Tag Archives: MDOT

Superpave Gyratory Compactor expands Hot Mix Asphalt testing capabilities

G2 Project Manager James Berry

James Berry, P.E. Project Manager

G2 Consulting Group is expanding its Hot-Mix-Asphalt (HMA) testing capabilities at its Troy laboratory with the addition of a new Superpave Gyratory Compactor (SGC).  The new machine is a Model AFG2 manufactured by Pine Test Equipment, Inc. The SGC will allow G2 Consulting to test and determine the volumetric properties of the newer Superpave HMA mixtures (MDOT E series mixes) that are being used more and more by our local and regional agency clients.

What is Superpave?

Superpave stands for Superior Performing Asphalt Pavements. It is a mixed-design method that makes the best use of asphalt paving technology and enhances asphalt pavements’ ability to balance the high-temperature rutting and low-temperature cracking characteristics of asphalt concrete. Superpave replaces the Hveem and Marshall methods.

Why is it important?

Harvey Hurwitz, Senior Engineering Technician demonstrates compaction sampling.

Determining volumetric properties of compacted HMA samples is an important component of mix design development and project quality control and quality assurance testing. With the older Marshall designed mixes, this was relatively easy with simple mechanical compaction equipment. Superpave mixes require the much more sophisticated SGC to compact the laboratory samples for testing. The SGC allows us to produce samples in our laboratory representing a variety of different projected traffic loadings using compaction methods that more closely simulate mix compaction under repeated vehicle wheel passes rather than compaction with a smooth drum roller. Many regional agencies are requiring volumetric properties tests as part of standard QA/QC testing, and it is anticipated that MDOT Local Agency Projects will require QA volumetric testing for Marshall and Superpave HMA mixtures in the near future.

Superpave Gyratory Compactor

G2’s new Superpave Gyratory Compactor will be used to test newer Superpave Hot Mix Asphalt mixtures.


MDOT / ACEC Partnering Workshop February 4

Mark Smolinski, P.E Principal/Project Consultant

Mark Smolinski, P.E
Principal/Project Consultant

The annual MDOT / ACEC Partnering Workshop is just around the corner – February 4.  The event drew over 500 attendees last year and will no doubt draw a crowd this year as well.  It will get kicked off the evening of February 3 with a networking reception for ACEC Members only, designed to provide an opportunity for some face time with MDOT leadership and staff.

Ron Brenke, Executive Director of ACEC Michigan, says this year’s event will have some key highlights.  “MDOT is planning to make announcements about policy changes concerning several issues we have been working on for the past year,” shares Ron.  “In addition, the new MDOT Chief Operations Officer Mark Van Port Fleet will be  discussing where new money will be spent and what the spending approach means for consultants.   Of course,  the MDOT-ACEC Partnership Award winner also will be announced!”

Other workshop highlights include:

  • Transform I-66 Mega Project presentation by Virginia DOT.
  • 19 educational breakout sessions addressing topics ranging from bridge engineering and inspection updates to delivery of public-private partnerships to MDOT’s Smart Corridor Initiative to an overview of MDOT’s I-75 and I-94 Mega Projects.
  • Roundtable discussions with various MDOT departments concerning topics such as finance/contracts/DBE, Planning/Design/Multi-Modal, Construction Administration, Operations/ITS, and Bridge.

Click here for more information or to register.




2015 Was a Great Year – 2016 Looks Even Better!

Mark Smolinski, P.E Principal/Project Consultant

Mark Smolinski, P.E
Principal/Project Consultant

After years of slow to no growth in Michigan’s construction industry, especially road building, new construction projects took center stage here at G2 in Michigan in 2015, propelling us into our fourth consecutive record year.

One of the key 2015 highlights was the June acquisition of Birmingham (MI)-based Schleede-Hampton Associates, a former competitor, which will help the combined company expand its expertise as well as reach new industries and geographies.

During 2015, G2 completed a variety of projects for MDOT, including design build work with Dan’s Excavating and Bergmann Associates on the reconstruction of the I-75-University Drive interchange in Auburn Hills. The firm partnered with Hardman Construction to design and build the earth retention walls for the new $450 million Red Wings Arena in Detroit and worked with Giffels Webster and Scannell Properties on construction of the 60 acre, 300,000-sq-ft Fed Ex distribution center in Oak Park. In October, G2 was selected by RS Engineering to become part of the team for reconstruction of the I-94/Cadillac bridge in Detroit in preparation for the massive $3 billion, 20-year I-94 reconstruction project, slated to start in 2017.

Other 2015 highlights include:

  • The company was awarded a three-year “as needed” indefinite services contract by MDOT in January.
  • In June, G2 was part of the team that won the ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineering) Outstanding Civil Engineering Award for its work on the I-96 reconstruction project in Wayne County (MI) in 2014. This project also earned recognition by the Engineering Society of Detroit and CAM magazine as a signature construction project in Michigan.
  • In July, G2 was named one of the top 100 “Hot Firms” nationally by Zweig Group, a leading research, publishing and consulting firm in the AEP (Architecture, Engineering, Planning) and environmental consulting fields. The award is based on revenue growth over three years.
  • In July, G2 added two new equity partners – Mark Stapleton and Amy Schneider, both of whom had been with the firm for over a decade – to its top management team. During the year the company hired 13 new employees a 27 percent increase in staff for the year, and up more than 50 percent from just two years ago.
  • The firm completed more than 2,500 projects running the gamut from infrastructure, waste water, telecomm, health care, automotive and private sector work.

