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Crews Near Completion of Phase 1; Begin Work On Phase 2 of Long Island Project

Thu June 01, 2023 - Northeast Edition #12
Irwin Rapoport – CEG Correspondent


Crews are constructing new travel lanes and installing new traffic signals and crosswalks to enhance safety and ease congestion along a busy 2-mi. section of the roadway.
(Peter Scalamandre and Sons Construction photo)
Crews are constructing new travel lanes and installing new traffic signals and crosswalks to enhance safety and ease congestion along a busy 2-mi. section of the roadway. (Peter Scalamandre and Sons Construction photo)
Crews are constructing new travel lanes and installing new traffic signals and crosswalks to enhance safety and ease congestion along a busy 2-mi. section of the roadway.
(Peter Scalamandre and Sons Construction photo) Work continues on the latest phase of the New York State Department of Transportation’s SR 347 modernization in Suffolk County (Long Island).
(Peter Scalamandre and Sons Construction photo) The work zone — 2 mi. — is located between Gibbs Pond Road and Hallock Road in the towns of Smithtown and Brookhaven. 
(Peter Scalamandre and Sons Construction photo) The site prep for the road work also is on schedule.
(Peter Scalamandre and Sons Construction photo) Peter Scalamandre and Sons Construction has multiple crews on site.
(Peter Scalamandre and Sons Construction photo)

Work on the latest phase of the New York State Department of Transportation's (NYSDOT) SR 347 modernization in Suffolk County (Long Island), via a $71.4 million project awarded to Peter Scalamandre and Sons Construction (PSSI), continues.

Crews are constructing new travel lanes and installing new traffic signals and crosswalks to enhance safety and ease congestion along a busy 2-mi. section of the roadway.

The project, financed by state and federal funds, started one year ahead of schedule and includes new and improved infrastructure for cyclists, pedestrians and commuters who take the bus.

The work zone — 2 mi. — is located between Gibbs Pond Road and Hallock Road in the towns of Smithtown and Brookhaven.

Five earlier phases of the SR 347 modernization (more than $200 million) have already transformed large sections of the corridor, stretching from State Route 454 (Veterans Memorial Highway) to Gibbs Pond Road and the intersection with State Route 112.

"We have limited space and the stockpiles for the earthwork that has been excavated can only get so big," said Project Manager Chris Lacagnina. "PSSI has to balance the amount of earthwork it excavates with how much soil, debris and RCA it stockpiles in our construction yard. This is a daily balance, and our general foreman has to schedule trailers periodically to haul debris/soil to offsite dump sites.

"We are still having ongoing lead time issues," he added. "Materials and equipment have extremely long lead times, as well as procuring materials required. Utility relocations are progressing smoothly. National Grid, Verizon, PSEG and Optimum/Altice have all completed their new installations, as well as any off-set work. We are currently waiting on two locations to be completed. However, the work has been completed by all companies."

Phase 1, which is nearly finished, is dealing with clearing and grubbing, installation of the recharge basins and the pipe section running the drainage into them and electrical, gas and water main installations. The drainage work includes the leaching and catch basins and placement of reinforced concrete pipe — 15 to 60 in. in diameter. Crews installed steel sheeting and the electrical subcontractor placed new traffic signal poles, complete with all the wiring.

"Phase 1 is currently coming to a conclusion; however, we currently have ongoing redesign work with utility companies," said Lacagnina.

For this work, crews used a Komatsu PC238 excavator; a PC490 excavator; a WA380-8 and a WA470-8 wheel loader; a D51-PX crawler dozer; and a PC200 LC hydraulic excavator.

Crews are also using a Caterpillar 335F excavator, a 308-07A excavator, an M320F wheeled excavator, a 316F rubber-tire hydraulic excavator, a D6K2 LGP dozer and a 450F backhoe, as well as a Liebherr LBR18 sheeting rig, a Dynapac CA251D roller and a Hamm HD12VV asphalt roller.

Phase 2 includes the installation of retaining walls and dense concrete walls, and the construction of noise wall foundations and panels, reinforced concrete pipe and precast drainage structures, overhead sign structures and VMS boards, construction of shared-use path on south side of project, bus stops, a green-stop rest area with shade structure and seating areas, concrete flatwork and imprinted concrete buffer strips, electrical work, landscaping and asphalt roadway widening.

Elements of Phase 1 focused on setting the site up for the road work. SR 347 is being widened to have three lanes in each direction, with a wider shoulder, as well as bigger turning lanes at each intersection or driveway, Crews will install a bike lane in the eastbound direction.

The site prep for the road work also is on schedule.

"Keeping walking paths active during all phases while continuously closing down sections of the roadway for reconstruction is a challenge," said Lacagnina. "Current COVID supply chain issues continuously require planning ahead with deliveries and material manufacturing. The project consists of leveling asphalt work to properly reconstruct the roadway. In addition to the mainline and sides streets, we will have total shoulder reconstruction to widen the roadways in certain locations. Highway work for Phase 1 consists of the westbound direction and northern side streets and Phase 2 is eastbound direction and second in construction. Lastly, Phase 3 will consist of the mainline and final paving."

