McAninch Makes Over Missouri’s Route 60

Tue August 02, 2005 - Midwest Edition
Brenda Ruggiero

Since February of 2002, Iowa-based McAninch Corporation has worked on three consecutive contracts involving the reconstruction of Route 60 in southern Missouri. The dollar amount for the entire project totals more than $48.5 million with funding coming from the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) and federal sources.

Since McAninch Corporation was the successful bidder on all three sections, the projects were unified and constructed as one job.

“The value of this reality will be very evident later this season when the entire section is opened to full traffic use in one operation,” said Don Taylor, vice president of McAninch Corporation’s national division.

The overall project entails the reconstruction of an 18.4-mile section of Missouri Route 60 from Ellsinore eastward to Missouri Route 67. This work adds 36.2 new lane miles and 5.3 lane miles of rehabilitated roadway. In addition, four new bridges have been constructed, and multiple box culverts have been cast in place and installed as pre-cast units.

“The first project, awarded in March of 2002, was the culmination of efforts by Congresswoman JoAnn Emerson and the local citizenry to upgrade Route 60,” Taylor said. “Route 60 is the only viable east-to-west thoroughfare in southeastern Missouri. Over time, the traffic load has increased and over-taxed the capacity of the existing roadway. Changes were needed to improve sight distances, rebuild existing bridges, improve overall safety for the public, and expand the roadway to four lanes. Through the diligent efforts of Representative Emerson, and with the added value of taxpayer support, the necessary funding was obtained to begin the work.”

The design work for the all the projects was done by MoDOT. Sections in Butler County were designed by a District 10 team led by Bill Robison. This team was responsible for a section involving nearly 10 miles from the Butler County line eastward to a new intersection with Missouri Route 67.

“This section was broken into two segments for construction,” Taylor explained. “The initial segment was constructed ’inside’ of the second segment to mitigate traffic interference in the final segment.”

The Carter County section was designed by a District 9 team led by Mike Wake. This section covers 8.5 miles, connecting to the Butler County project and extending westward to Ellsinore, MO.

Together, the projects involve 18 miles of newly constructed and rehabilitated roadway. All jobs are on schedule to be completed by this fall.

The first section was bid in February 2002, with McAninch Corporation winning the contract with a bid of just over $7 million.

“The job began in April of 2002 and promptly experienced record rainfall for this area,” Taylor noted. “When conditions were finally favorable for construction, McAninch Corporation completed the first phase of grading in November. Paving followed the next spring, and the final traffic pattern was established in mid-summer of 2003.”

The second section went to bid in November 2002, with McAninch Corporation again winning the contract, this time for a low bid of $26 million. Work on this section began in January of 2003.

“Again, this area was blessed with a record snowfall, which blanketed the clearing operations,” Taylor said. “As clearing and grubbing operations progressed, McAninch Corporation mobilized additional machinery to the project and combined efforts with the earlier project.”

The final section was bid in October 2003, and McAninch Corporation’s bid of approximately $15.4 million bested the competition by only $67,000.

Taylor noted that soil and rock characteristics were one of the challenges with the project.

“McAninch Corporation collaborated with the soil scientists at the Caterpillar Inc. Tech Center to find the right Ground Engagement Tooling application for this material,” he explained. “On an abrasion scale of one to 10 –– with 10 being the hardness of diamonds –– the clay, sand and rock combination reached a value of 8.5. After trying a selection of tooling, McAninch Corporation found the correct combination of tooling and hard surfacing to combat the effects of metal erosion. Often, the cutting edges and tool tips were changed daily to maintain efficiencies.”

Taylor further explained that the contract was awarded using “unclassified excavation” as the type of earthmoving required. This specification does not discriminate between soils and rock when measuring for payment.

“Pre-bid surveys by McAninch Corporation had identified the rock locations, and the grading plan was designed around those areas,” he said. “The D11R and D9R Ripper and Dozer combination was used to fracture and dislodge rock formations, and allowed much of the work to be excavated conventionally.”

Another challenge noted by Taylor was the fact that the project occurred within the Mark Twain National Forest.

“A significant portion of these projects were constructed on new alignment,” he explained. “This alignment runs through U.S. Forest Service property in the Mark Twain National Forest. Obviously, great care was used when harvesting the timber, clearing the ROW, and burning the debris. In addition to forestry concerns, there were measures taken to facilitate wildlife in the area by building ’bear crossings’ along the route. These ’crossings’ were designed to allow wildlife to cross the highway two lanes at a time and not contend with a wide four-lane with high density traffic.”

