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Crews Relieve Congestion Along Pa.’s Route 19

Wed January 30, 2013 - Northeast Edition
Jennifer Rupp

Golden Triangle used their LoDril attachment to drill for the caissons in the upcoming retaining wall.
Golden Triangle used their LoDril attachment to drill for the caissons in the upcoming retaining wall.
Golden Triangle used their LoDril attachment to drill for the caissons in the upcoming retaining wall. This 60-inch pipe is one of the larger 100-year design life pipes used for the storm drains, which will be monitored by 3 Rivers Pipe Profiling. Crews place precast panels into the retaining wall.

The Route 19 Wexford Flats project in Allegheny County, Pa., had been in the works for nearly 20 years. As a prolific business district, this four-lane stretch had become congested with 28,000 vehicles per day, causing frequent rear-end accidents. In response, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) designed an $18.1 million overhaul to for 2.33 miles of Route 19.

The improvement project, which runs through Pine and McCandless townships, included widening, bituminous resurfacing, concrete pavement, drainage, curb and sidewalk, signing and pavement marking, signals, and a retaining wall. The construction zone began about 300 ft. north of Longvue Road (near the top of Pine Creek Hill), and ran to just north of North Chapel/Manor Road. The new design widens Route 19 from 42 ft. to 63 ft., adding a center turn lane, curbed gutters and sidewalks. New, improved traffic signals were added at eight intersections in the project area.

Golden Triangle Construction Company Inc. of Imperial, Pa., won the bid as prime contractor and began work in winter 2011. Golden Triangle self-performed the drainage work, concrete roadway widening, gutters, sidewalks, curbs and driveways reconstruction. A. Folino Construction of Oakmont, Pa., was the asphalt paving subcontractor on the job. The project was completed in December 2012.

“We bought a new Cat 328 excavator with Trimble GPS from Cleveland Brothers Equipment,” said Golden Triangle Project Engineer Steve Raffa. “This machine was essential for installing the larger-than-normal storm drains.”

The drain pipes that Raffa referred to are 66 in. (167 cm) in diameter and were placed 15 ft. (4.6 m) deep. Raffa said that because of the compact business area, there are restrictions on drainage options. In lieu of building retention basins for stormwater run-off, designers chose the 66-in. (167 cm) drain pipes to store the extra water in.

These pipes have a 100-year design life and will be inspected/monitored by 3 Rivers Pipe Profiling in Pittsburgh.

Golden Triangle also used its Cat 321 and Cat 312 excavators, GOMACO Commander 3 track paver for placing concrete, Gradall XL4300, and Komatsu PC 300 HD with a LoDril DH60 to drill the caissons for the precast retaining wall.

Other subcontractors on the job included WR Casteel LLC, based in Hopwood, for electrical work and new signals; Strongstown B&K of Strongstown for signage; Parking Lot Painting, headquartered in Bethel Park, for roadway striping; and Beth’s Barricades of Gibsonia for traffic control.

Crews experienced a delay in progress when it came time for the utility relocation work. Great lengths of water and gas lines needed to be moved, in addition to underground Verizon-owned fiber optic cables.

“In order to make up the time, we accelerated the project with crews working 50 to 58 hours per week. PennDOT reimbursed the contractor for their overtime costs,” said Jeff Bentz, PennDOT project manager.

All in all, crews excavated 72,122 cu. yds. (55,173 cu m) of material, placed 10,313 cu. yds. (7,889.5 cu m) of concrete and 22,497 T (20,404.8 MT) of asphalt.

With the utility setback and other over-runs, the project totalled about $19 million when it was complete at the end of 2012.

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