PSSI has multiple crews on site.

"We have one crew maintaining MPT on the job site, two drainage crews continuously installing drainage lines, one crew is performing unclassified excavation, as well as fine grading of subgrade and subbase, and one crew working hand-in-hand with our electrical subcontractor installing NYSDOT inform lines," said Lacagnina.

The subcontractors for this part of the work include Divad Concrete Inc. for concrete work; Ponderosa Fence Enterprises Inc. for fencing and guardrail work; Island Pavement Cutting Co. Inc. for sawcutting; and Rosemar Contracting Inc. for asphalt paving.

"The eastbound and westbound mainline 347 will have three travel lanes at 11 feet each, in addition to a six-foot wide shoulder for the first 3,800 feet of the project and for the second 3,000 feet of the project, three travel lanes" said Lacagnina. "And at one auxiliary lane, it will be at 11 feet wide with a six-foot shoulder. For the last 4,700 feet of the project, there will be three travel lanes and two turn lanes in each direction at 11 feet wide. The shared use path will be one lane at 12-feet wide. Depending on the side street, they will have 11-foot wide travel lanes and a varying width shoulder."

Equipment being used for the road work by PSSI includes a Caterpillar 335F excavator, a Ford Transit cargo van, a Hino H268 impact attenuator truck, a Komatsu PC238 USLC-11 excavator, a Komatsu WA470-8 wheel loader, a Caterpillar M322F wheeled excavator, a Caterpillar D6K2 LGP dozer and a Komatsu WA380-8 wheel loader.

The plan is in place for the construction of the new lanes.

"Roadways will be sawcut and shoulders will be excavated, and drainage will be installed," said Lacagnina. "Once drainage is installed, the new shoulder areas will be graded for subgrade and RCA subbase will be installed/graded. Once areas are all graded, our base layers of asphalt will be installed. The challenges are keeping the areas secure and safe to the general public and controlling the traffic flow to allow our crews to safely pave travel lanes and thru intersections.

"Roadways can be milled at night and be safely cleaned and paved the following night," he added. "Our paving contractor can put down approximately 1,500 to 2,000 tons of asphalt a night."

Scalamandre on any given day will have between 40 to 70 workers on site, along with between 20 to 50 subcontractor workers. Subcontractors include Araz Industries for watermains; Bohemia Garden Center Inc. for landscaping; Hinck Electrical Contractors for electrical; Sea Crest Development Corp. for trucking; Divad Concrete Inc. for concrete work; Ponderosa Fence Enterprises, Inc. for fencing and guardrail work; Island Pavement Cutting Co. Inc. for sawcutting; and Rosemar Contracting Inc. for asphalt paving.

Excavation should generate 83,610 cu. yds. of various materials. The excavated material has been tested and classified as Select Plus.

"We're able to use all of it for our drainage work," said Lacagnina. "So, it's a pretty green project in that everything we dig up can be reused as backfill. Nothing has to be trucked away or disposed of that is not warranted or needed."

New materials will include 86,108 tons of HMA pavement, 1,620 cu. yds. of concrete retaining walls, 27,550 linear ft. of reinforced concrete pipe, 1,852 cu. yds. of concrete flatwork and 4,329 tons of HMA for the bike paths.

Scalamandre has a repair shop at its yard in Freeport, N.Y., approximately 40 minutes away from the project.

"We can have mechanics here within an hour," said Lacagnina. "The major wear and tear issues are the unknowns of what is in the ground, especially with the steel sheeting drilling. You don't know what rocks, boulders or substances you're going to drive into and with the excavators and other equipment, it is the constant digging — sometimes you'll get cutting edges that will break off. Again, it's all the unknowns in the ground and being careful with utilities and not damaging anything.

"The key to good maintenance is always having the master mechanics and foremen talking with our operators, making sure the machines are greased every day," he added. "If any lights or errors come up, our foremen and myself are notified right away and we'll have a mechanic on site within the hour or later that day to get the work done." CEG


Irwin Rapoport

A journalist who started his career at a weekly community newspaper, Irwin Rapoport has written about construction and architecture for more than 15 years, as well as a variety of other subjects, such as recycling, environmental issues, business supply chains, property development, pulp and paper, agriculture, solar power and energy, and education. Getting the story right and illustrating the hard work and professionalism that goes into completing road, bridge, and building projects is important to him. A key element of his construction articles is to provide readers with an opportunity to see how general contractors and departments of transportation complete their projects and address challenges so that lessons learned can be shared with a wider audience.

Rapoport has a BA in History and a Minor in Political Science from Concordia University. His hobbies include hiking, birding, cycling, reading, going to concerts and plays, hanging out with friends and family, and architecture. He is keen to one day write an MA thesis on military and economic planning by the Great Powers prior to the start of the First World War.


Read more from Irwin Rapoport here.





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