The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) is in the midst of a large-scale construction project on I-75 in Morrow with the goal of reducing traffic congestion and preparing the community for future growth.
According to Richard Stanley, project manager of GDOT, the project, which started in 2008, entails 3.162 mi. (5 km) of turn lane construction on SR 54, bridge ramp reconstruction and construction of a total of five bridges and approaches on I-75. The project also includes the installation of closed circuit television and intersection video detection systems to monitor traffic flow.
C.W. Matthews Contracting Company Inc., Marietta, Ga., is the contractor on the project. According to GDOT, the project is set to be complete by Aug. 31, 2011. The contract is on schedule and is currently 21 percent complete.
The work force consists of 23 workers on the grading site, 17 workers on the bridge, six on shoring, six working on retaining walls, six on grassing, 15 on asphalt paving and four on clearing. The crews are not on the job full-time. According to GDOT, there are currently 21 approved subcontractors working under C.W. Matthews. There also are several other contractors working for various utility companies relocating facilities as well.
“This contract requires maintaining the existing number of lanes on both I-75 and SR54,” said Stanley. “Disruptions to traffic flow are usually in off-peak hours in the evenings.”
The $46.4 million project will add northbound and southbound turn lanes on SR 54 by widening the bridge now spanning I-75. Ramps entering and exiting the interstate will be widened to allow for future high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) use. HOV lanes are an integral part of the Georgia NAVIGATOR system, which is designed to help reduce air pollution and lessen traffic congestion.
The project will widen I-75 by 32 ft. (9.7 m) on the northbound and southbound lanes to accommodate on-ramp and off-ramp improvements at SR 54/Jonesboro Road. Crews also will widen SR 54/Jonesboro Road as it approaches the 1-75 overpass, increasing turn lane capacity. Decorative fencing and lighting also will be installed on the Jonesboro Road bridge over the interstate and the entire intersection will be illuminated with high-mast lighting.
A new bridge will be built to connect Lee Street across the interstate along with a new railroad bridge over I-75. The project consists of rebuilding the interchange and constructing four new ramps. The existing N-S RR and SR 54 bridges over I-75 are being replaced with two new highway and one new railroad bridge that will accommodate the new ramp designs.
“A value engineering proposal by CWM [C.W. Matthews] to use one of the new roadway bridges as a temporary railroad detour bridge eliminated expensive shoring and piecemeal reconstruction for the existing railroad bridge, saving time and money,” said Bill Holle, project manager of C.W. Matthews.
According to Holle, there is a variety of equipment being used on the complex job.
“CWM has an excellent relationship with Yancey Bros. Co, who sells and services Caterpillar equipment,” said Holle. The grading is done primarily with excavators and dump truck. There are two D6R dozers, one D69 dozer, two D4 dozers, two Cat pad foot rollers, one Cat 420 backhoe, two Komatsu PC 400 excavators, one Cat 330 excavator, two Cat 12H graders, one Cat 14H grader, two Cat smooth drum rollers, and two water trucks. All dump trucks are supplied by Mother Trucker Inc., the hauling subcontractor.
“Equipment is working on all four ramps in various stages of grading for new roadway, retaining walls, and excavation for new bridges,” said Holle.
The bridge crews have three 218 Link-Belt cranes, one Cat 325 excavator, and one Cat 321 excavator. According to Holle, both of the excavators can be equipped with a hydraulic hammer. The fine grading is done with Cat graders that are fitted with a Topcon GPS system.
The variety and scope of equipment on site also allows the company to deal with challenges such as weather conditions.
“Challenges consist of maintaining production during a wet spring and being able to work around the relocation of utilities,” said Holle. “This is accomplished by having enough equipment on the site to quickly redirect forces to available work areas.” CEG
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