AZDOT Widens I-10 to Combat Rising Traffic

Thu May 02, 2013 - West Edition
Mary Reed


Pulice Construction Inc., of Phoenix, Ariz., is prime general contractor for the job, which also involves three bridges, six box culverts, and numerous cast-in-place retaining walls.
Pulice Construction Inc., of Phoenix, Ariz., is prime general contractor for the job, which also involves three bridges, six box culverts, and numerous cast-in-place retaining walls.
Pulice Construction Inc., of Phoenix, Ariz., is prime general contractor for the job, which also involves three bridges, six box culverts, and numerous cast-in-place retaining walls. Work on the project began in September of 2011. The contract is of 26 months duration and AZDOT currently projects the job, including application of rubberized asphalt to this section of roadway, will be completed in the first half of 2014.

Stretching from Santa Monica, Calif., to I-95 in Jacksonville, Fla., Interstate 10 (I-10) is the fourth-longest interstate in the country.

In Arizona it is known as the Pearl Harbor Memorial Highway and the Arizona Department of Transportation (AZDOT) is currently overseeing a $76.4 million project to widen 2.33 mi. (3.7 km) of I-10 to four lanes in each direction between Ruthrauff Road and Prince Road in Tucson, to accommodate increasing traffic volumes and match the downtown Tucson stretch of I-10 recently widened to the same four-lane configuration.

“Major improvements that are planned as part of this Interstate 10 project also include reconstructing the Prince Road traffic interchange so Prince Road will pass over the Union Pacific Railroad tracks and I-10, as well as updating the entrance and exit ramps to provide better connections and improved access for motorists and new landscaping along the project area,” said AZDOT Public Information Officer Dustin Krugel.

Construction of the bridge over the railroad and I-10 will overcome traffic congestion and peak hour back-ups caused by the 40 to 60 daily trains passing through the existing interchange, while also looking ahead to dealing with Union Pacific plans to double the number of tracks at the location.

Pulice Construction Inc., of Phoenix, Ariz., is prime general contractor for the job, which also involves three bridges, six box culverts, and numerous cast-in-place retaining walls.

Work on the project began in September of 2011. The contract is of 26 months duration and AZDOT currently projects the job, including application of rubberized asphalt to this section of roadway, will be completed in the first half of 2014.

“There are always issues you run into on the project, but the partnership with ADOT has been a major component in solving the issues we have encountered thus far, which have included utility conflicts, design issues, schedule conflicts, unsuitable or collapsible soil conditions, and maintaining continuous access for surrounding businesses and the traveling public,” a Pulice Construction spokesperson said, adding that since the company is Phoenix-based the majority of the management staff has to commute to and from Phoenix each week.

Pulice Construction is fielding a large fleet of equipment for the job, including:

• 50, 60, and 70 ton (45, 54, 64 t) Linkbelt rough terrain cranes, which are lifting wall form panels, reinforcing steel, steel beams, and so on according to capacity.

• Caterpillar TL1255 telescopic and TH460B forklifts, which are moving large pallets of material, temporary barrier, deadmen, heavy tools, and small equipment around the job site.

• 710G John Deere 4WD backhoe, which is grading dirt and aggregate materials as well as other tasks.

• 345 Caterpillar 6000 trackhoe. It is handling digging, trenching, removals, and loading large quantities of material.

• 2 EA 160H Caterpillar motorgrader for scraping/grading, as well as a 613C Caterpillar elevation scraper.

A Case 570MXT tractor loader, 966 Caterpillar 6000 loader, and a 966F Caterpillar wheel loader also are working on the job. In addition, a 710J John Deere backhoe loader is carrying out pipe trenching for underground utilities and storm drain and other work and a Caterpillar 330 hydraulic wheel excavator is handling pipe and storm drain excavations. A 744J John Deere loader is digging and loading dirt and materials from pipe and storm drain excavations.

Other equipment includes a CEC double deck screening plant to blend aggregate base material and asphalt millings to be reused on the project, a Caterpillar 825 pad foot compactor, and a Komatsu PC50 MR-2 excavator. Dust congestion is controlled by a Caterpillar 613C 5K gallon, Kenworth 4K gallon, and Caterpillar 4K gallon water trucks.

A 60 ft. (18 m) boom JLG personnel lift 600S hoists workers to unreachable locations in order to perform various tasks safely, and 15 Ford F-250 ¾ ton pickup trucks transport workers and haul tools and equipment around the job site.

“Pulice employs roughly 60 plus people on the job site with job levels ranging from project management and superintendents to laborers,” the spokesperson said. “Crew sizes vary based on work activity and type of work being performed at the time. Eight different crews are working in different areas on different facets of the project: dirt and excavation, bridge and structures, underground utilities, and concrete work.”

In addition to its own personnel, Pulice Construction has engaged a couple of subcontractors.

“McNeil Bros. Inc. will handle the majority of the flatwork and all highway Portland Cement Concrete Pavement (PCCP) work on the project, including installing catch basins, sidewalk, concrete curb and gutter, concrete transitions, driveways, and barrier for this section of I-10,” the company spokesperson said.

“Roadway Electric will carry out all electrical removals and installations on the project. This will include all street and highway lighting, traffic signals, electrical transformers and pedestals, joint and non-joint trenches, utility conduit, overhead sign structures, and new roadway sign installation,” he added.

In 2013, construction work will be focusing primarily on the east side of I-10.

“Eastbound I-10 drivers will begin traveling on the newly constructed eastbound I-10 lanes later this month [March] and westbound lanes construction will begin April 2013. The eastbound I-10 frontage road will be open in late spring and a new eastbound I-10 exit ramp will be open at Prince Road in late spring. All other Prince Road entrance and exit ramps, as well as the underpass, will remain closed, while Prince Road will remain open outside these areas,” said Krugel.

About The Company

Pulice Construction was founded in 1956 by William A. Pulice, one of ten children of an immigrant coal miner. It began business constructing concrete sidewalks, curbs, and gutters and in the early 1960s expanded into handling paving and grading as well as structural concrete projects. Moving into freeway construction in the 1980s, the company now occupies a leading position in that market.

Pulice Construction has won a number of industry honors, among them an Arizona Transportation Partnering Excellence Award for its contribution to the I-10 Median Widening and Reconstruction project and a Marvin M. Black Excellence in Partnering Award for the company’s work on the Red Mountain Freeway, which also won the company a Build Arizona Award from the Arizona Chapter, Associated General Contractors (AZAGC).

The company handled two projects similar to this Ariz. I-10 job, these being the state Route 202 Santan Freeway (I-10 to Gilbert Road) HOV Lanes Design-Build Ellsworth Road - Hunt Highway to Cloud Road. Its current projects include work on the state Route 303 Freeway (Peoria Avenue to Mountain View Boulevard) in Surprise, Ariz., as well as I-10/state Route 303 interchange construction and Phase 2C of the Broadway Road sewer main improvements, 10th Avenue to 17th Street, both in Phoenix, Ariz.