The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) recently began widening Interstate 95 to accommodate the increasing influx of people moving into the Sunshine State.
From one mile north of Volusia County’s S.R. 40 to the Flagler County line, 9.3 mi. (15 km) of roadway is being expanded to a fifth and sixth lane from the current four. The 64-ft. (19.5 m) median will have 12 ft. (3.7 m) pared from each side, producing a 40-ft. (12.2 m) median, not including shoulders.
This way of adding lanes is usually done after a study is done to determine the best plan for expansion –– outside, inside or a combination.
This expansion will tie in with the lanes coming down from Jacksonville. The lanes will be separated by a double-faced guard rail.
The project also includes a major overhaul of the interchange at S.R. 40, rebuilding it to add more lanes underneath. However, it will remain a diamond interchange.
“This is one of two projects under way right now in Volusia County,” explained Amy Scales, interstate resident engineer of FDOT. “There’s a job just to the south of this construction that connects U.S. 92 to S.R. 40. This is a fairly straightforward job. The biggest hurdle will be the bridge widening at U.S. 1 and over the railroad. We will have to coordinate with the railroad company, since we can’t be working over the tracks when trains are coming through.”
Contractor Anderson Columbia Co. Inc. has 450 calendar days to complete construction of the $21.7 million project, begun Jan. 5 of this year. There is a $1 million bonus for early completion, with payment of $10,000 per day. Should the contractor finish in 350 days, it receives the entire bonus.
Charles Geiger, area supervisor of Anderson Columbia, said that his company has to cater to the traffic flow.
“We will maintain the number of traffic lanes except for special closure hours, which are usually late at night during off-peak hours,” said Geiger. “At that time we’re building the phase of the south-bound mainline. At the same time, we’re also hauling fill dirt, dumping it into the median.”
Geiger said his crews are laying pipe down the center of the median for drainage.
“We’ve been using two planers –– an Ingersoll-Rand and a CMI. We also have a Road hog paver on site,” he said.
Anderson Columbia hopes to have the job completed by Thanksgiving.