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Crews Already a Year Ahead of Schedule on Lynnhaven Parkway

Mon August 25, 2008 - Southeast Edition
Angela B. Hurni

Work on the Lynnhaven Parkway widening project has been under way since January, and the project is already one year ahead of schedule. This is good news because with the holidays, and Lynnhaven Mall, around the corner the contractor is not permitted to have any lane closures during the busy shopping season.

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) awarded the $24.9 million Lynnhaven Parkway widening project, located in Virginia Beach, to Suburban Grading and Utilities Inc., Norfolk, Va. Work is occurring for a total of 1.46 mi. (2.3 km) from just west of Holland Road to just east of Lishelle Place near Lynnhaven Mall.

The project is state and locally funded and involves widening the road from four lanes to a six lane divided highway. In addition, widening of a bridge and a box culvert will occur. The contract also includes new pavement, drainage, water and sewer utility improvements, traffic signal upgrades and landscaping.

Currently, all traffic has been moved from the west side of the project to relocate utilities. According to Michael Johnson, VDOT’s construction manager, widening of the bridge has started while the widening of part of the new southbound lane is almost finished. Widening of the box culvert is also under way. By the end of August, all traffic will be temporarily moved to the new southbound side so that crews can begin working on the new northbound lanes.

Since they’re unable to close lanes during the holiday season, which begins on Black Friday, Suburban Project Manager Robert Meads said, “All of my construction activity will be where there will not be any traffic on the northbound side. Traffic will be on the southbound side.” This work will include widening and storm drain installation. The permanent northbound lanes should be completed during this timeframe.

Bryant Contracting Inc., Toano, Va., is the bridge subcontractor on the project. The bridge over London Bridge Creek will be roughly 100 ft. (30 m) long and 120 ft. (36 m) wide. The company’s $3.3 million contract consists of the installation of concrete abutments and piers. The new bridge deck will be post tensioned and constructed with prefab concrete slabs.

Doug Jackson, Bryant’s construction manager, said the company has a Kobelco CK1600, 160-ton (145 t) crawler crane on site for “bridge work and placing concrete slabs, and anything else that needs to be done.”

Bryant has a Hitachi 330 excavator on site for earthwork, which consists of excavating 6 to 8 ft. (1.8 to 2.4 m) under the bridge. After the excavation, Meads said they “brought back in good borrow — roughly 3,000 cubic yards” just for the bridge excavation site.

Additionally, water and sewer pipes that previously were attached to the old bridge have now been relocated under the creek using ball joint pipe.

Bryant’s contract also includes the pile work for the box culvert, which sits about 330 ft. (100 m) from the bridge and drains a nearby neighborhood’s lake. A Link-Belt 440 pile hammer, owned by Bryant, is on hand for driving piles for the bridge and the box culvert. Suburban is performing the remaining work on the cast-in-place concrete box culvert. Suburban has a Komatsu PC300 LC excavator on hand for the work on the culvert and utilities.

The other subcontractors on the job, to name a few, are Branscome Inc., Norfolk, Va., performing paving and E. H. Ives Corp., also of Norfolk, performing electrical work. Womack Contractors Inc., Chesapeake, Va., is conducting excavation work and grading; the company has a Liebherr 904 Litronic excavator and a Cat D4C dozer on hand.

Environmental controls are in place on this project because the bridge work is occurring around wetlands. Suburban had to permanently relocate the London Bridge Creek to start the bridge construction. VDOT’s Johnson said that, after the creek relocation, they had to “create a wetlands terrace as part of the [environmental] mitigation.”

A portadam, a free standing steel support system with an impervious fabric membrane, has been installed on each side of the box culvert. Meads stated that using the portadam “keeps us from driving steel and has less impact on the environment.”

The trickiest aspect of all on the project is the extreme proximity of an apartment complex to the widening project. The complex sits several feet from the bridge work, but Johnson said micropiles will have to be used when finishing that side of the bridge. Workers have to be particularly cautious with safety measures for the residents whose back doors are nearby.

The widening contract is part of a larger corridor improvement project on Lynnhaven Parkway. On each side of the project the roadway already has been improved.

“We’re trying to match what has already been done,” Johnson said. Completion is slated for May 2011. CEG

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