Crews Multi-Stage Amid Frenetic Interchange

Thu February 18, 2010 - Northeast Edition
Mary Reed

A John Deere 624K wheel loader was used for trench excavation on the Route 10/Route 53 interchange project.
A John Deere 624K wheel loader was used for trench excavation on the Route 10/Route 53 interchange project.
A John Deere 624K wheel loader was used for trench excavation on the Route 10/Route 53 interchange project. A Cat 315BL excavator was used for drainage work. A Cat 315BL excavator lowers a United Rentals trench shield into a trench.

In a couple of years motorists in and around Morris Plains and Parsippany-Troy Hills in New Jersey’s Morris County will reap the benefit of ongoing upgrading work at the busy interchange of Route 10 and Route 53.

“As part of this wholly state-funded $7.5 million project, the New Jersey Department of Transportation [NJDOT] began reconstructing and realigning the interchange at the beginning of November 2009. During the early phases of the job drainage will be upgraded, utilities relocated, and a nearby property demolished,” said Tim Greeley, press officer of the NJDOT Office of Communications.

“The project also includes installing new acceleration lanes on Route 10 and eliminating exit and entrance ramps in both directions on both it and Route 53. The latter will also receive a pair of new signalized intersections with local streets as well as undergoing reconstruction to provide dedicated turning lanes at two other intersections, thus reducing queues of traffic,” he added.

Tilcon New York Inc., of Wharton, N.J., is the prime contractor.

“Clearing and grubbing has been completed though relocation of utility poles still needs to be completed,” Eric Alheidt, project supervisor of Tilcon, said in December. “We are currently excavating detention basins, moving earth to the fill areas, and we also have a drainage crew working.”

The excavation crew is comprised of three operators and three laborers. The drainage crew has two operators and three laborers. The crews are using John Deere 450D and Case 330 excavators, a Caterpillar D6 dozer, and a 30-cu.-yd. (23 cu m) haul truck.

Apart from Alheidt, support staff includes Barry Huston, construction manager; Rod Waite, general superintendent; and Joseph Lotruglio, senior estimator.

An Unpleasant Surprise

Tilcon began work on the interchange on Nov. 3. The job is on schedule, with an estimated completion time in May 2011, despite an unexpected need to remove contaminated soils encountered at the site of the nearby structure, a gas station.

“NJDOT didn’t realize there was contaminated soil or asbestos in the abandoned service station,” Alheidt explained. “The cleanup will be completed within a month, but will not affect the completion date.

“This is a challenging project with multi-staging in a busy urban environment,” he continued. “Because this project is being carried out at a high traffic intersection, local police are required to handle traffic control.”

New Jersey Subs

The project is state-centric since all of Tilcon’s subcontractors are based in New Jersey. They include Mountain View Layout of Rockaway, N.J., which handled survey and layout, with utility pole relocation being carried out by JBL Electric, based in Totowa. John Fogg Trucking, Paving & Excavating in Butler is undertaking clearing, Fairfield’s Tiffany Electric Inc., is handling electrical work, and the Keyport branch of Mattiola Services LLC is providing environmental services. J. Fletcher Creamer & Sons of Hammonton is in charge of guide rail and signage work, with Consolidated Steel & Aluminum, headquartered in Kenilworth, providing chain link fencing and VIP Contractors Inc., of Union handling landscaping.

Other subcontractors on the job are Statewide Striping Corporation, based in Parsippany. Statewide is in charge of striping and bridge work is by Oxford Construction Inc., in Lebanon. Asbestos removal was done by Boonton’s Niram Inc., and MV Construction, based in Colonia, is providing curb and sidewalk services.

Tilcon New York Inc. is active on both sides of the construction market, providing material supplies as well as site work and paving. Previous notable New Jersey projects include reconstruction and repaving on Route 78, several resurfacing projects on Route 80, and the Route 202/Case Boulevard intersection improvements, as well as work on the Garden State Parkway, New Jersey Turnpike, Newark Airport, Teterboro Airport, and many counties and municipalities in northern New Jersey. In addition, the company also worked on the Route 17 project in East Rutherford and the Route 287 job in Oakland, N.J.