Traffic was also a challenge for the construction crew. The daily traffic count on this particular stretch of roadway is expected to be 8,500 vehicles per day, with a density of eight percent trucks. The count is predicted to rise to 13,650 vehicles by 2025.

“The magnitude of this traffic created multiple traffic stages to allow the construction of the new lanes and the rehabilitation of the existing roadways,” Taylor said. “McAninch Corporation submitted a Value Engineering Proposal to simplify the staging and subsequently eliminate many interior traffic crossovers. After review by the MoDOT project staff, the proposal was accepted and MoDOT realized a savings of more than $70,000.”

Like all other McAninch Corporation grading projects, Taylor explained that this job was constructed using the latest in GPS technology in surveying and machine control.

“According to McAninch standards, the Trimble 5800 MAX survey unit and the GCS [grade control system] units installed in dozers, scrapers, mass excavators, motor graders and foreman pickups formed the backbone of the project,” he said. “Unlike all other McAninch projects, we found the MoDOT staff to be highly receptive to the GPS grading systems. As a result of this forward thinking by the Poplar Bluff Project Office, led by Steve Bubanovich and the Van Buren Project Office, led by Audie Pulliam, two Trimble survey grade units were work-ordered onto the contract as rental units for the duration of the job. The data files for the work were supplied to MoDOT at no cost by McAninch Corporation. The effectiveness and utility of these survey units has been proven time and again by both McAninch Corporation and the MoDOT staff.”

Besides Taylor, McAninch Corporation’s management team for the project includes Doug McAninch, president and COO.; Scott Hintz, general superintendent; John McMullen, project manager; and Rollie Overstreet, project superintendent.

Overstreet is currently in his 24th season of highway construction, and has spent the last 20 with McAninch Corporation. He has a supervisory staff of nine additional foremen, including Jim Flander, Shawn Barlean, Don Hollinrake, Frank Alexander, Ray Waag, Erik Kuehner, Bryan Swain, Jamie Howard and John Herold. The team oversees an estimated total of 80 employees during peak period.

In addition, fleet upkeep and maintenance are handled by Jason Paulson, Terry Mitchell, Rick Runyan, Ron Geery, Gene and Tom Mouw, Shawn McAninch, Roscoe Brown, Dylan Conner and Ron Feldman.

The MoDOT District 9 team is led by Ed Hess, operations engineer; Audie Pulliam, resident engineer; and Donald Hills, senior construction inspector.

MoDOT’s District 10 team is led by Lynelle Luther, operations engineer; Lindell Husky, area engineer; Steve Bubanovich, resident engineer; and Travis Slayton and Earl Jenkins, project inspectors.

Major subcontractors include Bross Construction Company, paving; James H. Drew, permanent signing; Pace Construction Company, asphalt; KW Luetkemeyer, pavement markings; Robertson, Inc., bridges; United Rentals, grading; JLA Construction, box culverts and erosion control; James H. Drew, guardrail; Hostetter Construction, underdrains; Thermo-Mark, Inc., traffic control; Musselman & Hall, milling; Schultz Engineering Services, construction survey; Hayes Drilling, pre-bored holes; Kasbohm Blasting, drilling and blasting; and J.W. Black Lumber Company, lumber reclamation.

Major equipment used on the job includes a CAT 385 excavator, four CAT motor graders, four CAT 375 excavators; a CAT 235 excavator and breaker, 22 CAT D400E articulated dump trucks, a CAT 330 excavator and breaker, a CAT D11R dozer and ripper, a CAT 320 excavator, and a CAT D9L dozer and ripper. Other CAT equipment used includes five CAT D7R dozers; CAT 963, 973, and 950 Challenger tractors; three D6R dozers, and two D6N dozers.

Additional equipment includes a Gomaco 9500 trimmer, Mack water trucks, three CAT D9H tractors and 463 scrapers, and Trimble GPS survey and grade control systems.

For the entire project, a total of 435 acres was cleared, with 5,387,325 cu. yds. of grading. Asphalt used totaled 48,426 tons, with 671,686 sq. yds. of sub-base. In addition, 102,950 tons of ag surfacing was used. CEG