First Stages of Greensboro Outer Loop Under Way

Mon August 02, 2004 - Southeast Edition
Gwenyth Laird Pernie

APAC-Atlantic Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ashland Inc., was the low bidder on a $101.5-million Greensboro Outer Loop, which is located in Guilford County, NC.

APAC’s Thompson-Arthur Division, located in Greensboro, is the primary contractor and project manager Tom McClelland is shepherding the project, which began Aug. 25 of last year.

This four-year project includes a 4-mi. (6.4 km) stretch of the Greensboro Urban Outer Loop that intersects with Interstate 40. The new highway will be a combination of asphalt and concrete surfaces. The job involves constructing 23 bridges and installing underground utilities and 16 MSE/reinforced earth walls.

According to Darrell Ferguson, resident engineer of the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), the new highway, which was designed by the department, will provide an expressway from I-40 to Bryan Boulevard in West Greensboro, NC.

“This new construction will become part of Interstate 73,” Ferguson explained. “The new road will have three to four lanes in each direction with 10- to 12-foot shoulders.”

Stage construction will be used during the project. According to Bradley E. Cragg, construction manager of APAC Inc., this involves placing all six lanes of I-40 traffic onto a permanent, new bridge on the future I-40 east-bound lane during construction of the future I-40 west-bound lane.

“At least two to three lanes of traffic will be maintained at all times except when erecting girders for the bridges at night,” Cragg said.

Crews are using to grade a variety of equipment, including Cat, John Deere, Komatsu and Euclid machines, which are all owed by W.C . English Inc. Seven, 60-ton off-road Euclids are being used to haul fill material from the quarry to the project south of I-40. To date, approximately 948,265 cu. yds. (725,000 cu m) of the estimated total 5.5 million cu. yds. (4.2 million cu m) of dirt has been moved.

All milled materials will be recycled by APAC at the Martin Marietta Quarry.

According to Cragg, approximately 269,000 tons (243,900 t) of asphalt and 1.4 million sq. ft. (129,700 sq m) of PCC pavement will be laid upon completion of the project.

Paving equipment includes machines by Blaw-Knox and RoadTec to lay the asphalt and a CMI and Gomaco to lay the PCC pavement. All the equipment is owed and serviced by APAC.

Bridge construction will include the use of H-piling, drilled piers, substructure concrete with structural steel, steel SIP forms and concrete decks.

Cragg said this project is challenging because it involves two major interchanges: the Greensboro Western Loop at I-40 and the Greensboro Western Loop at Bryan Boulevard. This in addition to the construction of the 23 new bridges and 16 earth walls.

According to Ferguson, construction access will be limited because of environmentally sensitive wetland areas of the area.

The project is expected to be complete by July 2007.