APAC Puts Final Touches on 288 Near Richmond

Wed February 18, 2004 - Southeast Edition
Angela B. Hurni

APAC-Virginia Inc. of Danville is nearing completion of a $236 million design-build construction management contract on a section of Route 288 around Richmond, VA.

Under the Public-Private Transportation Act of 1995 (PPTA), the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) awarded the contract to APAC, which formed a partnership with Koch Performance Roads Inc. and CH2M HILL to assist with the project. The project is 91percent complete.

Construction on Route 288 includes a new, four-lane highway that extends approximately 17.5 miles (28 km) with 25 bridges and 10 interchanges. It is being built in three projects between the Powhite Parkway Extension (Route 76) in Chesterfield County and Interstate 64 in Goochland County.

VDOT is managing two segments of the Route 288 project: one stretches from Route 76 to Charter Colony Parkway in Chesterfield County and the other extends from Charter Colony Parkway to the Powhatan County Line.

APAC is overseeing construction of the rest of Route 288, from the Powhatan County Line to I-64 in Goochland County as well as the main line lanes for the entire corridor from Route 76 to I-64. While APAC’s contract is worth $236 million, the overall project cost for Route 288 is estimated at $319 million.

APAC-Virginia Inc. is the prime contractor on the job. Koch Performance Roads Inc., headquartered in Wichita, KS, is providing pavement design, quality assurance and control, public relations and a limited 20-year pavement rehabilitation and reconstruction warranty. A global project delivery company, CH2M HILL of Herndon, VA, is contributing design and construction management services.

During the first two years of construction, work on the project was ahead of schedule. Because rainy weather inundated the area last year, hopes of completing the project by the scheduled Oct. 31, 2003, were quashed. As a result, the opening of Route 288 will occur in three phases. The project team is implementing multiple crews and shifts for asphalt paving, wherever feasible, in order to make up the lost time.

“This has been a record wet weather year, so there are delays on the project,” said Rick Fischer, APAC project manager. “We are reviewing the project status weekly as well as monthly and revising the work schedule based on weather conditions and the progress we have made toward completion.”

Despite an inordinate number of weather related delays, the first phase from I-64 to Route 250 (West Broad Street) was completed Dec. 22, 2003. As a result of implementing laser guide technologies on its asphalt paving equipment, the contractor was able to consistently produce very smooth pavement surfaces.

“The design/build structure of this project allows us flexibility to be innovative and quickly respond to site conditions,” Fischer said. “We can consider a variety of means and methods to stabilize the muddy subgrade so we can pave in those areas.” Some areas were so water-logged they required undercutting and replacement with quarry stone or imported dry soils.

There is no definite date for the opening of the second phase, from Route 250 to Route 60, or for the third phase, from Route 60 to Route 76. However, Fischer does acknowledge that “recent schedule reviews indicate a mid-summer to early fall 2004 completion date for the entire project, including a section managed by VDOT. These forecasts are, of course, contingent on experiencing much more favorable weather conditions than nature dealt us last year.”

Fischer emphasized, “We want to move as quickly as possible, but we will not compromise worker safety, the local environment or the quality of the finished product to meet accelerated production goals.”

Even though the opening dates of Route 288 will occur in phases, the actual construction is separated into seven sections, labeled A through G. Section A construction will take place from the Chesterfield/Powhatan County Line to the south end of the James River Bridge. This portion includes four lanes that will be constructed northward to the James River Bridge. Additionally, a diamond interchange will be constructed at Route 711, including a bridge carrying Route 711 over Route 288 and associated service roads. Just south of Route 711, two bridges will be built carrying Route 288 over Bernard’s Creek.

Construction on the James River Bridge, Section B, was completed in August 2002. The 3,608-ft. (1,100 m) prestressed concrete bridge uses a concrete girder design and has two spans with two lanes and full right shoulders. The parallel bridges carry Route 288 over the James River, Kanawha Canal, and CSX Railway.

Section C work will include four lanes that will be constructed from the north end of the James River Bridge to north of the Route 6 interchange. A bridge carrying Route 650 (River Road) over Route 288 also will be built, as well as a cloverleaf type interchange at Route 6 and a bridge carrying Route 6 over Route 288. There will be one road relocation and the construction of two service roads during work on Section C.

Work in Section D will take place north of the Route 6 interchange to south of the Route 250 interchange. This includes four lanes to be constructed from north of the Route 6 interchange to West Creek Parkway and from West Creek Parkway to Route 250, two lanes on the eastern side of the existing two-lane section of Route 250 will be constructed. There also will be a diamond-type interchange with a loop in the southwest quadrant created at West Creek Parkway, as well as two bridges carrying Route 288 over West Creek Parkway. An additional bridge will be built over Broad Branch Creek

Section D also includes a cloverleaf interchange at Tuckahoe Creek Parkway, including a flyover from Route 288 into the Capital One site being developed. Access to the Capital One site will have two structures, one over the Route 288 mainline and one over Tuckahoe Creek Parkway.

Additionally, Tuckahoe Creek Parkway will be extended westward from Route 288 to Route 623. Work at the Tuckahoe Creek Parkway Interchange also will include a structure that will carry Tuckahoe Creek Parkway over Route 288, while the existing two-lane structure transporting southbound Route 288 traffic over Tuckahoe Creek will be widened to accommodate an auxiliary lane from the Route 250 Interchange. Another bridge incorporated into Section D will be built to carry northbound Route 288 over Tuckahoe Creek.

In Section E, the Route 288 mainline and auxiliary lanes from south of Route 250 to I-64 will be constructed, as well as interchanges with the two highways. There will also be two bridges built that will move traffic on Route 288 over Route 250. At the Route 288 and I-64 interchange, two flyover structures and one ramp structure will be built over Little Tuckahoe Creek.

Improvements in Chesterfield County are included in Section F work. A four-lane mainline section will be built through the Route 76 and Lucks Lane interchanges. Lucks Lane will be widened as well as the bridge that carries Lucks Lane over Route 288. Further bridgework in this section consists of one for northbound Route 288 over Route 76 and one for Woolridge Road over Route 288. A portion of Woolridge Road will be worked on up to the point where VDOT’s contractor takes over. On- and off- ramps also are included in this section.

Completed so far in Section F is the area from Route 76 to the Lucks Lane interchange as well as the Lucks Lane overpass, which are now open to motorists.

Work on Section G, at Southern Access Road, has been completed. This portion of the project involved construction of two bridges: one over Route 288 and the other over Broad Branch Creek. Additionally, a new two-lane access road was built with widening as required for turning movements between the two bridges.

In 2001, the Route 288 project team, led by APAC-Virginia’s Special Projects Division, was awarded the Globe award from the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA). The award acknowledges U.S. transportation construction industry excellence in environmental protection and mitigation.