Port of Savannah's $220.5M Upgrade to Double Capacity

NCDOT?Project Plans to Improve Safety, Mobility

Wed May 29, 2013 - Southeast Edition
Cindy Riley


The contractor levels the stone with the existing road.
The contractor levels the stone with the existing road.
The contractor levels the stone with the existing road. In order to eliminate drop-offs, the contractor places stone next to the roadway prior to reopening the lane of traffic.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) is overseeing efforts to widen an almost 4-mi. (6.4 km) stretch of West Market Street from Bunker Hill Road at Colfax to North Carolina 68 in Greensboro. According to officials, when complete, the project will enhance safety and mobility in the area significantly, improving access to local businesses and a nearby international airport.

“This is an important project to the traveling public in western Guilford County as it will alleviate congestion along Market Street,” said NCDOT Resident Engineer Brian Smith. “This section of Market Street has seen much industrial growth in the past few years and more is expected. A new FedEx ground facility has recently opened in this area, and truck traffic has seen significant growth. Market Street is currently a two-lane road that sees an average of 24,000 vehicles per day. The new road will be a four-lane divided facility.”

Work began in September of 2011 and should be finished by November 2014.

“When completed, this facility should provide motorists with a safer and more efficient route in this growing area of the county,” said Smith. “The project length was determined by the high number of utilities that needed to be relocated during construction. All work will be performed while keeping the roadway and adjacent businesses open with services. Services to be relocated include power, phone, cable, gas, water and sewer.”

Smith said the timing for the construction is right due to the existing need for improvements.

“This section of road parallels a rail line. Most work is being performed with lane closures, with detours limited to rail crossing closings. The project also includes upgrades to intersections, with additional turn lanes and new signals.

According to Smith, traffic is being affected with lane closures and some weekend closures. NCDOT’s chief concern is getting the project built in a safe and timely manner for all concerned.

“Special challenges include keeping all residents and businesses with access while performing work in front of their facilities and homes,” said Smith. “This project is near the Piedmont Triad International Airport, the FedEx ground facility and numerous businesses. Traffic is heavy, especially at peak hours, when no work is allowed. I think everyone knows what’s going on, and that it will take some time. We are in constant contact with some of the businesses, due to the need to keep them informed about upcoming changes. I’m sure they would all love to see the project complete, as this should help people get to their businesses faster and safer, as well as getting everything back to a normal state.”

The $17.5 million contract was awarded to J. R. Lynch & Sons Inc. of Pilot Mountain, N.C., which specializes in the construction of commercial and industrial site development, water and sewer utilities, pump stations and treatment plants. Workers are currently ahead of schedule, with close to half the work completed.

“We’re at 46 percent at this moment, and have made a lot of progress on this job. What we’ve accomplished so far is approximately 80 to 85 percent of the more than 22,000 linear feet of storm drain completed, along with all culvert work,” said J.R. Lynch President Jim Lynch. “Both the soldier pile and segmental gravity retaining walls have been completed, along with the majority of the anticipated water and sewer line work and approximately 25 percent of the fine grading.”

The biggest obstacle has involved utility conflicts, according to Lynch.

“The natural gas line running through the project has been our biggest challenge, along with the telephone lines,” he said. “They were slow in removing them, so we had to wait until their subcontractors dug out and relocated them, because we’re not allowed to cut lines. They have been our biggest hurdles to get over, causing many delays in storm drain and grade work progress. Also, dealing with traffic is a daily task. Almost every day, our work requires us to set up traffic control measures including, but not limited to, changeable message signs, portable work zone signs, drums, cones and flagmen.”

During the grading process, crews were responsible for excavating top soil down to suitable soil, fine grading soil and proof rolling to determine if any undercut excavation was needed. Soil stabilization fabric had to be placed over fine graded soil, as well, with this project requiring two layers of stone.

“The first layer [CL-IV subgrade stabilization] varies from eight to 24 inches, based on soil conditions. There is another eight-inch layer [aggregate base course]. Both layers of stone are set up with the addition of water and vibratory rollers to reach a required minimum density. Once the top layer of stone has been fine graded and the desired density has been reached, it’s then time for curb and gutter to be poured. Lastly, APAC paving crews are scheduled for paving,” said Lynch.

“As a subcontractor, we will perform to meet J.R. Lynch & Sons’ schedule,” said Thomas Johnson, APAC-Atlantic Inc.’s area manager. “We have been paving as needed on the project since it began in 2011. We will use Vogele pavers and Hamm rollers to perform our work. We’ll bring the asphalt material out of our Pomona Plant at Martin-Marietta’s Pomona Quarry. The project calls for B25.0C, I19.0C, S9.5C for most of the project, as well as B25.0B, I19.0B, S9.5B for areas with lighter traffic”

J.R. Lynch and Sons crews have been using primarily Caterpillar equipment, including loaders, graders, excavators, dozers and rollers/compactors to carry out the variety of tasks involved. Lynch said the project has gone very smoothly, overall.

“We’ve made a great deal of progress, and could be through almost a year ahead of schedule, at the rate things are going. When everything is finished, I think motorists will appreciate all the work that’s been done. They will have four lanes instead of two and there will be better access for the schools, etc. It’s been a good project to be involved with and up until this point we have had good weather, which is always a big help. NCDOT has really worked with us to keep things going.”