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Corman-Kiewit Starts Last Major Woodrow Wilson Bridge Contract

Thu April 10, 2008 - Southeast Edition
Angela B. Hurni

The final major contract of the $2.52 billion Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project is underway at the I-95/Telegraph Road Interchange.

The Commonwealth Transportation Board awarded the $236.4 million contract to Corman-Kiewit Constructors, a joint venture of Corman Construction and Kiewit Corporation. The contract to rebuild the new grade-separated interchange began this spring and is expected to take five years to complete.

The interchange contract consists of the construction of 11 ramps and bridges plus five box culvert extensions. Drainage improvements will be done in addition to the assembly of retaining walls, noise walls and pedestrian paths. Furthermore, traffic systems, lighting, signage and landscaping work will occur during the contract. There also will be an environmental mitigation project at the adjacent Cameron Run Wetlands.

Ground improvement and strengthening work as well as all of the business and major utility relocations were completed well before the reconstruction of the interchange in fall 2007.

During this early stage of the project, workers built underground duct banks, relocated transmission towers and overhead lines and installed sewer and water lines. Piles also were installed prior to the start of the main contract for the installation of high-mast power lines in early 2008.

Presently, construction is occurring in the vicinity of the Capital Beltway’s Outer Loop (I-95 North/I-495 East). A vital part of the contract is the widening of approximately 2 mi. (3.2 km) of I-95/Capital Beltway from west of Route 1 to the Eisenhower Connector Exit, which is located slightly past Telegraph Road.

In preparation for this work, during the first week of April the Beltway’s Outer Loop will be reduced from four to three lanes starting at the Eisenhower Connector Exit. In actuality, the Outer Loop transitions from four to three lanes 1 mi. (1.6 km) east at the Telegraph Road Exit. The lane reduction, which is needed to accommodate construction around the Capital Beltway as part of the interchange reconstruction, is just an extension of that three-lane configuration.

This three-lane configuration on the Outer Loop will stay put until approximately 2011 when the outer portion of the future Beltway widening is complete. The Inner Loop (I-95 South/I-495 West) will have the same lane reduction implemented in the same vicinity in the upcoming months.

“The extension of the three-lane Beltway configuration is necessary to provide a safe work area for crews as they rebuild the Telegraph Road Interchange, widen the Beltway from Route 1 to the Eisenhower Connector Exit and install new sound walls,” said Ronaldo T. Nicholson, project manager of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project and director of mega-projects for Northern Virginia.

“In addition to improving safety for residents, commuters and workers alike, this approach ultimately will minimize impacts on motorists. The available work space reduces the need for ongoing short-term Beltway lane closures and expedites the project’s overall schedule.”

Construction of support piers for the Beltway ramp from the Outer Loop local lanes to Eisenhower Avenue also has started. Additional preliminary construction activity involves clearing the area, including the removal of trees and proceeding with the installation of roadway drainage as well as replacing the sound wall.

Initial work consists of the sound wall separating the Beltway from adjacent residences. Crews also will begin rebuilding the area south of the Beltway at the Telegraph Road Interchange, said Michelle Holland, public affairs manager of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project. This involves starting construction of relocated East Drive, from Burgundy Road to North Kings Highway, in order to align with Lenore Lane. Work on the concrete drainage structure will commence soon, as will the construction of the retaining walls for the new elevated ramps.

In fact, many of the cited traffic improvements involve the addition of elevated ramps.

The contractor will be using a variety of equipment on this contract including six Cat excavators, two Cat dozers and one John Deere dozer, and two compactors. An assortment of cranes will be used: 150 ton (136 t) crawler crane, 200 ton (181 t) lattice-boom crane, 65 ton (59 t) rough terrain crane, and a 200 ton (181 t) crawler crane. In addition, two loaders, two motorgraders, a water truck, an attenuator truck and a tractor with a low boy plus a flat bed are all being used on the interchange reconstruction project.

This Telegraph Road Interchange contract is considered the last 25 percent of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project before its completion. It is one of four new interchanges that is part of the bridge project. Upon its completion, the improved interchange is expected to improve traffic flow in addition to providing easier and safer pedestrian access.

During construction, VDOT will closely coordinate this contract with several other mega-projects in Northern Virginia, including the widening of I-95 and the installation of high-occupancy toll lanes on I-95 and I-495. CEG

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