The National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) announced recently that Hutchens Construction Company of Cassville, has won the 2017 Ray Brown Airport Pavement Award for excellence in construction of an asphalt airport pavement. The company received its award at a ceremony during the association’s 63rd Annual Meeting in San Diego.

Hutchens Construction Co. won the award for its asphalt rehabilitation and pavement of the Rogers Executive Airport in Rogers, Arkansas. Located less than eight miles from Walmart headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas, the majority of Rogers Executive Airport travelers are the mega-store's executives.

The Rogers Executive Airport Runway Pavement and Lighting Rehabilitation project was won by Emery Sapp & Sons, who hired Hutchens Construction Co. as a subcontractor tasked with rebuilding the entire length of the runway keel, performing crack repairs, and overlaying 66,000 square yards of runway over a five-day period during the nine-day job. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has very tight criteria it uses for asphalt mixture specs it prescribes for airport runways. To be chosen as the subcontractor responsible for the meeting the FAA's stringent smoothness and volumetric specifications requires a highly knowledgeable team grounded in asphalt pavement best practices.

Hutchens Chief Operating Officer Brandon Finn said company management chose to err on the side of caution and choose a strategy that would give the crews extra time in case an unexpected problem arose.

"We used two crews simultaneously to condense the work down to four days in case we ran into any problems and needed the extra day." This strategic thinking was crucial to Hutchens' success as the company identified a total of 10,000 linear feet of cracked pavement to repair, instead of the original estimate of 500 linear feet.

Over the following four remaining days, Hutchens Construction worked in coordination with other subcontractors to repair miles of severe cracks, first milling the areas and then filling them utilizing 4,000 tons of asphalt pavement mix, before laying 11,000 tons of asphalt pavement mix over the entire runway.

Adam White, P.E., with engineering firm Garver, represented Rogers Executive Airport as the project engineer responsible for ensuring the facility would have a superior asphalt pavement runway at the completion of the project. "Hutchens met or exceeded the strictest FAA specifications on their way to paving close to 15,000 tons of asphalt in four days. The company used dual pavers in order to minimize cold joints, providing a better overall product for the airport."

Hutchens Construction President Phil Hutchens added that “In the world of Asphalt Paving this award is the equivalent of the World Series, or the Super Bowl. In our company’s history this ranks as one of our proudest moments. I would like to congratulate our entire team of over 100 individuals for accomplishing this great achievement, from our estimating & project management group, which was led by Shawn Shrum, to our construction group which was led by construction manager Troy Sizemore, as well as our manufacturing group, for exacting the high quality of asphalt mixture they produced.

"These combined efforts enabled us to achieve this high mark of quality, along with our recognition of the extremely important contribution of over 50 dump truck operators, who’s consistent and timely delivery of material enabled us to install the asphalt in a continuous, uninterrupted manor. It takes the entire team working together to achieve this high level of quality,” said Hutchens.