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I-10/I-110 Project to Sustain Economic Boom

The construction includes the first split diamond interchange in Mississippi and the installation of the first soil nail wall in the state.

Tue October 28, 2014 - Southeast Edition
Cindy Riley

D’Iberville, Miss., is getting a major boost due to the ongoing I-10/I-110 interchange modification project. The construction, currently 70 percent complete, includes the first split diamond interchange in Mississippi and the installation of the first soil nail wall in the state.

“The City of D’Iberville has been experiencing an economic boom over the past few years with the addition of many retailers, restaurants and dealerships around the I-10/I-110 interchange,” said Michael Harter, Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) project engineer. “This area shows signs of continued economic growth and an increase in traffic on I-10. The economically driven infrastructure project will increase safety and alleviate traffic congestion.”

The work has been funded through MDOT. A total of $30 million comes from the Mississippi Development Authority, with $14 million from the Federal Highway Administration.

“New access ramps will be built at multiple locations around the existing interchange on I-10,” Harter said. “This will give motorists more options for interstate access to the east, west and south from Lamey Bridge Road, D’Iberville Boulevard and Big Ridge Road. The D’Iberville Boulevard interchange will be the first Diverging Diamond Interchange [DDI], a new design being implemented across the United States as a safer, more cost-efficient alternative to traditional interchanges. Adopted from Europe, the DDI has been proven to significantly reduce crashes and help traffic flow.”

Gulf Equipment Corp., a family owned/operated company based in Mobile County, Ala., serves as the prime contractor on the project.

“This current project is actually the second phase of four,” said John McLaughlin, Gulf Equipment Corp. general superintendent. “Gulf Equipment Corp. constructed the first phase as the Sangani Flyover, a $7.3 million dollar project consisting of a new flyover bridge, two new loop alignments and pedestrian friendly features for accessing two major retail developments on both sides of SR-67. The second phase is the I -10/110 interchange project we are currently working on. The third phase is also under construction, with Mallette Brothers Construction. It consists of a new bridge over 1-110 and new ramps accessing Big Ridge Road. The fourth and final phase is a major elevated flyover from taking off at westbound and landing at southbound.

The project called for about 105, 000 cu. yds. (80,278 cu m) to be hauled in from nearby local pits. The unclassified excavation, about 85,000 cu. yds. (64,987 cu m), is being used around the site to bring shoulders and non-paved areas up to grade, with the remaining being hauled off site as excess excavation.

Gulf Equipment Corp. also is installing all the storm drain system, approximately 12,000 ft. (3,657 m) of RCP, with sizes ranging from 18 to 65 in. by 40 in. (45.7 to 165.1 by 101.6 cm) RCAP.

“We also self-performed all the water and sewer relocation. Sewer consisted of approximately 10,000 linear feet of sewer pipe 20-inch, numerous new manholes and four jack and bores under I-10 and I-110, as well as two new lift stations on the project. The water relocate consisted of approximately 5,000 linear feet of 6-inch to 12-inch water pipe, numerous line stops and tapping valves and sleeves. The utility portion also called for 5,000 linear feet of steel encasement pipe from 6 inches to 36 inches.”

Gulf Equipment Corp. also is building the new bridge over which will be part of the new widened portion of D’Iberville Blvd. Crews removed the old bridge via mechanical methods, instead of using explosives.

“The existing bridge had to be removed over I-10 to allow for the new bridge alignment in the old location,” McLaughlin said. “The old bridge was 402 feet long and two lanes wide. The new bridge is 502 feet long and four lanes wide, with a divided island and outside shoulders. The new bridge calls for pre-stressed piling in the two abutments, for a total of 2,160 linear feet of piling and 54-inch drilled shafts in the columns. Girders are BT-72 at 125 feet length, bridge concrete Class AA is approximately 1,736 cubic yards and requires 395,594 pounds of reinforcing steel.”

The biggest challenge so far has been the removal of the old bridge. Contract specifications called for a 14-hour complete closure of I-10, and an elaborate detour to be installed north of the project.

“The closure could commence on a Saturday night at 7 o’clock and had to be open at 9 o’clock the next morning,” said McLaughlin. “Gulf Equipment managed and orchestrated the detour and traffic control, with help from several surrounding agencies, as well as Mississippi Highway Patrol and D’Iberville Police Department. After several weeks of planning, the detour was put in place. Gulf Equipment Corp. installed two feet of sand in the travel lanes.

“Our subcontractor, M& M Demolition, tackled the removal process with approximately 14 excavators with shears and hammers and other attachments to reduce the bridge to rubble and remove the structure from the roadway and median. The rubble and dirt cushion was removed and the roadway swept clean, as MDOT inspected the travel lanes. Once all was clear, the first car passed thru the re-opened interstate at 8:40 a. m., with twenty minutes to spare.”

The new bridge construction is ongoing, with girder beams currently being installed at night. Work must be performed after hours, because of lane closure restrictions. Once the beams are set, the stay in place metal deck forms can be installed and deck pours can begin.

Currently, the western end of the project has been graded and stone base installed, and all but two layers of asphalt remain. Two new ramps are still under construction on the eastern most end of the project, with borrow being hauled in and the last mechanically stabilized earth retaining wall being constructed. This wall will be the largest, at more than 30 ft. (9.1 m) tall.

