Wicks Construction Company in Decorah, Iowa, specializes in municipal projects. When it was time to replace their aging paver last year, they chose the GOMACO two-track GP-2600 with G+® controls because of its smaller size while maintaining the ability to pave a city street with integral curb in a single pass.
One of the projects they’ve completed with their new paver was 28 blocks of city street in Windom, Minnesota. The city of Windom, with an approximate population of 4600 citizens, did a complete removal and replacement of the 50-year-old sewer system and 30-year-old streets within those 28 blocks. In total, Wicks Construction slipformed 35,200 square yards (29,431 m2) of Portland cement concrete (PCC).
“This project was bid as an asphalt alternate, but the city chose concrete due to the fact that it was less maintenance and a longer life,” David Clark, Project Manager for Wicks Construction, explained. “From there, it was slipform all the way. We had just purchased the GP-2600, so we moved it in and began the work.”
Wicks Construction’s GP-2600 is outfitted with a 5000 series open front, auger forward mold. A power transition adjuster (PTA) in the mold controls the crown, up to 4.5 inches (114 mm), in the city street. The paver is also equipped with three rear loading, front inserting 5400 series bar inserters. The bar inserters are loaded from the work bridge on the back of the paver, while the bars are inserted in front of the mold.
The three 5400 series bar inserters placed a 36 inch (914 mm) long, #4 bar into the six or seven inch (152 or 178 mm) thick street. The diameter of the bars was 0.5 inches (13 mm). A G+ controller mounted to the rear of the paver by the bar boxes managed the bar placements at 30 inch (762 mm) consistent spacings.
It’s been a long time since the company has bought a new paver, so the G+ control system was a big upgrade for them, but not one that their operator found challenging. In preparation for the new paver, Wicks Construction sent their operator to GOMACO University the past two winters, attending the pavers class in 2013 and the advanced pavers course in 2014.
“This is our first paver with a computer, so I don’t have anything to compare the learning experience to, but I think it’s great,” Jack Kolka, Paver Operator for Wicks Construction, explained. “You don’t need prior experience with it to learn how to use it. It’s pretty easy to navigate through.
“I don’t think I can name just one favorite feature on this paver. I like the split sideforms because you’re able to get closer to the headers when you back up the following morning, the rear steer, the bar inserters, the GP-2600’s quiet engine, and so many other things.”
The concrete for the project was a 3A21 Minnesota Department of Transportation mix design with water reducer added. Slump averaged two to 2.5 inches (51 to 64 mm). Ready-mix trucks delivered the concrete to the paving site and dumped on grade directly in front of the GP-2600 paver.
“We had over 150 box outs on that job, too, for manholes and intakes,” Clark said. “We had to set them all on the fly because we had to maintain access to get the concrete trucks in there, too. It kept our guys busy.”
“Even with a four foot (1.2 m) offset, there were still trees, utility poles and fire hydrants to contend with,” Larry Berg, Paving Superintendent for Wicks Construction, said. “Behind the paver we had to build the box outs for the manholes so we had some challenges to deal with, but overall, the GP-2600 performed great.”
Wicks Construction’s city street paving production averaged 90 cubic yards (68.8 m3) per hour, with their best production as high as 110 cubic yards (84.1 m3) per hour with consistent concrete delivery. Transverse joints in the new city street were every nine feet (2.7 m) with longitudinal joints every 12 feet (3.7 m).
“From the first load we put through the GP-2600, the thing has built just excellent edges with no slump,” Clark said. “All we have to do behind the paver is run a bull float and apply the burlap texture drag.”
Wicks Construction has had their GP-2600 at work on other city street projects, both in Minnesota and Iowa. They are happy with the versatility of their new two-track paver and the support they receive from GOMACO.
“For our type of work, the GP-2600 is just the most versatile piece of equipment,” Clark said. “It handles the different widths we need in the different municipalities and builds the integral curb beautifully. Plus, the 24 hour support we get from GOMACO’s service department and the training they provide through GOMACO University is just top notch.”
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Wick’s GOMACO GP-2600 paver is equipped with a 5000 series open front, auger forward mold and three 5400 series bar inserters. The bar inserters are loaded from the work bridge on the back of the paver and the bars are inserted in front of the mold. G+ control boxes manage the placement of the bars every 30 inches (762 mm) into the new city street.
Wick’s paving crew had to deal with over 150 box outs for manholes and intakes as they slipformed the 28 blocks of city street in Windom, Minnesota.