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APAC-Kansas Earns State’s First Sheldon G. Hayes Award


A lot of freight traffic taking products and goods from the Great Plains up into the Rocky Mountains utilizes Interstate 70, which connects Kansas City and Denver, but in Gove County, Kansas, the trucks share the road with local traffic, commuters, and farmers taking their wheat and corn to market.

“For the people in the area, it is really the route to get products,” said Tom Stivers, the Western Kansas Branch Manager for the Shears Division of APAC-Kansas. “It’s as busy as roads get in the state of Kansas. That’s a primary route.”

APAC-Kansas completed an award-winning mill and overlay project along the interstate from four miles east of Kansas Route 211 to the Trego County line. NAPA selected the project as the winner of the 2023 Sheldon G. Hayes Award for Highest Quality in Asphalt Paving.

The project called for a mill and inlay to correct slope across the driving lanes before being topped with a second overlay. In all, crews placed 75,879 tons of asphalt along the road owned by the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT).

Stivers said the company didn’t set out to bring home the asphalt pavement industry’s highest honor when they finished the overlay in October 2022, but he noted that great roads get made when things fall into place.

“We go out every day and try to do really great work,” he said, adding that when the paving season wraps up in November, there is a period of quality control review that leads to a handful of projects being submitted for Quality in Construction (QIC) consideration.


Aggregates are trucked in from Garden City, near the Arkansas River, and travel up to 150 miles before they reach the three portable asphalt mix plants Shears has located across western Kansas. Stivers said his employees charged with quality control are often determining whether decisions at the plant or natural variations in their stockpiles are the driving force behind differences in performance.

To earn a QIC “it takes a lot of things going right,” Stivers explained, noting that inconsistent aggregates can make the difference between a road that meets specifications and one that deserves an industry award.

“It takes all the pieces coming together,” he said. “Everything from the design and road base to what we’re working with naturally and the materials coming in.”

APAC-Kansas crews also earned two Larry H. Lemon Awards for U.S. 183 in Clark County and U.S. 54 in Meade County.

While it’s the first Sheldon G. Hayes Award for APAC-Kansas, the group has won other NAPA accolades and was actually awaiting its state awards in Lawrence when news began to trickle in about the big win.

Stivers said the whole team was at the University of Kansas for the 67th Annual Asphalt Pavement Conference when NAPA Director of Alliances & Awards Michelle Kirk reached out to let him know their I-70 work had won. He learned the same crew had also notched two Larry H. Lemon Awards.

“They do fantastic work,” he said. “They always do.”

Stivers said fellow members and the leadership of the Kansas Asphalt Pavement Association (KAPA) began congratulating the company for bringing the award home to Kansas for the first time, and the mood at the conference suggested that the state’s work shortages of the previous decade are becoming a distant memory.

“We went through some pretty lean times in the past five to six years where there just didn’t seem to be enough work for everybody,” he said. “But things are looking pretty good in the state of Kansas right now.”

And as for the award-winning stretch of highway?

“It hits that baseline standard of being really smooth,” Stivers said. “It looks good and performance looks great.”

Sheldon G. Hayes Finalists

Lindy Paving, Inc.
SR 90 Overlay
Erie County, Pennsylvania
Completed: Nov. 1, 2022
Tons of Asphalt Used: 67,616

Pike Industries, Inc., A CRH Company
VT 113 Perpetual Pavement
Barre, Vermont
Completed: Oct. 14, 2022
Tons of Asphalt Used: 62,000

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