Dufferin Construction Selects G&Z Spread
for Canada’s Longest Runway

To build what will be the longest airport runway in Canada, Dufferin Construction Company, a division of Holcim (Canada) Inc. recently purchased a three-machine spread of concrete paving equipment from Guntert & Zimmerman. Ontario-based Dufferin Construction, which already owns two other G&Z pavers, bought an S1500 four-track paver, a PS 1200 placer, and an S1500 texture cure machine for this project.

The big project is at Calgary International Airport in Alberta, where Dufferin’s contract calls for more than 1 million m2 of new concrete surface. Construction has already started. Dufferin essentially will have two construction seasons – 2012 and 2013 – to complete the work, which is scheduled to wrap up by May 2014.

The challenge of the project, says project superintendent Mike Cristinziano, is to place and pave the sheer volume of aggregates and concrete required. “You need to take into consideration that our construction season up here in Calgary is not as long as in other parts of the country,” says Mr. Cristinziano. “Depending on the weather, our season runs from May or June until October, and that’s it.”

The company’s contract includes:

  • a new runway that is 4,300 m long by 60 m wide;
  • apron area measuring 145,000 m2;
  • two taxiways, each 3,800 m long by 25 m wide;
  • six high-speed taxiways;
  • base aggregate, 1.5 million t;
  • cement-stabilized base, 200,000 m3.

It is possible that construction will run around the clock, and seven days a week, in order to finish on time, says John Zavarella, superintendent of concrete plants and equipment for Dufferin. Both he and Mike Cristinziano say working hours will depend on how things go and how well the weather cooperates.

The concrete for runways and taxiways will be 435 mm thick. Apron concrete will be 415 mm.

“We have owned an S1500 paver since 1995, when we built Highway 407 in Ontario,” says Mr. Zavarella. “That machine is still in use as one of our main paving units. In 2001 we added an S850 to our fleet. So our crews and operators are well experienced in operating Guntert equipment.”

“When we were looking at the Calgary site, it called for paving 12.5 m wide at the widest, and for paving at that depth we knew that the S1500 was pretty well the right machine. We have already tackled airport jobs of that width with that type of pavement and we had no issues with it.”

John Zavarella says Dufferin crews and operators appreciate several features of the G&Z pavers and equipment:

  • the paver has split guillotine side gates that allow the paver to back onto existing slabs at the start of the day with ease. Handwork is minimized;
  • telescopic end sections allow quick mold changes between 12.5 m and 10 m wide;
  • all three machines – the paver, the placer and the texture-cure machine – have 90° steering capability. Each machine can turn the tracks 90° and move directly across to the next slab;
  • the PS1200 placer allows Dufferin to place dowel baskets well out in front of the paving train. And the placer has a 162 cm belt that slides in and out for faster operation than one that folds up and down. “We can place concrete a lot faster and more efficiently,” says Mr. Zavarella.

Mike Cristinziano says Dufferin likely will run two pavers – the S1500 and the S850 – on the Calgary airport project. The S850 will handle narrower widths and shorter stretches of pavement.

“We strive to be leaders in the concrete paving business,” says Mr. Zavarella. “Our crews and operators all take pride in achieving good quality. That’s one reason we selected paving equipment from Guntert & Zimmerman.”

Source: Guntert & Zimmerman Const. Div., Inc.

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