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ARRA Funded Projects in the Works in Northwest Ga.

Thu February 25, 2010 - National Edition
Zoie Clift

Northwest Georgia is currently home territory to ten American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funded highway projects. Work on all the projects began during the summer of 2009 and cumulatively they are valued at more than $48 million. The scope of the projects range from adding turn lanes on U.S. 41 in Bartow County to replacing a bridge on County Line Road over Polecat Creek.

Construction work is finished on the first project: the resurfacing of I-575, which included more than 20 mi. (32 km) of resurfacing on the interstate, beginning at I-75 in Cobb County and extending to the Etowah River in Cherokee County. I- 575 is 31 miles long and connects the Atlanta area with the north Georgia mountains.

“A major objective of the project’s construction plan was to minimize the impact construction work would have on the heavy traffic the interstate carries during the day,” said Mohamed Arafa, GDOT Communications Officer in Northwest Georgia. “As a result, work on the $18.5 million project, which was contracted to Marietta based C.W. Matthews Contracting Co., occurred exclusively at night,” he added.

The project started in July 2009 and was completed last September. It was completed ahead of schedule. The original completion date was for this spring.

“There was concern at the beginning of the project in getting the paperwork processed through GDOT,” said Bill White, vice president of asphalt operations of C.W. Matthews Contracting Co. “We wanted to finish the project early and with cooler air temperatures coming we needed to start as soon as possible. GDOT was very cooperative on its behalf in this manner.”

As to equipment used for the project, according to White there were six Roadtec RX900 milling machines (two used on the full-lanes on the main line and four used on the half lanes on the ramps and shoulders), four Roadtec SB 2500 shuttle buggies (two on the main line and two on the ramps and shoulders) four Roadtec RP 190 pavers (two on ramps and shoulders and two on main line) and 10 Caterpillar asphalt rollers. The lineup of rollers included four 634 steel wheel rollers (one with each crew for asphalt breakdown), four 534 steel wheel rollers (one with each crew for finishing) and two pneumatic tire rollers for ramps and shoulders.

“This was basically the heart of our milling and paving equipment on this project,” said White.

Not counting the asphalt plant crews or any subcontractors the contractors had around 72 hourly employees working on any given night. Work restrictions on this project limited them to night paving only and they generally worked the four milling crews and four paving crews in a 12-hour shift. Depending on progress for the week they worked either six or seven nights each week. Once the final surface mix began on the main line, they downsized the number of paving crews.

White said the project brought work to the area at a needed time.

“The timing of the project was very crucial due to the current economic times around our state,” he said. “We not only wanted to finish this project early, we needed work for four paving crews and four milling crews.”

The remaining ARRA projects include work of varied scopes. C.W. Matthews Contracting Co. has been contracted for two projects in Bartow County. Work is just about to begin on resurfacing and maintenance work from SR 3 south of Peachtree Street to north of MLK Jr. in Cartersville. The $710,083 project is scheduled for completion in April. There also will be intersection improvements at various locations on SR 3/ US 41 median turn lanes from Cobb County line to R 293 Connector. The project will cost $10,694,375.

C.W. Matthews Contracting Co. also is contractor for safety work on SR 2 Battlefield Parkway at Pine Grove Road. Completion date is this fall for the $1,092,984 project in Cotossa County. In Cherokee County resurfacing and maintenance work is scheduled for SR 140 from west of 1-575 to the Fulton County Line. Work is scheduled for completion this summer on this $1,678,700 project.

Cornett Bridge Inc., Gainesville, Ga., is the contractor for construction of a bridge and approaches on County Line Road over Polecat Creek. Work will be finished this spring and the project is set to cost $1,371,304.

Other projects include a $438,000 landscape and beautification project on the Buchanan Town Square streetscape in Haralson County, a $625,000 project on the Dallas Trail Head in Paulding County, a $281,000 Rockmart streetscape project in Polk County, and resurfacing and maintenance work on SR1 Business from SR 1 to SR 1 in Lafayette in Walker County. The $687,393 project has been contracted to Northwest Georgia Paving Inc., Calhoun, Ga., and started last fall. It is scheduled to be finished this spring.

Nationwide, around $48 billion in stimulus investments are being made in transportation infrastructure, including highways. Georgia is slated to receive $932 million in stimulus funds to improve roadways. GDOT is responsible for 70 percent of this in highway system stimulus funds. The remaining 30 percent goes to the state’s 15 metropolitan planning organizations.

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