The jobs we won and the recognition we received made 2015 a very good year for G2 and positions us for an even better 2016.  Solving construction problems quickly and efficiently is our focus and we continuously reinvest in our people, our technology and our knowledge to ensure that we can meet whatever construction challenges we’re given. We look forward to successfully meeting more of those challenges and growing the business further in 2016.




I-75 / University Drive Interchange Under Construction

Noel J. Hargrave-Thomas, P.E. Principal/Project Consultant

Noel J. Hargrave-Thomas, P.E.
Principal/Project Consultant

Design and reconstruction of the I-75/University Drive interchange in Oakland County is well underway, scheduled to be completed by year-end with restoration work planned for early 2016.

The interchange features Michigan’s first “diverging diamond” interchange, a relatively new design technology in the U.S. but used extensively throughout Europe. Click here to read more about the diverging diamond design.

G2 Consulting Group provided geotechnical design services for bridge pile foundations, MSE abutments, roadway embankments, sign and signal foundations, and peat excavation as part of the Dan’s Excavating/Bergmann Associates Design-Build Team.

Click on the video below to learn more and watch construction activities.


I96 Fix: ASCE’s 2015 Outstanding Civil Engineering Award Winner


Mark Stapleton, P.E.
Project Manager

Congratulations to the construction team that won the 2015 Outstanding Civil Engineering Award announced by the American Society of Civil Engineers Michigan section at ASCE’s annual Michigan Infrastructure Conference last week!

The complex $150 million I-96 reconstruction project completed last summer in Western Wayne County included seven miles of highway and redevelopment of 37 bridges, overpasses and their respective on/off ramps and, with a 180-day start to finish timetable.  Considered one of the most compressed schedules for a project of its scope, the project was especially noteworthy for its use of e-construction methodologies which improved communication, driving efficiencies in both time and cost.

This was an unusually challenging project but that’s what made working on it so enjoyable.  We were brought in by the general contractor on the job, Dan’s Excavating, and we became part of an incredibly smart and efficient construction team.  The fact that we beat the timetable and lowered the forecasted project cost was a huge success. This award is the icing on the cake.

Click on the video below for additional project details.



First “Diverging Diamond” Interchange in Michigan

David Wanlass, P.E. Project Manager

David Wanlass, P.E.
Project Manager

G2 Consulting Group is proud to have been selected as part of the Design-Build team on one of MDOT’s premier projects for 2015:  design and reconstruction of the I-75/University Drive interchange in Oakland County.  The job kicked off in February and is scheduled to be completed by year-end with restoration work planned for early 2016.

The interchange will feature Michigan’s first “diverging diamond” interchange, a design that Popular Science named a ‘Best Innovation’ for its ability to allow left turns on and off the freeway to occur without crossing the approaching traffic flow.  The diverging diamond is a relatively new design technology in the U.S. but has been used extensively throughout Europe.  It is considered to be more efficient, user-friendly and safer than other design approaches.  Click here to read more about the diverging diamond design.

Read more about this G2’s involvement on this project.


Progress and Success are Themes of the ACEC/MDOT Partnering Conference

Ron Brenke, P.E., Executive Director of ACEC Michigan

Ron Brenke, P.E.
Executive Director

(Article jointly prepared by G2 Consulting Group with special thanks to Ron Brenke, P.E., Executive Director of ACEC Michigan)

ACEC (American Council of Engineering Companies) of Michigan and the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) recently held their annual partnering workshop in Lansing.  ACEC of Michigan is committed to providing a competitive advantage to its member firms in their marketplace.  The meeting reviewed a number of significant accomplishments in 2014 including the culmination of efforts to simplify and improve the pre-qualification process for companies interested in working with  MDOT.

Simple as it sounds, this effort has been ongoing for a number of years.  Prequalification has been extremely costly and time consuming, both for the companies trying to become qualified to do work for MDOT and for the agency itself.  It involved wheelbarrows of paperwork that took hours to prepare and review.  The new process is nearly paperless, streamlined and up-to-date and will enable companies to more quickly renew their prequalification on an annual basis.  Bravo, Director Kirk Steudle  and MDOT! This is a needed change that’s been a long time coming.

Also at the meeting Andrew Doctoroff, Senior Advisor to MDOT on Transportation Initiatives, gave a bullish update on the International Bridge project, the $1 billion trade crossing project connecting Windsor, Ont. and Detroit that will be primarily funded by Canada.  Doctoroff reported on property acquisition, environmental permits, and the new joint authority that will operate the bridge and talked about the creation of more than 10,000 construction-related jobs that will be created during the estimated six year project (scheduled to be completed in 2020).

Another proud moment in the meeting came when last summer’s reconstruction of I-96 was singled out for kudos from MDOT.  That project, which took the unusual step of entirely closing a heavily travelled seven mile section of the freeway, was a completely paperless job that utilized new technologies and techniques, saved millions of dollars in costs (est. at $4.5M), and finished ahead of schedule. G2 Consulting Group, an ACEC Michigan member firm, engineered earth retention systems to safeguard underground infrastructure during construction of the project (click here to view a video overview of the I-96 Reconstruction Project).

The meeting wrapped up with an enthusiastic roundtable discussion covering design, contracts, environmental and operational issues.

This year’s ACEC meeting was one of the biggest ever and drew a healthy audience of over 500 on a cold February day.  But planners are looking to grow the program in the future.  Next year’s meeting will be held on February 4, 2016 at the Lansing Center.

Click here for more information on ACEC Michigan and upcoming events.