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GRIP Project Adds Capacity and Safety to Road

Thu March 22, 2012 - Southeast Edition
Cindy Riley


Construction that will create four new bridges as part of a major overhaul is well under way on the Appling County border in Georgia.
Construction that will create four new bridges as part of a major overhaul is well under way on the Appling County border in Georgia.
Construction that will create four new bridges as part of a major overhaul is well under way on the Appling County border in Georgia. The project is currently into the final phase of earthwork, which precedes the base and paving and final opening of the roadway. Crews hope to be complete by the end of this year. Because of the flat terrain, rain can be very detrimental to the project. Work on the roughly $31 million project began in January 2010 and may not be completed until early 2013.

Construction that will create four new bridges as part of a major overhaul is well under way on the Appling County border in Georgia.

“This program is 9.091 miles of widening and reconstruction on U.S.1, Bacon County line to SR 15,” explained Jill Nagel, communications officer, Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT). “GDOT’s contractor, McLendon Enterprises Inc. of Vidalia, Ga., is continuing with Stage 2 construction clearing, installing BMP’s, grading, pipe work, asphalt, culvert and bridge construction.”

US 1/S.R. 4 is part of the Governor’s Road Improvement Program (GRIP), and is considered an economic growth corridor. The project will add capacity and increase operational safety. The two existing bridges were replaced due to age and substandard width. The project will add two new bridges for the additional lanes.

Work on the roughly $31 million project began in January 2010 and may not be completed until early 2013. According to GDOT, there have been no significant issues as far as weather and no traffic issues have accrued, due to staging and traffic control.

As the prime contractor, McLendon is responsible for traffic control, erosion control and general job management and communication with the GDOT.

“We are clearing, performing all earthwork, storm drain installation, water main installation, sewer main and force main installation,” explained Project Engineer Sean Scott.

“We are currently into the final phase of earthwork, which precedes the base and paving and final opening of the roadway. We hope to be complete by the end of this year. Because of the flat terrain, rain can be very detrimental to our work activities. Overall, weather has been pretty agreeable,” Scott said.

Material for the project includes 375,000 cu. yds. (286,780 cu m) of earthwork,13,500 ft. (4,114 m) of curb and gutter, 26,750 ft (8,153 m) of storm pipe, 318 storm structures, 352,000 sq. yd. (294,316 sq m) of soil cement base and 147,180 tons (133,519 t) of asphalt.

“Traffic has been an issue throughout the entire construction and especially when we shift from old construction to new. Traffic is not a terrible issue right now but will be complicated again when we have to split traffic and pave under traffic to complete the project. When completed, this will relieve any congestion that is created now by a typical two-lane, two-way roadway and help speed the commute between Alma and Baxley,” Scott said.

McLendon will perform all clearing and grubbing, earthwork, utility installation, concrete work and project management. McLendon uses its own engineering and surveying department to create the 3D surface files for use with the Topcon GPS+ system and machine control equipment being used on the project and provide construction layout for storm, sewer, water and force main with RTK rovers.

“This project is different from most widening projects in that there are rural and urban aspects within the same contract. Both of these types of construction produce a roadway for the traveling public, but the similarities stop there. The procedures in which these roadways are constructed differ greatly and the staging of the construction for urban work is much more tedious than the rural roadway. Making both of these construction types tie together on schedule is another challenge, which makes this contract different and unique,” Scott explained.

Everett Dykes Grassing Inc., Cochran, Ga., is supplying and placing all soil cement base and supplying and placing all hot mix asphalt, working approximately 12 employees daily.

“We completed half of the original contract quantities of both these items between November 2010 and October of last year,” said Everett Dykes Operations Manager Steve Raffield. “We have around 180,000 square yards of soil cement remaining to be completed, and around 100,000 tons of asphalt paving to complete. We will begin this work later this spring, as the grading allows.

“We use various types and brands of equipment including Blaw Knox pavers and MTVs, Sakai asphalt rollers, Vogele pavers, Cat base rollers, Cat motorgraders, CMI base trimmers, Etnyre distributors. Most of the base finishing equipment is equipped with Topcon machine control. We produce the asphalt at our Surrency Asphalt Plant, located nine miles east of Baxley on U.S. 341. We produce the soil cement at our portable pugmill plant set up on the south end of the project.”

According to Raffield, “The biggest challenge of this project will be placing the final asphalt surface on the urban portion of the project. It will take a good bit of planning and staging to safely and efficiently lay the final surface in this area.”

Southern Concrete Construction Co. Inc., Albany, Ga., will be building all box culverts and bridges. Corbett Electrical Construction Inc., Lake Park, Ga., will be installing a new traffic signal and overhead signs. SABE Inc., Vidalia, Ga., will be performing all erosion control items with the exception of temporary and permanent grassing and mulch items.

Moses Grass Company, Uvalda, Ga., is handling all grassing items and mulching including matting, mulching and related erosion control issues. It works approximately eight to 10 employees on site when needed on the project.

According to Moses Grass Vice President Lloyd Moses, “We’ve been on this project since the very beginning and we come back every couple of weeks and do the areas that have been graded. In sections where the dirt has been moved, we put in both temporary and permanent grass. In areas that are high-flow we do ditch matting. Some material is synthetic, other is biodegradable.”

Approximately 160 acres of permanent and temporary grassing is needed for the project. For much of the work, John Deere agricultural tractors, including models 6420 and 6430 are being used, along with Mack dump trucks for transporting mulch, small equipment and fertilizer.

“Things have gone pretty well so far. It’s a wet job, but the drought from last year has made it better for us. The wet weather we’ve experienced at times has been the biggest challenge, but it hasn’t been a huge obstacle for us. We just want to make sure we go in and do adequate soil preparation and everything else associated with the grassing.”

According to Scott, other equipment being used by McLendon during the various phases of construction includes: Komatsu PC400 and PC220 excavators; a Hitachi 330 excavator; three Cat 321 LCR excavators; Cat D6N and D6M dozers; a John Deere 750J dozer; a Cat D6M motorgraders; two Cat 140H front end loaders; and four Komatsu 250 loaders.

Everett Dykes has used motorgraders; two Cat 140H trimmers; and two CMI 14-ft. fine graders equipped with Topcon GPS+ machine control systems.

Said Nagel, “When the project is complete motorists should experience improved mobility, safety and access.”