One engineering challenge that’s been encountered and overcome on this project is the staged construction, since there isn't much room to work.
Considerable progress is being made since ground was broken in April 2017 on the Georgia Department of Transportation's (GDOT) I-16/I-75 Improvement Project.
While most of the construction from Phase 1 was completed in summer 2021, the next phases of construction are starting to ramp up, most notably in Bibb County, Ga.
There are several tasks that local contracting crews — like E.R. Snell, based out of Macon, Ga. and Marietta, Ga.-based C.W. Matthews Contracting Company Inc. — are preparing for or have already started. Phases 2 and 3: I-75 from Hardeman Avenue to I-16 Eastbound has already seen the competed construction of the Riverside Bridge superstructure over I-75. Additional work of these phases includes:
- Continue construction of the Walnut Street bridge over I-75 stage two superstructure;
- Continue construction of the substructure for new I-75 northbound and southbound bridges;
- Continue demolition and removal of the existing I-16 westbound and I-75 northbound and southbound bridges;
- Construction of MSE walls along I-75 northbound and southbound and at other locations throughout the project continues;
- Construction of concrete sound and visual walls along I-75 northbound and southbound continues;
- Continue demolition of the existing pavement on the left lanes of I-75 northbound from Hardeman Avenue to north of the Riverside Bridge;
- Continue concrete paving for the new I-75 southbound exit ramp to the new I-16 entrance ramp;
- Continue concrete paving for the new I-75 northbound and southbound roadways.
"The largest project in the 95 year history of E.R. Snell began in July of 2017 in Macon, Georgia," said E.R. Snell in a statement. "This state funded project consists of 3.865 miles of widening and reconstruction on I-16 and I-75. Our team is tasked with the construction of 11 bridges and 29 walls. The project quantities include 40,000 linear feet of beams, 260,000 square feet of reinforced walls and 8,800 cubic yards of concrete. Our Macon office serves as the headquarters for the planning and execution of this project."
GDOT's Penny Brooks, District 3 communication officer, added, "The interchange improvement project will enhance safety and mobility of the interchange by widening and reconstructing I-75 from Hardeman Avenue to Pierce Avenue and I-16 from I-75 to Walnut Creek within the city of Macon and Macon-Bibb County. The investment in the city, the middle Georgia region and the state's transportation system will support Georgia's growing freight and logistics industry. It is improving I-16 and I-75 in the project area by constructing additional interstate lanes, wider shoulder lanes and additional on- and off-ramps."
Phases 4 and 5 will focus on I-16 westbound/I-75 to Walnut Creek. Construction activities include:
- Continue demolition of the existing Second Street bridge;
- Continue construction of new Second Street bridge substructure;
- Continue construction of three new I-16 westbound bridge substructures;
- Continue construction of three new I-16 eastbound bridge substructures;
- Continue construction of two new I-16 westbound entrance ramps;
- Continue construction of new mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) retaining walls along I-75 northbound and southbound and other walls throughout the project.
"One engineering challenge that's been encountered and overcome on this project is the staged construction, since there isn't much room to work," said James Coody, GDOT's project manager of the Interstate 75/Interstate 16 Improvements Project. "We're expecting at least a 100-year lifespan for the new infrastructure being built. We are utilizing drilled caissons with mass concrete for the bridge foundations located in the river. This design helps maximize construction by allowing more environmentally friendly construction activities to take place in the river, without detrimentally affecting the adjacent ecosystems."
About This Project
The I-16/I-75 Interchange Improvement Project is a $500 million safety and mobility megaproject. With its massive scope to widen and reconstruct I-16, I-75 and their interchange in Macon-Bibb County, this project is being delivered in six design and construction phases that will continue through 2030. Construction includes new collector-distributor (CD) lanes, additional interstate lanes, new interstate on-and off-ramps, upgrades to 11 bridges, new walls, and upgraded drainage systems. The completed project will deliver safer and improved mobility for Macon-Bibb County's local commuters and businesses, regional travelers and commercial freight from the Georgia southern coast to destinations within the state and throughout the U.S. CEG
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