“This project had three separate walls, totaling more than 24,175 square feet,” McLaughlin said. “Once traffic is opened on certain new sections, two new loop ramps will need to be completed and a large amount of old ramps will be removed. Approximately 20,000 square yards of removal will be required.”

All of the equipment used by Gulf Equipment Corp. is company owned fleet, the majority being Cat excavators and dozers, a John Deere 750K with Trimble GPS, as well as Cat with Trimble GPS and Cat 140M and 140H graders with Trimble. Numerous rollers from Ingersoll Rand, Volvo and Cat also have been used, along with smooth drum vibratory and pad foot vibratory. Loaders for the pipe crews consisted of several Cat 930 H’s to IT 3536s and a John Deere 724.

The bridge crew is using a new Kobelco 8506 crawler crane, an American 7260 crawler crane and a Link Belt 60-ton rough terrain for support work. Asphalt subcontractor Warren Paving has utilized Roadtec pavers, Ingersoll Rand rollers, as well as Roadtec shuttle buggies. Warren’s fleet of Western Star tractors and Etnyre rear-discharge trailers is supplying all mix.

Landmark Contracting Inc. has been handling the curb and gutter work with Gomaco curb machines, and has been working on the barrier wall with Gomaco slip form pavers. Landmark also has been using Kobelco and Komatsu excavators for box culvert extensions and new box culverts. All off-site borrow has been hauled in by Holden earthmovers, with a fleet of more than 30 Kentworth tractors and trailer dumps with a mix of Mack triaxle dumps.

“The site had about 30 acres of vegetation that had to be cleared,” said McLaughlin. “The majority of the site had a typical interstate ROW in place, so the real estate was there to build on. South Mississippi, especially south of I-10, is very low, with poor drainage and high groundwater due to the back bays and the Gulf of Mexico. Once the clearing and stripping operations were performed, and the quicker you could get above the existing grade and establish drainage, the better the project progressed early on.”

The main delay on the project was an AT&T cross country fiber optic line.

“The conflict was in an early phase, which was on the critical path. This line relocate held up an area of a new off-ramp up by nearly three months. MDOT’s utility relocate personnel did an outstanding job on this delay, as well as staying ahead to intercept any other conflicts.”

Two larger grading crews and a smaller grading crew overseeing some sections that could only be partially graded due to the phasing plan, handled the grading and excavation.

“Tony Blackwell, our senior superintendent on this project, and Bradley Thornburg, as well as Charlie Hilburn’s crews, also handled the grading and excavation portions, as well as any storm drain in their respected sections,” McLaughlin said.

“The water and sewer portions were handled by Gulf Equipment superintendents Kenny Watts and Tim Connell, who bring more than two decades of underground experience to the job.”

The two new lift stations were approximately 18 ft. (5.5 m) in depth. Four jack and bores under I-10 and I-110 were installed, the longest one being more than 700 ft. (213 m). The deepest bore pit that had to be installed at I-110 was between two big slope sections. The push pit and catch pit were over 25 ft. (7.6 m) in depth and required sheet piling and trench boxes, as well as steel plates to provide a safe and compliant excavation to work from.

The project, which called for 22,000 ft. (6,705.6 m) of new interstate specifications roadway to be constructed, incorporates features that are new to the region and MDOT.

“They include the first soil nail wall in Mississippi, the first diverging diamond interchange and CD roads [collector distributor]. The soil nail wall was constructed under an existing I-110 overpass bridge, due to a new CD road alignment and the proximity of the existing bridge abutment,” said McLaughlin. “Designers felt this would be the only method that could be excavated and vertically secured to allow for a road to pass through this new alignment.

“Schnabel Foundation Company performed the soil nail wall construction. Landmark Contracting, our local concrete sub, then installed a façade over the soil nail wall to match the MSE block pattern on the project. This also had a Type IV barrier wall incorporated into the lower portion of the finished wall. Steve Waller with Landmark designed a gang type forming system to slide along on temporary grade beams that reached over 25 feet tall to make the façade pours over the nail wall. The Diverging Diamond Interchange will be at the new Diberville Blvd. overpass. This allows more traffic to flow more smoothly in a high-volume setting.”

McLaughlin believes the work being done will have a significant impact on the city of D’Iberville, which is located immediately north of Biloxi.

“D’Iberville is experiencing tremendous growth. There are two major retail developments already in place on each side of SR-67, which the Sangani Interchange served. There are several more major retail developments in the design stage, with major tenants to be expected that the new D’Iberville Blvd. ramps will serve. I-10/110 is the major interchange that directs people to the casino market along the coast of Mississippi, as well.”

Major subcontractors include Webster Electric Inc., Atwood Fence Company, Traweek Tree and Landscape, J.L. McCool Striping, A. H. Beck Foundation Company Inc. and McElhenney Construction Company Inc. McLaughlin also credits Chad Tubbs, Gulf Equipment senior estimator and project manager, for making sure the project runs smoothly, along with MDOT project manager Eric Jackson and MDOT senior inspector Gary McCullough.The project started in July 2013 and has a completion date of August 2015.

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