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Kansas Expressway Extension Features BEBO Archway

Wed March 01, 2023 - Midwest Edition #5
Cindy Riley – CEG Correspondent


The first phase of the Kansas City Expressway Extension project, a $15.8 million dollar undertaking, stretches from Republic Road to Plainview Road, and is almost halfway complete.(Nicholas Barwick, Emery Sapp & Sons photo)
The first phase of the Kansas City Expressway Extension project, a $15.8 million dollar undertaking, stretches from Republic Road to Plainview Road, and is almost halfway complete.(Nicholas Barwick, Emery Sapp & Sons photo)
The first phase of the Kansas City Expressway Extension project, a $15.8 million dollar undertaking, stretches from Republic Road to Plainview Road, and is almost halfway complete.(Nicholas Barwick, Emery Sapp & Sons photo) Almost 40 years after planning first began, construction crews in Springfield, Mo., are busy working on a highly publicized project known as the Kansas Expressway Extension. 
(Nicholas Barwick, Emery Sapp & Sons photo)  The key feature on the project involves the construction of a precast BEBO archway manufactured by Contech.
(Klay Camden, Emery Sapp & Sons) The archway spans more than 48 ft. and is more than 250 ft. wide.
(Greene County photo) Bridge and archway crews rely on their own crane and support machinery.
(Greene County photo) Main materials include 6,400 cu. yds. of concrete; 16,500 linear ft. of pipe ranging from 2-in. to 36-in.; precast storm structures/ manholes; 45,000 tons of aggregates; 662,000 lbs. of structural steel; and 455,000 lbs. of rebar.
(Greene County photo)
 Construction continues on underground utility operations that include gas, water, sewer and storm.
(Greene County photo)

Almost 40 years after planning first began, construction crews in Springfield, Mo., are busy working on a highly publicized project known as the Kansas Expressway Extension. The first phase, a $15.8 million dollar undertaking, stretches from Republic Road to Plainview Road, and is almost halfway complete.

"The largest challenge to date has been the amount of rock encountered," said Klay Camden, project manager of contractor Emery Sapp & Sons. "This project involves moving a large quantity of excavation [210,000 cubic yards], of which 20,000 cubic yards is rock. This has required both blasting and breaking to get the rock removed down to planned subgrade elevations. Additional rock has been encountered to get all the underground utilities throughout the corridor in place as well."

Eighty percent of the project will be paid for with federal transportation funds, with Greene County responsible for the remaining 20 percent. The city of Springfield also is a cost-share partner since the northern portion of the extension falls within the city limits.

The key feature on the project involves the construction of a precast BEBO archway manufactured by Contech.

"This archway spans more than 48 feet and is more than 250 feet wide," said Camden. "It was set in 43 individual pieces. Its foundation includes multiple footings and stem walls, all sitting on existing bedrock. This feature allows the Workman Branch stream to continue to function as it did originally, with no impacts to upstream or downstream conditions."

According to Camden, nearly all the structure's footings are finished.

"The stem walls have all been poured and the wingwalls are 50 percent complete. The precast archway pieces have been set, along with the headwalls and backfill completed. On the bridge structure, the piling, drilled shafts and substructure is complete. The setting of bridge girders has just started, and subsequent operations will start soon."

Construction continues on underground utility operations that include gas, water, sewer and storm. Excavation and earth moving operations also are well under way.

"This work has included both the removal of existing soil and rock throughout the corridor. Blasting of rock was completed, where allowed with the local regulations, and breaking of rock was used when blasting was not permitted. The earthwork equipment spread on the project included a Cat 375 excavator; multiple large 40-ton articulated haul trucks; multiple dozers in both the cut and fill locations; compactors; and water trucks."

Structural steel work involves the setting of structural steel girders for the new bridge over Ward Branch. The new bridge is supported by both H-piling and drilled shaft foundations, along with structural steel I-beam girders.

Key tasks that remain in Phase I include the completion of the earthwork; base rock; asphalt paving; and final construction of the bridge.

The job calls for construction of a new two-lane corridor through a previously wooded vegetation area. Crews must tie into existing roads at both the north and south limits of the project, but the tie-ins are minimal.

Camden also noted the tremendous focus to control stormwater during construction.

"The project was designed and budgeted with multiple layers of control to minimize any potential runoff off the project site. The entire project limits have been lined with a large mulch berm that helps trap sediment and filter stormwater as it potentially leaves the site. There are multiple ditch checks and sediment basins throughout the limits to control stormwater."

Workers have had to keep a close eye on the forecast as well.

"Being a significant earthmoving project with large cuts and fills, we have been very susceptible to rain. It's been key to have multiple areas of work available, in the event that something gets rained out. Due to the large amount of rock that required breaking on the project, we've been able to keep progress moving during rain events with this work."

In addition to the earthwork equipment required to complete Phase I, utility crews are using 30-ton excavators and track loaders. Bridge and archway crews rely on their own crane and support machinery.

Main materials include 6,400 cu. yds. of concrete; 16,500 linear ft. of pipe ranging from 2-in. to 36-in.; precast storm structures/ manholes; 45,000 tons of aggregates; 662,000 lbs. of structural steel; and 455,000 lbs. of rebar.

Phase I construction must be finished by the end of October 2023. Camden said the team's dedication and commitment to excellence go a long way in completing the work.

"Emery Sapp's 50 years of experience is key in allowing us to carry out this project. Our ability to pull resources from various locations allows us to meet the project schedule. Our team involves crews from multiple branches, and our expertise allows us to self-perform all major elements including the earthwork, utilities, structures and asphalt paving.

"This project has been on the master plan for the county for many years. It is rewarding to be able to complete it for the county and allow additional congestion relief on the south side of Springfield." CEG




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