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Concrete award

ICPA President Gordon Smith presented the 100-mile award to Richard Brumm, County Engineer; and Engineering Tech Jim Wherry.

Mitchell County reaches 100 miles of concrete pavement

Mitchell County was honored earlier this month at a ceremony in Des Moines for joining the honor roll of 34 counties in Iowa that have constructed 100 miles of slipformed concrete pavement. 

The award was announced by the Iowa Concrete Paving Association (ICPA) at their 48th Annual Awards Luncheon at the Airport Holiday Inn. The Awards Luncheon is a part of ICPA's Annual Paving Workshop that typically attracts over 600 of Iowa's leaders in the transportation industry.

Mitchell County's first slipformed concrete paving project was built in 1976 on County Road T-30, north from U.S. 218 to County Road A-23. The project was 4 miles long.    A seven-inch-thick by 22-foot-wide pavement was built by the Fred Carlson Company, Inc. 

Mitchell County Engineering Tech Jim Wherry was 18 years old and had just started working for the county when the first pavement was put down. He recalls that L.R. Falk had opened the Duenow Quarry around that time and wanted the county to pave the road servicing the quarry.   Falk furnished the rock at no charge if Mitchell County would pave the road.

The pavement continues to serve the taxpayers of Mitchell County today. 

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Asked how the pavement has performed, Jim noted that there have been millions of tons of rock hauled on that slab. Two box culvert locations have approximately 300 feet of HMA asphalt overlay due to sub-base heaving in those locations.  There is some center line joint deterioration, but very minor considering age and type of service.

In April of 2011, Mitchell County awarded a contract to Croell and Subsidiary to build four-inch thick by 22 foot wide concrete overlay on 32.3 miles of county roads.  It was the five-mile project on B-17 from Highway 218, East, five miles to Underwood Avenue that completed Mitchell County's 35 year journey to the 100th mile of slipformed concrete pavement. 

But, here's the real story:  67 of the 100 miles have been built since 2009, under the guidance of recently retired engineer Jim Hyde and current engineer, Richard Brumm.

The Mitchell County story involved only 21 slipformed paving projects.  ICPA contractors building these projects included the Fred Carlson Company, Inc.; Allied Construction Co., Inc.; Manatts, Inc.; Concrete Foundations; and Croell  Subsidiary.

The engineers in Mitchell County during the paving years were William Groskurth, James Hyde and Richard Brumm.

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