William Charles Ltd.
Encouraged by the federal government to reduce the possibility of quality assurance fraud, the State of Illinois enacted a Pay for Performance program for construction projects. Paving a 20-mile stretch of I-39 is William Charles Construction’s first project to fall under Pay for Performance oversight and it is IDOT’s largest PFP project to date.
Doug Jury, Quality Control supervisor, and Jon Joesten, QC project manager, explained the program requires test samples of surface mix be split for IDOT and our materials lab. An IDOT representative witnesses samples being taken and split, placed in a container which is then sealed and signed for before it is sent to IDOT’s lab. An additional sample is taken for independent review in case of a dispute. This year, PFP projects target jobs requiring a minimum of 8,000 tons of mix. Regulations tighten over time, and by 2014, projects using 4,000 tons of mix or more will be targeted.
Doug and Jon agree that compliance with these new regulations has just about doubled the workload - doubled sampling, more than doubled field testing and necessitated more personnel, and in time, will bring an increase to the cost of mix. On-site sampling was traditionally done two or three times per day but on this project, it’s done six times and density is tested every two-tenths of a mile rather than every half mile.
The Pay, in Pay for Performance, is based on:
Plant void testing
Field voids in mineral aggregate to assure the proper blend of asphalt coating
Doug credits Jon whose accurate sampling and corresponding adjustments resulted in 99.5 percent pay for the first 10,000 tons of material. “We strive for quality mix,” Doug said, “and we’re working together to achieve the highest pay factor. We track results daily. With pay based on statistical analysis, we must produce a consistent quality mix.”
Doug and Jon agree accuracy is the result of a team effort based on a number of things including plant set up, Jordan Heeren’s plant sampling, quick field adjustments, proper equipment calibration, Nate Palmer’s plant crew, Rollie Feery, Don Foster and Dirk Morgan’s paving crews and density technicians. There are so many variations with gradation and mechanical issues, Doug said. It’s technical and it’s complicated, but so far, the numbers are looking good.