AHP risers making important inroads with quality and efficiency

By Angus Stocking

For most businesses, the presence of an iron means wrinkles get smoothed out. But, as we all know, the asphalt and pavement business isn’t like most.

When asphalt pavements are overlayed, the so-called “iron” in the street — manhole rings, valve boxes, drain inlets, etc. — must be raised to the grade of the new pavement surface around it. This is a costly and disruptive activity as it requires a second lane closure and work effort, often involving specialty subcontractors who must locate the iron, jack-hammer out the overlay and the old pavement around it, and then raise and anchor the iron to match the new surface elevation. If the use of iron in the street is extensive, you can expect the cost of even a simple overlay project to greatly increase. If only there were a way around all this extra work and traffic disruption.

Fortunately, there is! Many agencies have discovered the efficiency and cost savings of using risers from American Highway Products, which extend the old casting up to the desired elevation. The risers are simply placed inside the old ring or box, and they accept the old iron cover. The risers come in many riser-height increments and many different diameters and lid thicknesses. There’s even an inclined manhole riser that allows for matching new cross-slope created by the overlay.

Convincing Columbus
DePuy Paving has been paving in the Columbus, OH region since 1967. Throughout that time, the company has adopted useful innovations whenever it has learned better ways of doing things; that’s what happened in 2022 when it stopped using cast iron rings to raise manholes to grade after paving and instead started using American Highway Products Pivoted Turnbuckle Manhole Risers.

“The improvement for us was a lower cost for a better-quality product,” said owner Bo DePuy. “We were using cast iron rims before, and sometimes they just didn’t fit well. We haven’t had that problem — or any problem, really — with risers from American Highway Products.”

Ultimately, the AHP manhole risers’ precise fit and adjustability were attractive features for DePuy, but they first had to prove they were up to the job.

“I was worried at first about getting a good fit; on the job, we pull out any existing risers and need the new risers to fit the original rim and match the new pavement,” said DePuy. “I was also worried about the turnbuckle adjustment mechanism and wondered if it would cause problems.”

But after several installations, DePuy realized that precision and durability weren’t problems at all.

“They’re great products,” said DePuy.

American Highway Products risers are available in incremental sizes, making it easy to order solutions that are exact matches for the manholes DePuy routinely raises in Ohio. And the patented pivoted turnbuckle is an excellent solution for another challenge paving companies often face; using a screwdriver as a lever, the turnbuckle can expand or contract the riser roughly half an inch in either direction to slip the riser precisely into the existing rim — even if the rim is worn or out-of-round. And the turnbuckle can also be tightened down; the lever exerts thousands of pounds of mechanical force to seat the riser securely and permanently in the rim, able to stand up to traffic and even the occasional snowplow blade.

DePuy Paving also uses AHP’s Catch Basin and Expandable Valve Box risers, which depend on precision manufacturing to achieve precise, tight fits. He said he likes the products so much, and has so much confidence in their quality, that he orders nearly 200 a year in various sizes and stockpiles them to use as needed during the paving season.

“They don’t rust, and one guy is able to have them on his truck and do all installing,” said DePuy. “For us, it’s a much better way to do things.”

Angus Stocking is a former licensed land surveyor who has been writing about infrastructure since 2002. American Highway Products can be reached at 1-888-272-2397 or by email at sales@ahp2.com. Visit their website at www.ahp1.com