop of reinforcing bars encircling the longitudinal steel in columns; and 2) a tensile unit adapted to holding concrete forms against the lateral pressure of unhardened concrete.
Type I Cement
General purpose Portland cement.
Type II Cement
A Portland cement for use when either moderate heat of hydration, moderate sulfate resistance, or both, is desired.
Type III Cement
Portland cement characterized by attaining a given level of strength in mortar or concrete earlier than does normal Portland cement.
Type IV Cement
A Portland cement for use when a low heat of hydration is desired.
Type V Cement
Portland cement, low in tricalcium aluminates, to reduce susceptibility on concrete to attack by dissolved sulfates in water or soils.
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